Thursday, July 28, 2005

Following from events earlier in the week, my brother just rang me. He'd rung because he's just got a new MG B (new to him), but can't drive it because London's gridlocked because it's a Thursday so a lot of people drove to work. And he also says that it's a good thing I didn't go to the Tate today as the police, of which there are a great many (apparently half the night shift were told at the beginning of their shift to go home and come back at 5am), were stopping everyone with dark hair and a rucksack.

Anyway, someone in his office was on the train back from St Ives. While on the train, one man decided another man sitting opposite, beneath a huge case on the luggage rack looked a bit suspicious. Obviously on the long journey these feelings stewed and the first man decided to take action. He leapt up, grabbed the case, ran down the carriage and flung it out of the window (yes, apparently the train is still old enough to have the luxury of openable windows. At least, I assume he opened it first).

At which point there were, as my brother put it, ructions. The man who was still beneath the case was a bit unhappy, but nowhere near a perturbed as the man whose case it actually was. Who rang the police, and got them to meet the train at the next station, Reading.

The guy from the office said he had never seen so many police, let alone armed police, as they stormed the train. The policeman nominated for the speaking role walked up and asked the case-flinging man; "Where you the man who threw the case from the train?"
CFMan: "Yes."
Policeman: "And why did you do that?"
"Because I was a Marine. He was acting very suspiciously. And I also suspect her!" he shouts, pointing at an Indian woman further down the carriage.
The policeman politely asks "Would you step outside for a moment, and walk to those gentlemen there who will take you details."

I don't know what happened after that. But I was trying not very successfully not to laugh. But my brother said he was doubled up when the guy eventually got into the office several hours late. I shouldn't laugh, it's not funny, it's almost tragic, and yet...

But I think hamsters meeting their end under a piano is funny (and surely I've explained my non-fake fake smile story before?).

Admittedly creasing my face up in laughter I was wondering about various points. The poor man whose luggage it was. Did he get it back? Can he get it back? Can he get compensation? Who pays the compensation? What charge can the police bring for throwing someone else's possessions off a train? How does one deal with a psychotic ex-Marine? I hope they were going through the countryside when he did it, so it only killed a cow; a heavy suitcase hurled from a train doing over a hundred miles an hour is not something I'd like to meet.

Well, I suppose there is one good point to all the chaos and worry the bombings have wrought; it has spawned quite a few anecdotes.


I shouldn't be laughing either, but I almost pissed myself at the thought of him running through the carriage and flinging it out the window, and then finding out it wasn't the 'suspicious' chap's suitcase!
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