Sass-Spotting, The Laughing Life

Sass-Spotting on Trains

No one can resist a good bit of sass on a long train journey, or anywhere, really. Sometimes I think, if and when the time comes (buses will be flying by this point) and I finally have children, I’ll be useless at discipline. ‘You said WHAT to your supply teacher? Well high five kiddo what a line.’

But for now, admiring a bit of sass is the perfect way to while away the hours spent on trains. Especially on one of the windiest days in history, a day where trains are backed up, cancelled and delayed because of a blanket speed limit in the wake of storm Imogen.

So of course, my train was cancelled, and naturally, in the name of all that is Sass, I jumped on the earlier train (in your face ‘tickets apply for specified train only’ – I don’t listen to The Man) and thank goodness no one asked questions. All the muck ups worked out rather well for me actually… I made it to Victoria nice and early, jumped on the next train home, delayed by 20 minutes (aka just late enough that I could jump on it and benefit from everyone else’s inconvenience…)

I could finally relax. The last leg. Nearly home and dry. And as I sat there, a beautiful moment played out right in front of me.

A baby-faced, fair-haired young man, maybe in his 20s, maybe not quite (I’m hopeless at these things) came running down the aisle, giggling away to himself like a school girl, (apologies school girls), toting a huge, yellow ‘cleaning in progress’ cone behind him. He reached his friends at the end of the coach and hurled it to the ground, as if it was a rugby ball and he had just scored the winning try in the last minute of the game, to an uproar of laughter from his ‘lads’. I couldn’t help but smile. What idiots. Who steals a cone almost as large as a human, at 8pm, sober? It was very confusing to a tired commuter.

But one woman knew exactly how she felt about it. Halfway down the carriage, in a track suit top, a no-nonsense late-thirties legend was standing up, yanking off her headphones and throwing them down on the seat (after a hectic struggle with the wire). Is she going to say something, I wondered, or had her husband just sent her an annoying text about picking up more beer from the shop on the way home? But suddenly she was striding down the aisle (I actually shrunk away in fear – this woman knows how to pull off an angry strut). She was so going to say something and I couldn’t wait to hear.

You have to understand, after an hour-long train ride already, any drama was gold to me. I was so excited by the prospect of entertainment. And sure enough…


Sass-Spotting, The Laughing Life

Imagine this in human form and you have: Supersass, heroin of the South Eastern rail service.   Credit


‘Give me that.’ She flipped open a police badge and presented it to them like the winning hand in a poker game. She grabbed the cone, dragged it down the aisle and threw it off the train, where it landed with a dramatic CRASH on the platform (in slow motion, with dubstep playing and huge explosions in the background while it toppled onto its side). At this point, the boys (little tiny boys, as they had now become) were still laughing – albeit, very nervously.

So she ain’t done yet. She swaggers back, pulling her shades up (she wasn’t wearing sunglasses, it’s February) and tucking her revolver back into her waistband (okay I’m making it all up now). She pointed a sassy finger at each of them.

‘I’m on this train for the rest of this journey now, alright? So behave.’ The laughter at this point vanished. As did all noise, in the whole carriage.

It was a warning to all of us. Behave. Supersass is on this train for the whole journey.


Feature Photo Credit: Ed Gregory


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