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Once upon a time there was an idiotic traindriver…wait, that’s not right. Once upon a time there was a VERY TIRED traindriver who had started their day at a very specific time of day. There. That’s a better start. Pull up a cushion and see what comes next.

The very specific time of day was half past fucking three. This is fairly unique in terms of time in that it occurs only once a day. Most times have a corresponding time 12 hours later. Not poor half past three though. It happens only once each afternoon but due to some fairly rigid rules it gets paired with the similarly-named-yet-oh-so-different half past fucking three. It’s a thing. Deal with it.

Moving on: The ordinarily reasonably intelligent traindriver duly cancelled the phone alarm, pulled on something resembling uniform, stumbled off to work and (what with living about ten minutes away) was there for shortly after four. There our sleepy and anonymous* hero set about the business of the day. Despite the stupid time of starting the traindriver was as enthusiastic as is possible at that time because the following day was their rest day.

Oh rest days. So delicious. So welcome. So bloody fatal to this story. For like any intelligent person, our in no way stupid at all hero liked a bit of a lie-in. Just one day when the relentless blaring of the phone alarm would not happen. Because quite frankly it had been set to half past fucking three for every day this week and a certain person was getting a bit fed up with it.

But it does not do to sleep too late on a rest day. Because if you snooze til ten then you are all wide awake at midnight and bear in mind that the next again day is one of the half past fucking three ones. So it seemed a good and sensible idea to reset the daily alarm to a later time. About half past eight should do it. Perfect.

The traindriver then bumbled off to pick their favourite train and started driving it up and down. Possibly whistling a happy tune as they did so. And never spotting the problem. Which an intelligent reader will have done by now. I am in no way giving you a pointed look at this point.

As the traindriver came belting into a major station where – by appalling coincidence – most of the Very Important managers are based a noise was heard. It was an awful, jangling, relentlessly cheery sound. And it was ringing round the cab at immense volume. It was, of course, the daily phone alarm which – it now being half past eight – was ringing out at full pelt and causing the traindriver to nearly die of fear at the unexpected noise in an empty cab. And then reanimate and die of panic because we’re not actually allowed phonecalls while driving and there’s probably all these managers on the train and OH GOD this is terrible!

The poor, traumatised traindriver could do nothing. The phone was in a pocket somewhere within the obligatory backpack of gubbins and unreachable. Besides which, the train still belting into the station and the approaching end of the platform became something of a more pressing concern. So the train jingled it’s cheery way all the way into the HUGE station and came to a stop. The doors opened and a vast number of passengers leapt off as the contents of the bag of gubbins were hastily hurled around the cab during the frantic search for the phone.

Once silence was restored to the cab and the traindriver’s heart had come down to something like a normal rate the train continued on. Miraculously, none of the Very Important managers seemed to have been on the train because nothing was ever said about the apparent sound of a phonecall being routed directly to the cab of an underground train. And the poor traindriver spent much of the rest of the day trying to work out how the hell that could have happened. Because they’d got up at half past fucking three and were a bit muzzy still and WHO COULD HAVE PREDICTED that if you set an alarm at 4am for 8:30am then it would ring out that SELF SAME DAY?

And after that the phone alarm was no longer set to ring out on every day of the week but was carefully set for very specific days. Because while it might be more troublesome to have to set individual alarms every day it is far, far better than nearly dying of fear when your cab starts singing.





*Obviously this person was not me. Obviously.