Pestilence for Peterborough
Had an alien landed on earth yesterday, to take the 3 hour train journey from Manchester to Peterborough that I did, they could have been forgiven for concluding that we humans are the rudest, smelliest, and most unhygienic beings in the solar system.
It began on a crowded 7:30am tram from Sale to Manchester Piccadilly when the ruddy faced man stood next to me sneezed violently without any attempt to cover his nose and mouth. He most probably shouldn’t have been going into work because he had an extremely bad cold of the kind I’ve been desperately trying to avoid for months. For a short time I actually felt sorry for him He was probably having to go to work feeling like that for fear of losing his job in the current climate of joblessness, insufficient working hours, and people having to live their lives in the streets. However, any sympathy I felt left me when he then took out a sodden looking tissue to wipe his nose and continued so splutter out his disease until he left the tram at St Peters Square.
With the fear of plague still with me at Piccadilly, I collected my tickets to Peterborough and made straight for the waiting area for my platform. As I sat minding my own business, the man on the seat in front of me let out a silent fart so foul that people cleared a space around him. I honestly couldn’t be bothered to move, and also felt that nobody in the right mind would ever do that again (not least because he was sitting in his own smell). But after the third of these pungent gaseous emissions I really had to move. Had I been more awake I might actually have said something. It was foul!
Finally I took my seat on the marginally late train to Peterborough when this twenty something kid sat in the seat next to me stinking to high heaven of smoke, tinged with grease. I probably smelled like that sometimes as a student because I only ever washed my clothes when I was down to the last fragment, and then it was down to the Launderette where the machines seemed to recycle the dirt from everyone else’s clothes and never dry them sufficiently. The train was packed and damn it, I had booked that seat, so there was no option to move other than standing somewhere in the corridor. I decide to grin and bear it until he left the train to stink out Nottingham! Then the refreshment trolley arrived and the Polish man serving had the worst body odour, and promptly stood right next to my seat talking to another Polish bloke, thus pervading my personal space with his unwelcome fumes.
The smelly kid who had left the train at Nottingham was replaced by another man who coughed continually for the first ten minutes in my company without covering his mouth! So if I have managed to avoid the nasty flu like viruses that have been flying around this winter it will be a bloody miracle. In these days where infections abound, and you can’t go anywhere without seeing hygiene notices of some description, it seems that the British public still haven’t quite got the message. Thus, I apologise to #Peterborough for having been the carrier of multiple northern plagues into your fine city.
The aliens would have seen sense and gone home.