Today I'm thankful for The Train Show people. I've recently started travelling more frequently by train. My journey is never less than an hour and sometimes late at night that hour can seem like the longest 60 minutes of my life. Unless I am lucky enough to share a carriage with some folk from The Train Show. These people seem like ordinary enough folk when they first alight the train but then the show starts. I used to think these were people with real drama in their lives but I've now encountered too many of them, on my journey from Cleveland to the CBD and back, that it has led me to draw on the conclusion that they must be part of a show very kindly put on by Queensland Rail to entertain the bored commuter. Forget your TV Soap Opera my friends, take a trip on the train and watch The Train Show.
Let me introduce to some of my favourite Train Show people:
Monday, mid-morning, a middle aged man, I'll call him Hank, is sitting, seemingly patiently waiting for the train to depart Cleveland Station. He nods and smiles as I walk by. I take a seat a few rows behind him. He is neatly dressed and looks bound for work in an office somewhere. Next to him is one of those shopping trolleys you often see old ladies pulling along, laden with their groceries. A bag on wheels. A bit of an odd prop for a business man. As the whistle blows, and we hear the announcement "Doors Closing. Please stand clear", Hank stands up while loudly clearing his throat. The train starts to chug on its journey to Ormiston. Hank begins to unbutton his shirt. Oohhh Train Show time! He soon stands shirtless before us and it wasn't pretty. He clears his throat again as he bends down, unzips his trolley bag and brings out a new shirt on a hanger. He shakes it out. Then with much ceremony (I half expected him to start singing some opera) he puts on his new shirt. He puts the old one on the hanger, pops it in the bag, zips it up, clears his throat and sits down. Picks up the paper next to him and that's it! Show is over. Thank-you Hank! I silently applaud your talent.
Monday, afternoon, 20 something girl I'll call Rachel with more issues than a Jerry Springer guest is my Train Show person of the day. In the space of forty minutes she yelled at 2 ex-boyfriends, 1 case worker and 2 assistants to the case worker. Cried to her mother, best friend and the previously yelled at case worker. Poor Rachel has one hell of a messy life. I will spare you the details.
Wednesday, late afternoon, I was entertained by soul sister B. She wore some of those funky headphones and was singing for the carriage. We got everything from Beyonce to Adele but I'm sad to say she did not do them justice. No Grammy nomination from me.
Wednesday Evening. Late. Two men, Mick and Bob, in their 50s -who have partaken in a lot of grog and giggle weed- entertain the carriage with a very loud conversation while constantly telling each other to keep it on the down low and not to f*$king swear in front of the ladies on the train.
Sometimes it is best not to make eye contact.
That is my snapshot of just some of The Train Show people. I thank them for making a dull journey less so - all the world is indeed a stage! Thanks for playing in my world.