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Thoughts About My Country - Planet Jonny
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Thoughts About My Country
We all of us have reasons to be proud of our country. The Irish can be very proud of their hospitality and their sense of fun. The Scots can be justifiably proud of their ingenuity and industry. And we English?

We can be proud that a man can sit on a bench on a crowded tube platform with a thick stream of vomit covering the crotch of his three-piece suit and still maintain his dignity. No-one will talk to him. No-one will look at him. Every single person on that platform will maintain the polite fiction that it is perfectly normal for a chap to be out in public with a vomit covered crotch.

And that's despite the fact that he's just made every single one of them late on their journey home.

See there I was, on my journey home from work. The train was packed, but by virtue of the fact that I get on while it's still on its way into the centre I'd managed to get my usual seat. We'd just arrived at Earls Court station when the distinguished looking gentleman sitting opposite me, slumped down in his seat, semi-conscious, and began quietly vomiting over himself. Now I'm often depressed by the selfishness of the modern world, and the extent to which people will ignore suffering, but in this case I needn't have worried, as the woman who'd been sitting beside the gentleman immediately took charge of the situation - which was a bit of a relief to me as it meant that I could carry on reading my newspaper.

After a few seconds he came round, although he was clearly still pretty confused, so the girl at the end of the carriage pulled the emergency alarm to summon the driver. By the time the driver had arrived the gentleman was able to walk under his own steam, so he followed the driver up the aisle - the train might have been packed, but by God those people made room - and out onto the platform, from where various snatches of conversation made their way back into the carriage.

"Are you okay?" ... "Do you want me to call the first aid team?" ... "Is there any vomit on the seat cushion?" ... "We'll have to pull the train out of service then."

At which point a whole chorus of "What????"s erupted from the inhabitants of the carriage. We didn't mind the bloke puking. We didn't mind the train being stopped at the station for the five minutes it took to check him out. We didn't mind that one and a half seats were covered in vomit. We most likely wouldn't have minded if he'd got back onto the train.

But take the train out of service? Kick us all onto the platform, to await the next, already-packed train? Well now we were very upset, and dealt with it in a typically English way, by muttering, disgruntled, to ourselves. An entire eight-carriage heavy-rail subway train put out of action by this:



Well that's today's risk averse society for you!

Anyhow, a few minutes later the next train arrived, and was immediately swamped by the hundreds of people waiting for it. I evaluated the possibility of wedging my head into someone's armpit and decided to wait for the next train after that, on a platform that was now much less crowded.

And that was when I saw him, sitting quietly by himself, upright and calm, on the bench a little way down the platform. Dignified and composed.

Which was perhaps my country's gift to him, which is something I say because the gentleman concerned appeared, by this looks and accent, to be an immigrant to this country; and I mention this not as a negative, but as a positive. People too often see immigration in a negative light, and fail to see the tremendous complement that immigrants do us by choosing our country as the place in all the world that they wish to live, work, and raise their children.

That gentleman could have chosen any train in the whole of the world to vomit on, but he chose to vomit on mine.

And how does that make me feel? It makes me proud to be English, and proud to call this place home.
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Comments
boxninja From: boxninja Date: March 22nd, 2005 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL

In Scotland loads of folks would help the fellow then a fight would probably break out with the vomiter completely uninvolved. And at the end of it we would have built a railway bridge.
jonnynexus From: jonnynexus Date: March 22nd, 2005 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
In Scotland loads of folks would help the fellow then a fight would probably break out with the vomiter completely uninvolved. And at the end of it we would have built a railway bridge.

LOL here also. :)
From: rpgactionfigure Date: March 22nd, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or someone would have discretely found out if the vomiter was Protestant or Catholic and rendered aid (or not) based on this one simple fact. Of course, the only underground in SCotland is the Clockwork Orange in Glasgow, but it does pass through some choice areas where your spiritual leanings have a great amount of import in regard to aid rendered during a vomiting spree.

Cheers
Malcolm
jonnynexus From: jonnynexus Date: March 23rd, 2005 07:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Well that's the great thing about us English. We don't care whether you're black or white, Protestant or Catholic, Christian or Muslim: we'll ignore you either way.
jhubert From: jhubert Date: March 23rd, 2005 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
We all of us have reasons to be proud of our country.

If you said something like that in a room full of my fellow countrymen, it would get awkward really fast... ;-)
scimon From: scimon Date: March 23rd, 2005 10:34 am (UTC) (Link)
As an Englishman living in Scotland who's maried to a Scotaswoman I know all about that.
Her dad's just about stopped taking the piss out of me for my general Englishness.
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 13th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your story reminded me of an event that happened a few years back where I came across someone who fitted the other archetype of Britishness - 'the vocal liberal.'

I need to explain that I'm an immigrant myself, of Malaysian-Indian extraction. My mum from Malaysia and my Aunt from India were visiting me in London and we were on the Northern line going home after watching a play and engrossed in conversation about it.

Just as we were pulling into Camden Town station, a young fellow stood up and pointed at a skinhead who was sat nearby and declaimed to us in a loud voice, "I'm ashamed to be English! Have you heard what that man has been saying about you?"

I glanced at the snarling skinhead and had a pretty good idea as to what he might be saying. Now, it would have been OK if our hero had been a six foot two slab of muscle and the skinhead a gangly, anemic 120 pounder, but in fact the opposite was true. It would have also been OK if the rest of the people on the carriage had leaped up as one and cried out their outrage, but they either looked on or buried their noses deeper into their books.

'You bloody fool' I thought, 'don't make him angry', visions of the skinhead kicking the hell out of our hero and then visiting his attentions on me, my mum and my aunt occupied my mind in a big way. In a bid to calm the situation down, I mumbled something about it being a free country and the 'gentleman' having the right to say what he pleased and desperately looked for ways to interpose our 2 HP hero between us and the 50 HP mountain troll across the carriage. Now, I've seen my mum and my aunt reduce grown men gibbering wrecks, but this wasn't their sort of battle. I got the feeling they knew it too, because for once in their collective 120 years, they were gobsmacked.

And then, and THEN... just seconds after he had made his glorious speech our hero JUMPS OFF THE TRAIN AS THE DOORS ARE CLOSING!!

Fortunately, despite my mumblings, I must have rolled a natural 20 in oratory because the skinhead went back to his muttering and we went back to our (now subdued) chatting, with the odd furtive glance to ensure that we wouldn't have to be donning our boots of running anytime soon.

I'd have preferred the vomiting city gent.

Ravs
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 8th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)

NATO takes over command of military operations in Libya

[b]NATO is taking over command of military operations in Libya from coalition forces, world media reported Sunday.[/b]

The UN Security Council imposed the no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, along with ordering "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The 28 NATO ambassadors met on Sunday to decide on further military plans in Libya.

The United States transfers command for a no-fly zone over Libya to NATO, while coalition forces will continue to protect civilian population from attacks by Gaddafi forces.

The military operation in Libya, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, has been conducted so far jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

NATO members decided on Thursday to assume responsibility for the enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya, but could not agree on taking full command of all military operations in the country.

Meanwhile, leaders of the 27 European Union states on Thursday issued a statement saying the EU stood ready to assist in building a new Libya "in cooperation with the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and others."

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti)

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110327/163235937.html
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