Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I Confess: I Helped A Young Couple Pop Their Cork On The Train

I’ve blogged before about the risk you run of having to share a space with loud drunk people if you catch a train on the Inverness-Aberdeen line.

I rather fear I’ve shot myself in the foot by assisting with some imbibing. Let me set out my defence.
It was Saturday morning; normally the train into Inverness is packed and routinely there are a couple of hen/stag parties in full swing. On this occasion the train was full but my carriage was well behaved. Then I noticed the four folk at the table opposite were discussing whether to open the bottle of bubbly in front of them.

It appeared two of the party were marking an anniversary or something and I think it was his or her mum who decided to have a go and open the bottle they’d carried all the way from deepest Aberdeenshire. They weren’t rowdy and as Inverness was coming into view I decided not to scowl.

This is where my chivalry got the better of me. The woman had unwrapped the cork and started to undo the wire casing but was afraid to pop it. She started to ask around in the carriage if anyone could help. No takers. But then she started to jab and pull at the cork, asking for trouble!

Do you have any glasses, I asked.


When it pops it might make a mess so you’re best to have some glasses ready, I explained.

Oh! (Tumblers were produced.)

Would you like me to open it? The secret to opening bubbly is to hold the cork steady and use your other hand to twist the base of the bottle, I expertly enthused.


No foaming booze across the carriage windows but instead a controlled flow of fizzy wine into a waiting tumbler. I put the bottle down and went back to my newspaper.

So, I’m now in a quandary. Am I really concerned about the effect of booze on public transport or am I just a snob? Rig workers plastered on Tennents make me depressed but by jove I'm happy to help show the correct way to open a bottle of Bolly. Pip pip!

In truth the fizz was pink generic stuff but I guess the combination of pleasant passengers, no-one else minding and close proximity of journey termination meant there was no harm in me helping.

I rest my case.

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