30 Oct

Never judge a book by its cover, that’s the saying isn’t it? This is a metaphor which compares people to books. For those amongst you that are a bit thick (regular readers I know none of you fall into this category, research suggests that you are all intellectual heroes) it is saying you shouldn’t make a judgement on a book before you’ve read it- just because it has a shit cover doesn’t mean it’s a shit book. In relation to humans, just because someone seems like a twat on the outside, don’t judge them until you know what they are really like deep down.

That is generally the approach we like to take here at Oi! You Blog Head. No matter how you appear- you could be a regular wearer of socks and sandals together, maybe you’re quite partial to a mustard coloured jumper on a night out, or even if you just come across as a massive prick- we like to give you a chance… get past the cover and look inside the book, or at least turn it over and read the blurb at the back for a rough idea. In this post however, I will be telling a story of a time when I wasn’t willing to look past the cover. I judged a book by its very smarmy, cocky cover… and my judgement was simple. Twat.

T’was the summer of 2009. The company I worked for at the time had sent me from London to Sheffield to do what turned out to be a very important job (what that job involved exactly may well pop up in a future post, it was quite an adventure). It was on my journey back to London from Sheffield where I encountered this individual.

I had taken my seat, facing forward on the left-hand-side of a somewhat empty 20:00ish service from Sheffield to London St. Pancras. Across the aisle from me sat a man: the man this post is all about. I don’t know his name; I couldn’t even tell you what he looked like or what he was wearing. That’s irrelevant anyway. Sort of. I don’t think I even noticed him sitting there until the incident occurred.

The train departed. I was glad to be on my way home after a long day up north. From behind me I heard a seductive woman’s voice, “Tickets please.” The ticket inspector was a woman, a quite attractive woman in fact. This made a very pleasant change from the usual grumpy, unshaven, middle-aged, depressed male ticket inspectors that I am used to seeing who are only out to rob you of any money and dignity you have left on a packed train because you accidentally purchased the ‘Super Duper Off Peak Go Faster Whizz Bang Young Person Saver Return’ Ticket when on this train you can only use ‘Super Duper Off Peak Go Faster Bang Whizz Young Person Saver Single’ Tickets, or some bollocks like that.

Back to the point… the easy on the eye ticket inspector duly came over and ‘inspected my ticket’- cheeky!- then moved on. She inspected this fella’s ticket, all was well. At this point I must add that the train was going noticeably slowly. This was the moment the man spoke up, this was the moment I judged a book by its cover.

As the lovely-looking ticket inspector handed the man back his ticket these are the words that fell from his lips.

“Excuse me, is there any reason that the train is going slowly?”

Now I’m sure some of you are sitting there thinking to yourselves, “Is that it? I’ve sat here and wasted at least three minutes of my life reading the last 600 words and that was all he said. Adam you’re being ridiculous. He’s not a Twat, merely an inquisitive individual.”

And that is where you are wrong. The use of the words ‘is there any reason’ are his major downfall. Of course there was a fucking reason the train was going slow!  I don’t know what it was, but I know that the driver wouldn’t be going slow just because he’s a bit bored of going fast, or he didn’t want to push the speed lever up too far because he was using it as a sundial and going faster would have changed the angle of the dial and therefore the time of day. If I was the foxy ticket lady I would have turned to him and said, “No, there is no reason. The driver is going slowly purely to fuck you off.” It turns out that the well-above-average-looking ticket inspector didn’t know if there was a reason that the train wasn’t travelling at full speed. And for the 10 minutes or so that the train travelled below its top speed he didn’t stop huffing and moaning.

What exactly was he going to do with the information anyway? Him knowing why the train was going slow wouldn’t have made it go any faster. Chances are he wasn’t going to get on the phone to Rolex and get them to deliver a working watch to the next station so the driver can stop using the go-faster lever as a sundial… or solve any other possible issue for that matter.

I apologise for this post being a bit of a rant. But it’s late and I saw this man’s ludicrous question and over-exaggerated huffing and groaning at a slow moving train to be a metaphorical book cover I wouldn’t look twice at.

I’d like to leave you with this final thought.

Don’t judge a book by its cover… but if the cover really is shit, don’t bother reading it, chances are it’s a shit book.


Enjoy your weekend!


3 Responses to “Idiot”

  1. Shree Deb October 30, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    Wouldn’t that be a sight…. people who can’t get past the front cover, turns someone over, and pokes the guys anus around to get a much better rough idea. I must say, the mans twat-like inquisitive-ness makes an intruiging change from the usual apathy held amongst British commuters. Just this week I had 2 rather unusual incidents happen to me:

    On Wednesday my train decided to fail just as it was coming into Drayton Park station. Only half the train had managed to get into the station. The brakes for the carriages and doors for some reason decided to slam on. We were stuck inside a packed train. People looked outside the window, sighed. Someone then decided to let off a silent fart. It was amazing how everyone let down their Metro, and stared at everyone else on the carriage. Anyway, to let you know I did make it out alive in the end. The driver managed to climb out his window, and open the doors from the outside about half an hour later.

    My second incident was last night. I was preparing to make my way back home from Uni when I noticed on the time boards those dreaded words any commuter faces… “Cancelled”. When questioning the fat black Nigerian (not the cleaner…the actual train guy who blows a whistle and tells you to MIND THE DOORS!!) we got words that could only put a smile on everyone’s face: “Some trains have been cancelled due to shortage of drivers”.

    Anyway this was meant to be a comment… not my own fucking blog!

    • Oi! You Blog Head October 30, 2009 at 10:57 am #

      Such an insightful comment, thank you. I’m not to sure about your use of the metaphor suggesting how one may read a person’s blurb- but I’m not sure how else it would be done either. As for the two incidents you have described, I could imagine one would be a little bit ‘fucked off’ shall we say. If my train-twat was on either of them trains he probably would have exploded with an even more ridiculous question, something like, “Excuse me, do you know the meaning of life?”

  2. tara dee October 30, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Good job blogs don’t have covers or no one would ever read yours! Joking of course! I always enjoy a bit of oi you bloghead’s insight into life!

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