My home’s only an hour out of London by train, which I visit regularly both for business and pleasure.
I suppose we all have our ‘train behaviour’ pet peeves. I’m irritated by the seat partner who not only takes over the central arm rest but overshoots it to intrude into my space. Or the passenger who watches a movie on a device and doesn’t bother with ear buds, so I’m subjected to the soundtrack whether I like it or not. But these pale into insignificance in comparison to noisy, aggressive drunks.
In my view, being a noisy, aggressive drunk is not OK. And it doesn’t make it OK if the noisy drunks are mature men wearing expensive-looking suits with First Class tickets.
Here’s a message to the mature men wearing expensive-looking suits in First Class on the 8pm out of St. Pancras on Thursday 16th March from the woman travelling alone who got up and changed carriages to avoid you.
It wasn’t OK that you crashed around the carriage bellowing and laughing, that when a fellow passenger asked you to consider others you rounded on him collectively and aggressively and showed him with cold clarity that it was a fight he could only lose. It wasn’t OK that you bought more alcohol from the buffet – your journey to Bedford was only 40 minutes’ long! It wasn’t OK when you whipped yourselves up to fresh anger over being asked to quieten down, making audible intimidating remarks. It wasn’t OK that you used obscene language so loudly that even when I put my earbuds on and listened to Green Day I could still hear you.
After I’d gathered up my coat and suitcase and moved to the next carriage I did complain to the train manager about you. He was great. Other passengers had complained and he’d spoken to you about your boorish behaviour. He spoke to you again and returned to my new location several times to reassure me.
But, mature men wearing expensive-looking suits in First Class on the 8pm out of St. Pancras on Thursday 16th March, it’s not that I was scared of you. You were just unpleasant to be near and I objected to being subjected to your obnoxiousness. I’d had a busy four days in London and I wanted to read for an hour, not have to listen to your inane braying and self-important posturing or feel unsettled by your anger.
I don’t suppose you’ll read this. You might not recognise yourselves if you do. You probably think your behaviour was OK.
But it wasn’t. You need to have a word with yourself. (A quiet one.)