Sorry, guys.. no cards today.. just a personal rant. A L-O-N-G personal rant. I am a single woman, with nobody to really vent to except you and the cat, and he’s outside mousing right now.. most definitely not interested.. especially as one (yes, just ONE) of my stories from today involves a dog. So grab a coffee if you’re up for it.. or better yet, a glass of wine, and come be a grumpy old woman with me.
OK.. still with me, or did you skip on by already? (Wouldn’t blame you if you did, but it would feel so good if somebody agreed with me! lol ;o) Please let me know if you do. And if you don’t, please keep it to yourself, as I’m about ready to smash someone’s teeth in! Grrrr. Hope I haven’t scared you off.. I’m just kidding. No ~ really.
Right.. Regular readers will know my mum and I are ‘stay-cationing’ and hopping out for days out here and there. Today was the trip to London to see a matinée of ‘Oliver’ at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Smart alec me suggests we will save money on the train fare from Cambridgeshire if we drive down to Stanmore (end of the Jubilee line), and leave the car in their lovely big car park there, and take the tube into the city from there. So far, so good.. until we get to Stanmore. Car park full. WHAAATTT???!!! I have never seen Stanmore station car park full. OK, it's been a while, but all the same. Usually LOADS of space! To cap it off, the entrance is blocked so we can’t even drive round and check that there isn’t one tiny space. I mean, I only have a wee Renault Clio, for goodness’ sake! Panic sets in.. Omigosh.. what do we do now? Don’t know the area. Haven’t a clue where else to park. Everywhere seems chock-a-block.
Well, fortunately, my daughter lives just a few miles down the road in Bushey Heath. We decide to leave the car there and get a taxi back to Stanmore to catch the tube. Thank goodness we left plenty of contingency time. Called my daughter at work, asked her to text me a number for a local taxi firm. No problem. Called cab, turned up five mins later, and off we swan to London. On the train, I realise I’ve accidentally left my mobile in the car. On display. (We’ll come back to this later.)
Nice speedy journey into town. Get to Covent garden in plenty of time to have a nice lunch in the Piazza. Lovely day, so we opt to sit outside, and get put next to two – well, we’ll call them ladies, shall we? – ladies who lunch. One of them was very loud. Well-spoken.. tubely wheel-spew-ken in fect, dahhhling. Clearly holding her own opinions in great esteem, she wanted to make darned sure everyone in earshot heard them, too. That was fine. She was actually very witty, and to begin with, I was highly entertained and amused. Until she started liberally sprinkling her conversation with f words, amongst other things. I don’t like that, personally, mainly because it’s disrespectful and inconsiderate of other people whose sensitivities may not match your own (and therefore just plain bad manners), but I would have put up with it had I not been with my 75 year old mother.
My mother was clearly uncomfortable, and I was embarassed, so we cancelled our dessert order so we could leave early and get away from our nasty noisy neighbour, but we were still drinking our coffee and awaiting the bill. After the third expletive, I’d had enough and slapped my hand on the table, with, “Madam, will you please moderate your language!” (Not so much a request as a demand.) She looked completely shocked, so I went on, “You’ve been swearing like a trooper, and I’m here with my mother. You could be more respectful of the people sat around you.”
She said I shouldn’t have been listening, so I responded it was kind of hard not to. To which I got a ‘whateva’ (this woman must have been late thirties, at least), and she carried on with her conversation, but at least it was quieter, and I didn’t hear any more flowery language better suited to Covent Garden in bygone eras.
When we got up to leave, so did they. Darnit! We could have had dessert after all, and I'd ordered cheesecake, too!
Would it bug you, too? Would you have said anything?
Anyway, that was story number two...
How’s that coffee/wine doing? Might want to freshen it up a little.
