In the words of the late, great Sir Peter Ustinov, "A funny thing happened on my way here tonight."
So there I was, on my way home from work, changing trains at Winchester for the direct service to Weymouth. The train is the commuter service from Waterloo, and as such, packed with suits escaping their city jobs for something semi-detatched in Hampshire.
I found a seat in the second carriage, elbowed in with some bloke with a laptop and a couple of chaps leafing through the Evening Standard. A few seats away, and causing a bit of a scene was a twenty-something in a flashy suit, rather the worse for wear after a liquid lunch, which looked like it had lasted most of the afternoon. Even with the train standing at the station, he was swaying, and calling a repulsed middle-aged woman "me best mate, hic." Fair play to him - he was gamefully trying to make it home in a state most boozers would have passed out or fallen under a bus.
As the train pulled out of Winchester, he staggered to his feet and zig-zagged down the carriage to the toilet. Unfortunately, it was engaged, the "Toilet Engaged" light making this fact perfectly clear to anyone who hadn't been on the piss most of the day. It was only when he rattled on the door a couple of times that he realised the worst; and it was at this point we horrified passengers realised the reason for his toilet dash.
He needed to puke. Quite urgently.
A sane, rational, dare I say sober, person might have bowked out of a window or into a rubbish bin. However, our hero was obviously none of these and instead made a dash for the toilet at the other end of the carriage. And he might have made it too, if it wasn't for the little old lady blocking the gangway, trying to get her case onto the luggage rack.
Newton's First Law of Chunder clearly states: "You Can't Hold Back Puke" but our hero tried his hardest, clamping his hand over his mouth. Newton's Second Law goes on to say "Great calamity befalls the person who tries to disprove the first law." You see, trying to hold back twelve pints of premium lager and assorted bar snacks is much the same as squeezing the end of a hosepipe with the tap turned on full.
I can only thank whoever's in charge of these things upstairs that he had managed to stagger past me before he went off. Rich brown vomit was bowked over a wide area - passengers, hideously expensive buffet snacks, up windows, and over some flash bastard pretending to work on his laptop.
Hell broke loose, as puke rained down over people who'd paid their season tickets not to have this kind of thing happen to them. On the contrary, there are specialist clubs up in the Smoke that cater for customers of that particular bent.
As the screaming subsided, the train pulled into Southampton Airport station.
"Errr... sorry," the Puke Bandit slurred, suddenly regaining his senses in the way that only a good hurl manages.
Laptop Man wasn't in the mood for apologies, and there was a second where it appeared blood would be spilled as he stood up, to face his tormentor, his face spattered with brown goo.
Our hero took his chance and legged it, grabbing his coat and case and jumping train miles from home. He left his umbrella behind, which was a nice thought, if a little late. It is amazing, though, that even covered in vomit, only one person dared to complain; while others sat, reeking of chunder for nearly two hours as the train reached its destination.
The guard bumped me up to first class. Result.