A sock landing on your head whilst travelling on a train to Glasgow should be treated as a matter of some concern. Especially if the sock is not yours.
This sock was not one of mine. It required darning and was red. I always wear navy blue and have never consciously worn a holed sock.
The man who I presumed, owned the sock had been singing the following refrain for several minutes,
“This is my story, this is my song, follow the Hearts and You can’t go wrong!”.
I assumed this made him a Heart of Midlothian fan, Edinburgh’s leading football team. Chances were now high that he was Scottish. We were in Newcastle. To his mind he was in fine voice. Susan Boyle he was not. Edinburgh, was one long, wearisome hour North.
He broke into a burst of “The Stripper” A shirt was flung down the carriage aisle. Another sock was launched. It hung limply from the armrest opposite me. It too was holed. Then a pair of jeans and a pair of boxer shorts were hurled.
But no shoes.
There was the look of concern amongst some of the nearby passengers.
A man with drink inside him is not a pleasant sight. A man with drink inside him on a train taking his clothes off is a most unpleasant sight.
A Scotsman on a train with drink inside him, taking his clothes off whilst singing is something to cherish. A moment to savour and catalogue in the file marked exquisite memories. Utterly astonishing. A thing of rare, pointless beauty.
He offered praise to Rod Stewart,
“If you wan’ ma Bodieeeee
An use think Aahm Sexi
Cum on Baybi let me no….”
He laughed, slurped from his can of cider and raised it skyward, “Rod’s a fuckin’ genie -us!”
Dum di dum dum de dee da da “
He laughed with emphysemic glee. I dreaded to think what his 5 a day consisted of.
Then silence. Then a snore. I looked at him (It was safe to do so). He was stark naked apart from a sock dangling off his left foot. It too required darning. That made three socks.
He was asleep. Christ he was scrawny, the calves of a budgie.
Cans of Strongbow were strewn around him. Although his shoes were neatly placed under the seat in front of him. Uncanny.
We had peace. At least for an hour.
One and a half hours later, The Guard announced that we were approaching Motherwell Station. The drunk stirred.
He stood on the platform at Motherwell Station wearing only a confused expression and the dangling sock.
I hummed Rod Steward ditties on the journey to Glasgow. As I sang I had an overwhelming urge to disrobe. So I began. Slowly at first. But before long I was tearing at buttons, belts, laces and zips to take off my clobber. What on earth possessed me?
I was free. I was one with myself. I was one with my body. I was one with nature. I was bound over by the Sherriff, a dour Presbyterian who was probably born fully clothed. Her eyebrows arched darkly as my misdemeanours were read out.
But, wherever the drunk singer ended up, whatever train he boarded naked, save for a dangling sock, I wish him well. And the sock too. It probably needs a spot of darning.
As for me? Well, nipple tassles are a bugger to keep on……….