‘Oliver’? That was great.. highly recommended, except that mum and I had to sit with our legs wide open (sorry about the imagery)... as the row we were in at the back was so cramped, there wasn’t room to sit demurely with our knees together. Having said that, it was quite comfortable, in spite of the undignified sitting position, and we had the row to ourselves. (Jodie Prenger [“Nancy”]was on holiday this week, so there were quite a few empty seats.)
That's three. Here comes story number four...
On the tube back to Stanmore, we were joined in our carriage at around about Baker Street, I think it was, by a very drunk young woman. And her dog. Not on a lead, but the dog was actually not the problem. He lay straight down in the middle of the carriage at people’s feet, quiet as you like, and meek as a lamb. His owner was slightly less meek, however, and proceeded to talk loudly, slurring badly and again swearing like a trooper, barrage-fashion to everyone in her line of sight, swaying and swishing her can of scrumpy jack around in the process. I wasn’t about to tackle this one on her language, though. It struck me as a waste of time.
She got a seat, and another seat became vacant next to her, which she grabbed for her dog. In a rush hour carriage full of people wanting to sit down. The dog.. a truly ancient and very grizzled labrador cross.. clearly did not want to get up on the seat, as it would have been a struggle for him, but she was having none of it, and unceremoniously hauled him up... this heavy lump of a dog.. onto the seat by his collar, digging into his throat. Poor thing. It must have hurt terribly. He seemed glazed, though, and resigned to his treatment. She then proceeded to ‘pat’ him. Hard. The man next to her objected. She did it all the more. With an expression of disgust, he got off the train.
She then started banging on about how she loved her dog, and how much the dog enjoyed being ‘patted’. My word for it is different.. ‘beaten’ would more accurately convey the strength of the blows being rained down on this poor creature. My mother agreed with my description. The beating got worse, and I (stupidly, yes, I know) objected and begged her to stop. 20-20 hindsight is a wonderful thing, and it was only afterwards I realised she was playing up for the attention. I then became the target for her verbal abuse, and the dog got even more physical abuse. I could quite happily have resorted to physical restraint, and it took all of my self-control to resist the urge. It wouldn’t have been difficult.. she was small, and I am quite hefty! Instead, I bit my tongue and felt helpless, while everyone else in the carriage became intently interested in the evening news in their papers. I couldn’t call the RSPCA or the Police, having left my phone behind, and what use would that have been anyway? There was no guarantee she wouldn’t be getting off at the next stop. Where would I send them to?
Anyway, she started to get threatening, so after a couple of stops, mum and I ducked out at the next station and waited for the next train, hoping that she wouldn’t be waiting for us at the end of the line.
She was there, but was too far gone to spot us walking past her.
I do feel sorry for her, too, though, as well as the poor old dog, as I strongly suspect that she has deeper issues than just alcohol, and that she’s not getting the support she needs to get treatment. All kinds of other social issues probably, as well. But I can’t tolerate cruelty to animals for any reason.
I called the RSPCA when I got home, but nothing they could do without corroboration from other reports, in which case they might be able to get hold of the CCTV footage from the station, but it’s such a long shot.
Oh, and when we get back to my car outside my daughter’s house... no phone. I must have taken it with me and left it in the taxi, but the taxi firm have not had it handed in. It’s a company phone. Not looking forward to telling my boss next week. (sigh)
Quite a day, then, all in all.
Now, I see myself as someone who doesn’t pass by on the other side. If I see inhumanity, cruelty, injustice, or just plain bad manners, I have a habit of taking action. Sometimes inappropriately. (Most times, inappropriately, actually.) But I can’t seem to stop myself opening my mouth and putting my two-penneth in. I’m not very good at ‘minding my own business’. It’s not heroic. It usually backfires on me, but I can’t seem to stop myself, or be happy to be like most other people, it seems, who seem content to let others get on with it, no matter how they are abusing others.
Feel like I am batting my head against a brick wall sometimes.
OK. Rant over. If you stuck with it.. thank you. You’re a true friend. Mwaaa!
Not sure I feel better about sharing all that, but maybe I’m just tired now. And so to bed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz