Took Carol to the Steam Museum. I knew she’d say yes because Carol’s a mess. Whenever I go to the jungle gym she follows me around going, “aww, are those kids yours?” Like, five or six times per visit. She was obviously hot for me but I was put off by her… by her, really.
The Steam Museum is my favourite place on the island without question. You may have heard that we don’t have trains in Jersey. Well that’s nonsense. Sure, we don’t have trains that go anywhere but we do have a train. That train is at the Steam Museum. It’s a proper steam train, a big one, a real one that you can ride around on. It’s only a few hundred metres of track but it’s great. I love going on my own and I even like going with my wife so you can imagine how excited I was being there with my new girlfriend. I even took a kid because it too loves trains.
It’s not just trains. As well as trains they have other steam powered contraptions with no practical purpose. Things which make marvellous toots and whistles and look ready to blow up, and in one penned off area they have, somewhat incongruously, a Sinclair C5. I’d love to have a go in a C5.
If all that wasn’t enough, and trust me, it is, they also have women who cook things called Jersey Wonders. Jersey Wonders are like doughnuts made of cake. Deep fried cake. Fresh out the fryer they’re incredible.
We bought a large bag of Wonders and our ticket for the train – it’s a real train, remember – and then got in the carriage and waited for the driver to come and take the ticket we had just bought. It was magical and the kid was jumping around, really loving it. I smiled at Carol and after a moments hesitation she smiled back. She was nervous.
It’s not that busy and you pretty much always get a carriage to yourself. No sharing with other families, that’s important. There are about five carriages and you wait in the carriage and the man who drives the train (the train driver) comes and takes your ticket to make it all seem real and he blows the whistle and off you go, twice around the track. You look out of the windows on the inside of the track as it goes around a field where they display old cars. On the outside of the track is an industrial estate and broken machinery and a glaziers so you don’t look out of that side. This is how it happens. This is how it always happens.
I have ridden this train countless times and the only ever downside is when the train driver talks to his friends on the platform while we are waiting in the carriage for departure. As if just the anticipation wasn’t frustrating enough. The anticipation that builds until you’re at the point where you just want to shout out the window at the driver, ‘get this fucking train fucking moving!’ But you can’t swear in front of kids. I know that but the train driver doesn’t. He is younger than I would like him to be. In a perfect world he should be an old guy but the train driver looks like he bets on animal races and supports a football team and he swears a lot, sexual swear words, to his mates on the platform. He always has mates with him like groupies. He must think the open windows are soundproof. The fucking dummy.
Today the train driver doesn’t swear too much before he comes along and sticks his head in the window of our carriage. The excitement mounts. He put his head in through a proper train window which slides up and down and he has a proper train driver’s hat on it and the kid gives him the ticket, all excited, and he punches it and then, out of nowhere, Carol asks the train driver if he wants a Jersey Wonder. I guess she was trying to be cute or friendly or God knows what. You don’t talk to the train driver.
Jesus fucking Christ.
He doesn’t hear her or he thinks she’s talking to me or the kid, he doesn’t even look at her. He really isn’t interested in us and he just removes his head and goes to the next carriage with her offer still hanging in the air like a big hovering shit. She put the bag down on the red leather quilted seat. The bag she was holding up. I was so embarrassed for her and I knew I would have to say something to try and pass it off as no big deal, to save the situation but of course I couldn’t save the situation and so I told her that I would have a Jersey Wonder – even though I’d eaten about seven already – and I caught a glimpse of her and her face had gone really red and blotchy and she was scratching at her neck. Clawing at it, really, and looking out of the wrong side of the train and it was horrible and the train went around twice and it seemed like an eternity and it was the first time I’ve been glad when it was over. I told her I’d call her but…