Monday, April 13, 2009

Trouble on the underground

If you’re travelling on the London Underground this summer and you find yourself sitting opposite an agitated, sweaty looking bloke who keeps fiddling with something stuck to his body under his t-shirt, whilst muttering incomprehensively to himself, then it may not be a terrorist, it could be me. Going on the tube with an ostomy bag is fraught with danger. I find myself constantly checking my bag. A hot, confined space like a tube carriage is the last place you want to spring a leak. The other day I was on my way home when I caught the all too familiar whiff of poo. It smelt like the train had suddenly taken a diversion through a sewer. I froze. There was nothing I could do. The two ladies sitting next to me started jabbering away in Polish. I didn’t need a translator to know what they were talking about. The fact that one of them was holding her nose (the international sign for ‘bejeezus, what a pong!’) gave it away somewhat. They hurried off at the next stop. Other passengers started fanning the air with their London Lites, their beady, accusatory eyes scanning the carriage for the perpetrator. And there I am sitting slap-bang in the middle of them reeking to high heaven of eau de plop. It’s not a comfortable experience. Now I know what it must have been like for Darren Courtney, the smelly kid that no one would sit next to at school. My stupid bag has turned me into Darren ‘Hong Kong Pooey’ Courtney. Brilliant. I could try strapping a load of Air Wick air fresheners to my body? Hmmm, maybe that will make me look even more like a terrorist?

"Don't worry, I've got mine very close to me."