Awkward Moment #12: Laugh At My Pain

Now, I’m not one to complain…

BAHAHAHAHAHA, that’s such bullshit, I can’t even convince myself. I fucking love complaining.

Here is a little known fact about myself: I work for an agency that supplies temp staff to totepool, the betting system that appears at many a racecourse up, down and around the country. We often travel far and wide to said racecourses for paid work, and being an impoverished student, I will endure any hardship as long as I get paid for it. In the past it has involved 5 hour journeys across Britain on a death-trap of a minibus without toilet stops, and even overnight stays at courses in the past. Usually, being the optimist I am, I shake it off with a giggle and joke, “As long as I’ve got all my limbs, I’m happy!” Today however, I could not laugh it off in such a carefree manner. Congratulations, universe. You have finally broken my spirit. I am now, officially, a miserable bitch.

So today I was working at York Racecourse. The day involved getting out of bed at 7am (I thought that it was just a myth, but no! 7am DOES still exist), meeting outside a supermarket and jumping onto a battery-farm worthy minibus and commencing a two-hour journey.

Arriving at the course, we found out where we were all stationed for the day and promptly signed onto the system, having retrieved out cash floats. The day moves quickly and smoothly, with the occasional customer asking me a question I didn’t know the answer to, followed by the blind panic in my voice when I admit to not knowing what they’re on about.

Soon, it was home time, and having only managed to come up a quid short of balancing, I was pretty happy. I made a quick toilet stop before heading back to the bus and being the first to have finished for the day. The driver let me on and, as many people had done so today, began to state his disbelief that I was from Liverpool.

“But, you don’t sound like you are? Where is your accent? You can’t be from Liverpool, liar…”

Soon, everyone else got back and we were back on the motorway. Half-way home, my bladder starts to complain once more. I knew I shouldn’t have downed that bottle of Dr Pepper…

It is then made worse when I suddenly realise that the road has become much bumpier in the last few minutes, and to my horror, we were slowing down. I looked out the window and surveyed the scene. It was raining cats, dogs, men – you name it. It was also dark and windy. The minibus comes to a sudden halt on the hard shoulder. I remove my headphones to find out what is going on. I turn to Lizzie, my old school friend and fellow sufferer in this perilous tale, and ask her what has happened. With depression and disbelief in her eyes, she says, “We’ve run out of petrol.”

At first, I laughed. The concept of the driver not noticing how little petrol we had in the tank before we left the racecourse was too ridiculous and ignorant to comprehend, and it therefore made me laugh, which obviously did wonders for controlling my bladder. I immediately stop laughing when I realise that she is not laughing with me. The happiness has faded from her eyes, behind her large, Boots’ glasses.

Then, all seventeen of us packed into the minibus are forced to disembark as it is deemed “unsafe” for us to remain in it should a car swerve from the road and aquaplane into us, almost certainly causing mass death.

The cold, wind, rain and anger all hit me at one as I step out of the bus and take note of the reality and severity of the situation. We were standing beneath a bridge (not unlike trolls) waiting to be rescued. My life began flashing before my eyes: my first tooth out, my dog Molly, my friends and family, and my new mattress. I spiralled rapidly down into a pit of anger and depression as everything I know and love flashed before my eyes like a movie trailer. I decided to call the one person I knew would find happiness in my terrible situation. My former housemate, Tara. Her response to my debacle was (and may I add, beautifully put)…

“AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA You make me feel so much better about my life, thank you.”

Eventually, help arrived and we were thankfully on our way once more. It was well timed, for Lizzie began to grow delusional and sing “I was cold, I was naked, were you there? Were you there?” at the top of her hysterical voice.

By this time, my bladder was screaming at me for relief. Making it back to Liverpool took another twenty minutes, a period of time during which the rain persisted harder than a horny teenager. I soon found myself waiting at a bus stop on Smithdown Road, the heart of student-land. The rain, combined with my wafer-thin jacket and hole in my shoe, meant that I may as well have been wearing candyfloss.

So half an hour goes by. I’m soaked to the bone, my body temperature is decreasing at an alarming rate, and both my patience and sanity are evaporating faster than nail varnish remover. I debate jumping in a taxi, but cannot justify it due to my bank balance. I call Tara back. She’s still laughing. She does, however, in spite of her aching sides, agree to pick me up and give me a ride home.

I walk from the bus stop to the nearest pub, which happens to be the Brookhouse, a large pub with two bouncers at the door. I huddle inside the front door to avoid the rain, (a pointless action, like covering yourself in honey and hiding from bees). Several cars drive past that resemble Tara’s car. One even stops and I get so happy at the idea that she has finally arrived that I run into the rain, arms practically outstretched with happiness. It wasn’t her. I promptly (and much to the bouncers’ amusement) turned around and headed back to the entrance of the pub, on the way to which I was puddled several times by passing vehicles resembling a stampede of large mammals.

I stood there silently as I watched Smithdown Road gradually transform into a lake. Tara eventually arrived, took me home and laughed at me some more.

You may all be wondering why I publicise my humiliation and ridiculous life stories in this way. The answer is so that you wonderful people may look through them and remember than even in the darkest of times, even when you cannot see your life sinking any lower, you can think of me, standing on the motorway in the pouring rain, needing to wee like a racehorse and exhausted to within an inch of my life, my sanity slowly but surely deserting me and leaving me for dead.

Like I said before, I can usually laugh this stuff off, but this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I officially despise you, life. I hope you’re happy.

One comment

  1. Rik Davnall (@eatthepen) · August 26, 2012

    I opt to do my part to assuage your despair by obeying the instruction couched in your blog title. To whit:


    (If it’s any consolation, ‘It was raining cats, dogs, men – you name it.’ is a great line…)



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