Saturday, 30 January 2010

through a glass darkly

I've never commuted further than the bog before, but now I'm a proper 9-5 person, I'm on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train two days a week with 'society' - a bunch of malodorous, Metro-reading mouth breathers who'd need spellcheck to write their own names. It's not all that bad, of course - watching the sun come up over the Pentland hills and counting how many ugly people live in Falkirk is pretty entertaining - and there's nothing like a Scotrail service to make one ponder the true nature of time. Still, I do have one big problem with it - the lighting is ghastly.

No wonder you don't see Cameron Diaz sitting on the 7.48 to Bathgate, eating a cheesy croissant and doing the Daily Record crossword. In the triple glazed windows of a British train on a cold, frosty, pitch black January morning, even she would look like a total dog. So imagine what normal people look like. I swear, it's like a very boring commuter version of the Thriller video in there - double eyebags, quadruple chins, bulging, unseeing eyes, flapping jowls - and that's just me. These last few months my self esteem has been shattered, thanks to those blacked out windows and unforgiving florescent bulbs. You would think at least Scotrail could put some warm gels on the overhead lights, reflective foils on the headrests and perhaps a row of halogens around each window like you get in theatre dressing rooms. I am pushing 40 you know. Fucking amateurs.


Hipsters can't even be trusted to wear their trousers properly, so why they're allowed to have children is anybody's guess. I once interviewed a woman from the RSPCA on the subject of dressing up dogs in human clothing, and she agreed that anything that went against the true nature of the animal could be perceived as cruel. Well, the NSPCC is missing a trick when it comes to hipsters. Surely making your offspring listen to shit left-field music and dressing them in CBGBs t-shirts contravenes their human rights?

Today I accidentally stumbled onto an alternative kid's music event, too weak to resist the lure of free entertainment. It featured a) a creepy guy in a tent with a drum b) a 'kooky' girl with cat ears and a pathetic guitar amp c) a bearded folkie whispering sinisterly into a mic and d) some balloons. The place was crammed with hipster parents desperately trying to prove they'd not totally lost the plot, while their baffled, Ramones t-shirted babies listened to unstructured beats, tedious laptop noodling and general pretentious parping of the kind that made me want to sing 20 verses of Wheels on the Bus and punch everybody in the face.

Louis took it all in his stride by lying down on the floor and sucking on a bread stick as if it were a joint, but after about half an hour of this crap even he - with no critical faculties beyond not liking broccoli - shouted: 'I want to go outside' and tried to open the emergency exit. Needless to say, I was right behind him.

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