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Delirious With Weird

Tuesday, August 03, 2004  
The Jews are here

Waddling pop man could be anywhere between 26 and 46. I imagine it is nearer the latter than the former though. Not a single grey hair, but he waddles, and drinks a bottle of pop every day on the train. Yesterday Sunkist, today Seven Up. I am fascinated by him. He appears to mumble or sing to himself, silently. His colleagues (once there were four who sat together, now there is only waddling pop man and one other, whose name is Jan) don’t appear to listen when he speaks.

“I didn’t like her parents, and my brother didn’t like my girlfriend. I’m doing alright, actually. You never know what’s around the corner. Try to stay positive and keep on top of things. Is that the right attitude, Jan?”

His colleagues don’t appear to listen when he speaks. I am fascinated by him. He sweats and pants just stepping off the train, and then wobbles like a Weeble as he regains balance and shifts his momentum towards the steps.

On the train home last night I sat opposite a young guy, maybe 16-18, who looked like yer singer from The Music, only better looking. He had a big bag at his feet, beneath the table, and a guitar in case sitting on the chair next to him. Big silver Sony earphones plugging either side of his head and a Kyuss t-shirt. It was the combination of headphones (I had mine on, and don’t like sitting next to someone without headphones for fear of offending them with the tinny sonics seeping from my ears) and Kyuss t-shirt (never seen one before, and I love Welcome To Sky Valley) that made me sit opposite him. I got the idea that it was his first long trip alone. At a table diagonally across from us there were some screaming kids, whose mother was resolutely not bothered about them screaming their guts out. As the torrent of wails reached a crescendo I muttered exasperatedly “for fuck’s sake”; Kyuss kid heard me, eye contact was made and a pained nod in agreement exchanged. We both had headphones on and still this screaming child penetrated to our eardrums. But this is by the by. As I said, I got the impression that this was his first long trip alone. The train from Exeter to Dawlish runs alongside the Exe for most of its duration, going by Powderham Castle (I saw Peter Andre and Jordan on the Cathedral Green at lunchtime yesterday, accompanied by a baby in a pushchair and a burly bodyguard – Peter was supporting Westlife at Powderham last night) and Starcross and Mamhead along the river banks, until it passes Red Rock at Dawlish Warren and suddenly reveals the sea – and the look on this young guy’s face as he saw the sea was magical. Uber-cool stoner-rock teen rebellion art-façade melting away in the space of half a second into childlike wonder. I smiled a big smile as I departed the train.


8/03/2004 09:20:00 am


Blogger Geoff Love - 10:36 pm

That was certainly me you were looking at. Was it not also yerself?

Blogger Nick - 8:47 am

It did occur to me that it was you, aye, but it wasn't me - I never owned a guitar.

Blogger Geoff Love - 11:14 pm

If you enjoyed Hendrix back then you knew what it felt like to own a guitar.

Anonymous Anonymous - 11:54 pm

Ah Nick, i have done that train trip many a time. That really is a lovely stretch, even i look out in awe when i went past!
Sorry, felt the need to post this as it's odd to read elsewhere of a trip i have made often.



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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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