This train is for Largs

There is always plenty of on-board entertainment to be had when travelling by Scotrail, and Saturday’s journey to the seaside to enjoy a rare two days of unbroken sunshine was no exception. We had barely left Glasgow Central when a commotion broke out several seats away.

“See you pal, you’re gonnae huv tae dae somethin aboot that dug!” shouted the ticket woman as a full carriage load of people jumped in unison at the sudden barking and snarling coming from a previously unseen creature lurking in the priority seating. There followed a heated exchange, but it was rather one sided because the dug’s owner had a frustratingly inaudible voice.

“…So you’re saying it’s my fault the dug’s attacking me?” shouted the ticket woman.

“WOOF WOOF WOOF…GRRRRR!” responded the dug in self defence, before lunging at her hand.

“That’s bloody ridiculous…get a muzzle on that thing” shouted the ticket woman before exiting as speedily as possible to the sound of claws scrabbling on lino and a straining choke chain.

As the dug’s owner issued some soothing words to his insulted pet, quiet returned, but only for a short while. It seemed that the dug had sophisticated motion sensors which were setting off his vocal cords every time a passenger moved. Meanwhile, a family a few seats up were also beginning to increase in volume, now that their Irn Bru and crisps had been polished off. In startling contrast to Fido’s owner, who treated his dog like a delicate child, this lot spoke to their children like dogs.

“SIT!”

“DOWN!”

“GET AFFAE THAT SEAT, YOU, AH’LL NO TELL YE AGAIN!”

“SEE IF YOU BITE ME WAN MAIR TIME!”

“STOAP CHEWIN MA MAGAZINE!”

This endless loop of commands shouted at high volume to no effect whatsoever, was suddenly interrupted by a further round of barking and snarling from FrankenFido, followed by a very piercing scream from within the family group. I sat up like a meerkat and saw Pa lifting his youngest child to safety by the scruff of the neck. Uh-oh, I thought. The fatherly response to the averted dog attack was swift.

“STOP ANNOYIN’ THE DUG, YA WEE MIDDEN!” shouted Pa to his offspring.

I looked out of the window and was relieved to catch sight of the rapidly approaching seafront. The train pulled into the station and there was a sudden mass exodus of buckets and spades, leaving the spouse and I to continue the rest of the journey in peace. Until some tinny chipmunk music from a mobile phone started up.

“GRRRRRRRR”, I snarled.

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