Dom Joly: A whiff of fantasy and the sweet smell of revenge

Click to follow

I don't understand why you can't flush the loos on train while you're in a station. Logic dictates that it's because "flushing" means opening a hole underneath the carriage and allowing your waste to drop on the tracks.

This definitely happens in India. On a trip from Mumbai to Goa I could see straight through the bowl down on to the tracks. Surely we can't do this here, can we? Are our train tracks really just open sewers? Maybe this is why all the railroad workers that I see along the tracks are always sitting on a bank eating sandwiches. I don't blame them: who wants to change a poo-stained piece of track stinking of ammonia?

I have to admit that I always flush while we're in Reading. I was once mugged when I was in Reading, so this is my little act of revenge. Every time I do the deed I hope that the culprit is waiting on the platform for his train to take him into London for a bit of away-day mugging. Given the fares on Rubbish Western, I also have the satisfaction of knowing that he has just been mugged at the ticket office.

I'm surprised that, given the extraordinary inventiveness of train delay announcements, I haven't ever heard this one used: "Ladies and gentleman. Rubbish Western would like to apologise for the delay to the 10.15 from Cheltenham. This is because of a particularly violent deposit on the track between Kemble and Stroud. Rubbish Western would like to apologise again and will no longer be serving the prawn cocktail sandwiches in the buffet car."

I think there's been some sort of bet going on between Rubbish Western staff. They have decided to see who can make the longest announcement ever at every little stop. They go on about every single thing on the menu. Then they tell you where you're going. Then they tell you to watch out for strange packages and to let the train "manager" know if you find one so that he can run away, screaming down the effluent-covered tracks.

There is one thing, however, that I do love about my train trips to London. Between Didcot and Reading there is a big white house. I have fallen in love with it and fantasise about it all the time. It looks very old rectoryesque. It has a cedar tree in the drive and a wonderful-looking walled garden.

Every time I pass by it, I imagine my life there. No more train for me. Each morning, my chauffeured Bentley will crunch out of my gravel drive and head for London for a day's gentle work. This done I will be whisked back to my very own White House. As the car rolls up the drive, my wife, kids and dogs will run out of the house to welcome me.

I will be hugged and licked before being ushered inside and told to put my feet up and have a cold beer as supper is 10 minutes away. After a wonderful meal, the kids will put themselves to bed while Stacey and I watch our favourite TV show, America's Stupidest Car Chases. She will then retire to the kitchen to do the washing-up while I go and sit on the porch in my favourite rocking chair and smoke the finest Cuban cigar- hand-rolled on the thighs of a virgin.

Then, as I sit in my domestic bliss, thinking great thoughts, there will be an almighty whoosh that nearly knocks me off my chair. It is the bloody Rubbish Western train 100 yards from my idyllic home. Everyone inside is staring and gawping at me. When the train has gone I try to return to my former state of bliss – but there is something wrong.

There is a very unpleasant odour wafting over my house from the direction of the train tracks.

Comments