ADVICE TO A FELLOW TRAVELLER
I've been prompted to write about those things we must bear in mind when being a fellow traveller. This is advice. You're my fellow traveller so you'd be well advised to observe my advice.
First of all, fellow traveller implies that we're sharing the same experiences. We're fellows. It implies that you have chosen the same journey as I have, so for a starters, if you've got kids I trust you've either left them behind or disposed of them in a more humane way. There's no need for any kind of euthanasia, but they don't have to be here, do they?
Secondly travelling on the same journey as me you'll either be me wife driving the car or you'll be sitting somewhere on a bus or coach not so far from me. So you're not my wife? Then you're a relative stranger and you must stop complaining about the cramped conditions right now before I notice them and become irritated.
Put those damned sandwiches away! We've been on this coach for less than half an hour and you're munching on cheese and pickle already? And just behind me, too, so that I can smell the stuff? It's no wonder you're such a bloater, a great big mindless amoeba sitting just close enough to me for me to despise your presence.
Fellow travellers should be respectful of others. They shouldn't barge in an arrogant and ignorant way to be first off the coach when it stops. So you need the toilet? You're bursting to have a wee? Well, so am I, so there's no need to push! Pushing gets us in a tangle. It slows both of us down and makes me want to say something really true to your unpleasant, twisted fat face.
I know where we're going to. I bought a ticket, for goodness' sake. I packed my luggage with this very destination in mind, so I don't want you and your equally bloated girlfriend telling me (and everyone else within range of all those decibels she seems to have at her command) all about it in a very loud voice. You see, you get it wrong. You only half-know where we're going. Either that, or you're with the wrong party because we're not going to the kind of place you seem to think we are. I know it's in the Italian Dolomites, I know that's where they play their winter sports and break their legs on ski slopes, but it's August and the sun 'd shining and there won't be a flake of snow anywhere. We're going on a summer holiday, not one during which we can slip and slide down frozen snow on our bloated bums, screeching like wounded hyenas and getting drunk at the end of the day in the company of fellow sportsmen.
Talking of getting drunk, don't do it! We're going on holiday, a bit of peace and quiet, the odd drink maybe, but not the kind that turns into a belly full of acrid vomit the moment they close the bar.
Now let's play my favourite game. It'll help pass the time, and you'll like it … I spy with my little eye something beginning with A that might be there, but isn't... You'll get the idea … no, not albatross... an albatross most certainly might not be here in this tunnel, but accident might, and there might be one just ahead of us....
© Peter Rogerson 14.06.12