Dear Mark and Sue
Re: 19.22 FGW service from Paddington to Oxford, 29/9/11. Amount of my day wasted: seven minutes.
Mark! Sue! We three meet again!
I very much hope you're well. Are you well? Sue? Are you winding things down and taking it easy for your last few days off? Or have you stepped up another gear, taken it to the next level, fired up the lipgloss and the eye glitter and decided to give it the old all-out before real life again next week? Good on you, Sue! Go get 'em tiger!
How about you, Mark? Are you keeping cool amidst the complications and the congestion and the incompetence and all compounded by this searing, relentless, remorseless, unforgiving, cruel, cruel heat? Can you stand the heat, Mark? Or are you longing for the kitchen exit? Because it is hot! Ooh, it's so hot!
I'm burning up here, baby! I am, literally, a hunk of burning love. Well, not love, maybe. I'm literally a hunk of burning boy. (Did you know, by the way, that there is a Swiss football team called Young Boys Berne? That never fails to crack me up, Mark! Gotta love the Swiss. Young Boys Berne! And the Swiss trains, Mark! Oh! The trains...)
Anyway, it's too damn hot. It ain't half hot, Sue! I'm not ashamed to say my keyboard is briefly stained by salty droplets of sweat. Not even Lynx Africa can protect against this kind of post-frost heat, Mark. That's how hot it is.
So. Anyway. Enough heat-related chit-chat. To business! Mark - what happened yesterday? You delayed me on the way to work... and then you delayed me again on the way back! It was a double-dip-delay! A two-handed delay! Two-nil to Delay FC! It was, as they say in pedantic circles, an example of what happens when someone is delayed twice in one day, both on the way to work and again on the way home.*
What am I going to do with you kids! Oh, it's no use giving me the bambi eyes and the baleful shrug and the bashful grin. I'm not falling for that one again! The time for excuses is over! We need to sort stuff out, Mark! We need to take affirmative action, Sue! We need to wake up and smell the failure! And then spray Lynx Africa all over that failure until we can't smell it anymore!
What we need, in this situation, is help. We need inspiration. We need to look for a natural leader, a totemic figurehead, a bright and shining example of how to pull solutions from crises. And you know what, Mark? I think I may just have found the very man!
I opened my Super Soaraway on the train this morning, Mark, and I read how our government has plans to rescue this country! It seems that appearances can be deceptive! It seems that our Chancellor, Mr George "Osborne", is not, after all, the chinless wonder he has always appeared to be! It seems that the pasty, sneering, over-priveliged and despicably arrogant facade he presents to the world is just that, Mark! A facade! It seems he's not just another port-swilling Bullingdon boy looking after his own interests and the interests of his banker friends! Because he has a plan! A plan to rescue us all from economic catastrophe!
Speed limits, Mark. He's going to raise the speed limits on some roads by 10 miles per hour. It sounds pointless and utterly beside the point... but it's not! It's so not! It's going to get the country moving again! It's going to get the trucks back on the road, get the wheels of commerce and industry turning, bring in the dollars and power us all into a bright and boundless future! Genius, Mark! The man's a genius! To think that were it not for the fact that the speed limit has been 70 mph all these years we could have been an economic powerhouse! We could have been China, Mark! We would never have lost the Empire!
Let's follow his lead, Sue! Let's get in this together! Let's do our bit! Obviously we can't raise the speed limit on the train tracks... but we could start going at the pace we're supposed to go, couldn't we? Let's do it! Let's at least try it!
England expects, Mark! Onwards and upwards to a brighter tomorrow!
*Interesting pedant fact: "pedant" is in fact pronounced "pee-dant". Everyone gets it wrong, Sue. Same with "pedantic" - it's pronounced "pee-dantic". Look it up if you don't believe me. Go on, prove me wrong. Prove how you think pedant should be pronounced.