One of my great bugbears at the moment is the onboard shop announcement. Both generally and specifically.
Generally, in that it is deployed at ear-splitting volume at the very moment you have got yourself comfortable in your battery chicken seat.
Specifically, in the amateur delivery of the message. I don't know whether they are trained to do this, but every onboard shop attendant on Virgin trains (the onboard shop is in coach C, unfortunately we no longer accept credit or debit cards) has got so bored of running through the entire contents of what they have in the onboard shop - that is, tea, coffee, a selection of magazines (three of them in fact), three-day-old sandwiches and a overpriced chocolate - that by the time they get to the end of this mammoth speech the entire last sentence gets mangled. 'We-also-havva-selectionof-beer-swine-sands-pirrits...' It's mental, and I don't even know how they do it.
And seriously - why is it always called the onboard shop? I get it - it's on the train, I kind of hoped it would be. It's the kind of arse-achingly patronising tautology that we just don't need in an enlightened society. Because it sounds stupid.
But anyway - what has really been exercising me lately is the new mention of 'speciality teas'.
What. The. Hell.
The onboard shop attendant (the onboard shop will be closing in ten minutes, following which there will be an at-seat trolley service for those of you too fat to get up or fearful of getting lost) heralds its presence like a minor royal at a hospital wing opening, but the idea just doesn't make any sense to me.
If we're talking 'special', then clearly not, because the stuff is being dispersed albeit at riotous prices on tilting train that smells faintly of damp and urine. This isn't Fortnums.
But what would a cup of tea's speciality be? Might it speak four languages fluently, crochet or jig a nifty paso doble? Exceptional mintiness is no speciality, more a mere trait. And I'm quite sure that camomile doesn't hydrate that much better. Which means we're left with nothing - but then hyperbole and cynical attempts are bluffing luxury at the British transport system to a tee.
1 hour ago