It wasn’t like I was looking to get involved in some international diplomatic conflict.
Or even to throw punches in a beer-drenched brawl.
But it was the Drunk Train. Anything goes.
Well, to be completely accurate, it was the semi-drunk train. Leaves about 20 minutes before the Drunk Train of Saturday Nights. But the really shellacked folk are not notorious for their time-keeping skills and so have been known to stumble on one too early.
Dutch-courage maybe. Love of harmony more likely.
But it started with some open gawking at the drunk bogans in my train carriage. Chuckling to myself as they jumped about at the sight of coppas, bitterly complained that they’d caught the wrong train, interrogated who’d snogged who after downing a bottle of what…
… and one of the boys taught one of the girls how to take a piss off the moving train while doing a booze-balance between two carriages.
At the realisation that they were not yet done boozing it up, but their transport was heading further into suburbia without a drop of something tasty, one of them started shouting for some general public assistance on where to find an open bottle store at 1am (minus 20 minutes). To which the as-yet-unseen guy behind me started “assisting” with some oddly seeming routes & locations.
This all incited everyone into an apparent pandemonium. Words started to be shouted. Slurs got thrown up and hurled. People did fist charges. And the man-glares were coming out.
The tension was ripening. Abuse & punches suddenly were seconds away.
And I was slowly clicking onto the realisation that I was the only person between these two “camps”, with nothing to protect me but a very conveniently discarded 1-litre empty vodka bottle.
When did this all happen? Where has all the fun & silliness gone? And damned if I am going to be hysterically prancing away from any midnight flight club scenes at this tired hour.
I turned to look at the outsider guy who had started stirring the drunken pot. Only to realise that this really was not a wise situation for any of us now. He was an Indian guy. And if you now anything about controversy in this town, it is the media vulture-ing up on stories of Indian guys who have been beaten up severely on trains & at train stations very late at night by drunk Aussies.
Oooooo fok. Thought the other immigrant in the carriage, and reached a little closer for the empty bottle.
“What the fkc is your problem mate”
“You’re my problem mate”
“What the fkc mate”
“Why don’t you try that bottle store. I promise you it exists” [It doesn’t, and if they got off the train, they’d be screwed, lost in a remote suburbia till dawn]
“Fkc you mate groooowwwwwllll”
“No fkc you!”
Which is when I personally had, well, had enough. I just was not in the mood for media coverage & blood. And so I did what any sensible puny little girl on her ace would do when seated between some drunken violence.
And I stepped in.
“Ok! Enough! No no no! I will not have fighting right now! Tula! Go back to your own mates & get back to laughing like idiots. I was enjoying that. No, you, you, stop glaring”
I then made the executive decision that words would not be enough. I stood up, moved one seat on, and placed myself directly in the eye line of the two main glarers,
“Oh please. Stop now. You’re being such boys”. And then I broke out the widest toothy grin.
And so there was silence. Hushed Confusion. WTF Are You On Chick became the general expression in the carriage, as I sat back & enjoyed my Power Of Surprise.
So it was that every time the drunken Aussies guys turned around to do a pitbull glare at the guy behind me, one of them would be greeted with a goofy grinning happy lady… who never took her reach out of an empty vodka bottle.
Just call me Champagne Of Arc. At your Aussie service.