‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when on the last train

From London to Brighton, not a single seat remained

Through out of dark windows, standing passengers stared

Into the dark, wintry night… some had even paid their fare.

Christmas aromas, so flavourful, filled the packed carriage,

Of Burger King, onions, kebabs with red cabbage,

Of cheap perfume, beer, wine and body odour,

Chilli sauce, fried chicken and high percentage cider.

Two carriages were blisteringly hot, two bitterly cold

No happy medium for the hundreds of poor souls

Packed in like sardines, noses wedged in armpits

Retching young women pressed against old, sleazy gits.

Those who were sitting were slumped drunk in their seats

With visions of the office party where, on their wives, they did cheat

But tell-tale signs of lipstick and perfume betray

And they’ll find themselves in the dog-house on Christmas Day.

Those without tickets stand nervously by the doors,

Looking for the revenue inspectors who had fined them before

But they needn’t have worried, for the inspectors can all be found

Where they’ve been for hours – in the pub, necking booze down.

The First Class is full, not with those who’ve paid to use it

But with groups of surly youths playing awful rap music

Over the tinny speakers of their Blackberry phones

Making it, for others, a miserable journey home.

The half-asleep people with last minute shit presents

Bought from over-priced Whistlestop, extortionate Marks & Spencers

Know that they’re to blame for paying through their nose

By picking up shoddy gifts at the station on their way home.

The few innocent children who are on this foul train

Look up to the sky and their little eyes strain

To see if they can see Rudolph and Santa, but all they see

Are some teenagers yelling “Wankers!” on the platform at Purley.

“Come motors, come green lights, speed and signal us there!”

Declared the driver, saying under his breath a small prayer

That nothing would go wrong, but just as he uttered “Amen”

News came over the radio of, ahead, a broken down train.

As the train pulled up slowly at the signal, bright and red

Just outside Horley, the PA crackled and a few words were said

By the driver to the passengers about the inevitable delay

And the drunks yelled a few choice words the driver’s way.

The jolly driver, thick skinned, poured himself some more tea

From his silver flask, feet up, how bad could it be?

After ten minutes, just as he started to get bored

A drunk spewed his guts up outside the driver’s door.

With ten pints of Stella, half-digested kebab and bile

Spreading across the floor from it’s neatly deposited pile

It didn’t matter how packed that carriage was before

There was now a large exclusion zone around the retching driver’s door.

Hooray, the signal cleared, they called at station after station

The driver, with his head out the window, all the way to Brighton

With a sigh of relief they finally arrived at their destination

Only half an hour late, there was much jubilation.

One-by-one, they poured, tripped and staggered off the train

Even devoid of people, a scene like Beirut remained,

With bits of burgers, chicken bones, empty bottles of gin

Boxes and papers covered the floor by the empty bin

The cleaners tore through the train, making light work of the mess

After just ten minutes, well you wouldn’t have guessed

That the floors, seats and windows were ever layered with grime

As the hard-working cleaners cleared the rubbish in no time.

Lost property was collated and it was quite a large haul

As people, full of drink, forgot they had anything on them at all

Briefcases full of paperwork with confidential information

A laptop with state secrets belonging to a politician.

Gift-wrapped presents were left in the racks overhead

Meaning somebody’s wife would get given cash instead

Found in the toilets were condoms, panties and briefs

From a regrettable, drunken shag that happened at Haywards Heath.

The station was empty, the concourse was clear

Empty of partying souls, devoid of Christmas cheer

Everything was clear, the last train had arrived

It was time for the final staff to say their final goodbyes.

The platform staff sighed, locked up late on the 24th

Heading home to their families to enjoy their solitary day off

“Merry Christmas” they said gloomily to each other as they wound their merry way

Difficult to be too full of spirit, if you’re working Boxing Day.


Merry Christmas to one and all!