So we have another Royal Wedding. Yaay! While I admire Harry and assume he’s made an excellent choice of bride, I now have to make space for the coverage suffocating every media channel and permeating my consciousness. Like loser politicians who backed a winner on Brexit, royal correspondents stumble out of the night. They emerge like zombies, blinking in the sunlight. Their time has come. It’s royal mating season and they spread out like a fungal skin infection, feeding off every crumb of trivia they can lay their hands on. You see the delight on pallid faces as they stick sycophantic mugs in cameras. Queen Mum’s death? A distant memory. Last Royal Wedding? Years ago. Current Queen’s funeral? Curse you modern medicine, it looks like she’s going to live forever. The recent 70th wedding anniversary was a desperately short moment in the limelight. Some of these poor royal correspondents had almost given up hope and were considering reapplying for their old jobs as journalists.
While wishing the happy couple well, the bile rises when I see things like a speciality piece on the BBC website about people’s reaction to an interracial royal marriage. In 2017 this can only be a noteworthy piece to white, middle-class morons. Do they think because some token black woman wrote the piece it’s not racist? Guys, my white mother married my black father in the 1950s and interracial marriage wasn’t news then. Of course it’s racist to even think it’s a point for discussion. Where’s your article on William marrying a white woman?
Enough of BBC fake news, we have better things to focus on. There’s a £44 billion divorce bill that exposes senior British politicians as liars - step forward Billy Bunter and Backstabber Gove. Trump is unravelling faster than a ball of wool at a cat convention and is not only re-tweeting racist lies, he’s actually calling himself a liar by denying something he already apologised for. Meanwhile, live from his bunker, Dr Death, a.k.a. Kim Jong Rocket Man Un, presses on with his plan to turn millions of people into the human equivalent of cigarette ash. This is real news, not the where and when of a royal knees up. That’s only news if it’s a registry in Camden followed by drinks at the local Wetherspoons.
To free a slot in my brain big enough to cope with this tosh I have to dump a load of rubbish that’s already there. In the slush of grey matter I keep at the back, the wedding of Prince Whassisname, son of *CENSORED*, to an American actress, is hereby displacing my curious relationship with trains.
I love travelling by train. It’s not the scenery, or the comfort, or the ease; it’s the way this unique mode of transport sets my mind chugging down its own fanciful tracks. I’ll see an isolated farmhouse in the middle of a field and wonder what it’s like to live there. Before I know it…
…I’m a farmer taking a break for lunch – cheese and pickle washed down with warm beer, followed by apple pie and custard. My alter ego wakes at the crack of dawn, tills the soil, brings in the harvest, milks the cows, and then has a snooze in an old, comfy, leather armchair, placed in a spot where the sun’s rays filter through hand cut glass and warm the cockles of his soul.
My shotgun is suspended over the fireplace. It is the weapon with which I pepper Trump’s backside with buckshot when he strays onto my land, looking for his golf ball. Ah, such a satisfying shot, right in the middle, though the target looked a mile wide. Though they want to, his Special Agents can’t shoot me back - an Englishman’s home is his castle ‘n’ all that. Besides, the fake press are present and they’re on my side.
You can’t Red Arse a President with no consequences, so I’m up before the judge for GBH. My QC, appointed by the Farmers Union (because I’m only a poor farmer with a small fleet of Range Rovers), mounts a spirited and ultimately successful defence – “m’lud from a distance my client had no way of knowing the fat arsed, orange-skinned bovine with a straw tuft on its bonce was in fact a man. I mean listen to him braying on this video, look at this picture of him on the tee…”
Random bits of information flit through my head, some of which I seize upon to enhance my daydream, some I file subconsciously as isolated ‘facts’. I own a green combine harvester with a dodgy heater, and know how to navigate a hundred miles in any direction with only pubs for signage. I’m the village darts champion. My arch rival is a Morris dancing, real ale bore with halitosis, called Trevor. And so it goes on, until the guard announces that just as it was for Napoleon, Waterloo is where my fantasy ends.
Sometimes I have really random thoughts on the train. This morning it crossed my mind to leave instructions to be buried with my mobile phone hooked up to a massive battery. I like the idea that for years to come people at the cemetery will be freaked out by the sound of a phone ringing and being answered somewhere underground. I’ll change the voicemail message of course. I’m not a weirdo. “Hello, this is Dele, I’m not in but leave a message and I’ll get back to you,” is a pretty dumb message for a corpse. I’m going to have something like: “Hi there, I’m in the afterlife, and if you’d like to leave a message go see your nearly dead grandma - like you promised you would, you indolent bastard - and ask her to pass it on.”
Train journeys are where I measure my life against a chilled out fantasy version and find it wanting in weird and wonderful ways. Most people do this on vacation, returning home believing they’re on the verge of giving up the rat race to go and run a coconut stand on the beach they just left. Within days they’ll remember they burn easily, suffer terrible prickly heat, get stomach upsets from exotic food, speak only six words of Spanish, and generally hate foreigners. A couple of weeks later they’re clinging desperately to a job as a loss adjuster in Tunbridge Wells, and the daydream of telling the boss to go f**k himself has evaporated.
I plan my lifestyle alterations sitting at a window seat, looking out, but not trying to take in the scenery. I didn’t get a window seat today, so I also didn’t get a chance to doodle a cock and balls on the fogged up pane of glass, while escaping in my head to the sun, but it was a chance to recall my last, great, chilled out lifestyle choice.
I’d been half listening to Frankie Boyle’s Prometheus podcast. It’s hilarious if you don’t care how rude your comedy is and you can build a bridge and get over yourself. Left wing satire and daydreaming is a dangerous combination of preoccupations, one that can go badly wrong if you know where to lay your hands on a rifle with sniper scope, and the address of your local Conservative MP. Anyway, the thought crossed my mind: why not become a comedian? How hard can it be? You’re not funny, but neither are most comedians. You fantasise about repeatedly slamming a door shut on Michael Mcintyre’s head, and he’s a zillionaire. Take a few months off, write down all the funny stuff in your life, and you might have enough for an appearance in a small tent just beyond the outermost edge of Edinburgh Fringe. Your stuff might not have been funny at the time, but the public love tales of other people’s pain. Tell them how you went through a phase of not wearing underwear until your willy got caught in your zip. Recreate the expression of surprised agony and relate the fearful thoughts that went through your head; it’ll bring the house down. They’ll like the bit about getting your mum to pull the zip down because you couldn’t bear to do it yourself, or even to look at your bleeding member for that matter, and her teasing when she said that in order to free you she’d have to pull it up all the way first. And if you can’t find anything amusing from your own experiences, just make shit up.
Train insanity doesn’t long survive contact with the real world of train stations, so I’m not going to become a comedian. Such thoughts are a subset of Modern Dumbo Dreaming, a strange societal condition of which the American Dream is a classic example. MDD is promoted by inane media muppets who bring you The Royal Wedding, an event you obviously can’t participate in except as a flag-waving peasant, while parroting out the lie that you can do anything you put your mind to. Hey you! Yes you, the depraved, deprived, drug-addicted, one-eyed leper from Harlem. Yes you’re a half black, half Asian, half moron, half-halfwit, gender reassigned lesbian with chronic buckteeth, scabies and a lethal hacking cough, but let us tell you something amaaaazing - work hard, eat your greens, and love baby Jesus, and you too can become the President of the United States of America! It is absurd nonsense. Everyone knows you need advantages, like being born a Lizard Lord with orange camouflage skin, and the ability to lie like a legend. Sadly this immoral tat survives as a way of persuading the underprivileged not to riot – don’t loot and burn everything kids, if you don’t end up a shinola loser all this shit could be yours one day! Oops, you ended up a shinola loser, but you COULD have been anything, so that’s your fault, right?
Normally my train ride daydreams evaporate never to return, but like the turd deposited in the in-laws’ toilet that just won’t flush, this one hung around like a groupie at a trekkie convention. Just because I make stuff up doesn’t mean it’s all pure invention. In terms of how my thinking can develop from MDD, I have previous form. If you’ve read my Facebook posts you’ll know I’m a learned man, having educated myself from adverts in my junk mail, like: Build A Shed Like A Pro, and, Learn To Train Wild Horses In Your Spare Time (surprisingly easy once you’ve corralled a wild horse in a garden in Surbiton). With an idiot’s instruction manual in mind, I thought: what’s the most extreme nonsense I could do that I might find guidance for on Google? The answer came easily, almost as if it was part of previous MDD - drill a hole in your head!
So I googled: ‘how do I drill a hole in my head’. Guess what, it’s there! You can find detailed instructions on how to put a hole in your head with just a basic Black and Decker and a complete lack of common sense. Have no fear for the people who actually do this; they have nothing in their skulls worth damaging. Drilling a hole in your skull is known as Trepanning, and information on it exists like a rash on the Internet. There’s even someone out there who wants to know if a hole in his head can get him high, no doubt so he can save on the drugs that have driven him mental.
Well of course I started to wonder if drilling a hole in my head might let out enough crap to make space for a Royal Wedding. If not, I’m hoping that having emptied my head of the nonsense above I can at least find space for the event on the day itself. It’s not looking good though, even before I finished writing that sentence it occurred to me that with all the trouble in the world today, the day could be spoiled if birds woke up and felt too pensive to sing. I’m moving on to wondering why if patriotism makes us happy, nobody dances to the national anthem. Should I be disturbed by the idea of eating fruit from a fruit tree in a graveyard? Has the Americanization of sport turn basketball into a game for people who can’t survive the time-out interval without the help of a continuity announcer and naff jingles to accompany each score? Would Banksy object if I crayoned on his walls? What if…? Argh! Bring on the wedding; let’s get it over with!