i wonder if traveller’s friends, platform pantries, railnosh and their associated bretherin in the transport catering market have moved into advanced human cloning. my journey this weekend took me through a number of stations i’d not normally have the privelage of visiting, and even more to my enjoyment, i was able to get off the train, luggage and all, and change platforms to a new train – just for variety. they do say it is the spice of life.
upon my first change, i ventured to the platform’s grub shop on the hunt for a tuna mayonnaise sandwich and carbonated drink. a young entity called darren served me. classically chiselled bad looks, longish greasy blonde hair, spectacles and of an inditerminate gender, darren rung up the cost of my purchase and in half broken voice explained how much i would have to surrender in exchange for my goods. i did so, and left to catch the next leg of my journey.
some minutes later, another station, another change and another platform based food outlet – as the initial ‘tuna’ ‘mayonnaise’ ‘sandwich’ had not really hit the spot, and behind the counter, i find no other than darren, of classically chiselled bad looks, longish greasy blonde hair, spectables and inditerminate gender. i squinted at him for a moment – he squinted back, but i feel this was more due to his myopia than an effort to ascertain whether i’d been the same man he had served just moments before. what was more surprising was that he seemed to recognise me.
now, we’ve all travelled on british rail – we all know they’re not the most effective of services, and it is that which underpins my confusion over how on earth darren could have been at both stations to serve me. some would say he could have been on the same train as me – but that wouldn’t have left him time enough to sign out of the first EPOS till, and sign into the second, yet alone rearrange the chicken and bacon salad paninis.
the only answer to it has to be that same catering companies which provide us with cleverly crafted mixes of meats you’d never expect to see in the same sandwich, yet alone a tortilla wrap, are revolutionary scientists, breaking through cloning barriers without concern for law and modern ethics – but with the side effect that their ‘children of the future’ seem to have a collective mind. their sharing of experiences, knowlege, but most worryingly haircuts and skin problems, may lead us in to a new world where we all instinctively know the price of an appeltise and honey and raisin flapjack snack deal.