It was after Sexton Ming’s 50th Birthday party, I was sitting on the train in the platform waiting for it to leave, singing the Rude Mechanicals song Aliens to myself.
You see the mice on the tracks, you see them as you wait for your train
You think they’re vermin but they’re not
It was late. There was a man sitting opposite looking at me with a puzzled expression on his face as if to ask what I was doing. I stopped singing and asked him “Do you think this train is going all the way to Hammersmith? Or terminating at Edgware Road?
“Yes” he said with a sly glint in his eye, “its going all the way to Hammersmith. I’m the driver”.
We were silent for a minute, I still had the Aliens song going round in my head
They’re all aliens they’re aliens I’m sure
I hummed under my breath. He looked straight at me.
“Would you like to sit in the front of the train with me? ” he asked.
I was going to say no but something inside urdged me on. Up I got and followed him into the light blue cabin at the front of the train. He checked mirrors, pressed bright lighted buttons, and off we zoomed into the dark tunnels.
Bred by the train company
Fed till they’re big and fat
The stations appeared like small islands springing out of the blackness. They were mainly empty. Lonely looking controllers pressed buttons, grunted, and signalled us onwards. We chatted about his job as a train driver, the night shift, the hours between last train and first train, the appalling fact that the circle line nolonger goes in a circle.
Squeezed all they’re fluid flowing out
“what were you doing tonight?” he asked
“Performing” I said
“Are you in a band?”
“what do you sing about”
“Actually we’ve done a song about the mice on the train tracks and how they might be aliens”
The train jolted slightly. He turned his face to me. It twictched.
” And London Underground know the mice are aliens but they’re….”
“Breeding them so they can use alien juice to power the trains” He finished my sentence.
He knew! It was true!
Cheaper than gasoline
The train was pulling into Hammersmith now. He turned his head back to concentrate on the driving. I clamped my mouth shut tight.
“You are a little mouse like” he said
I said nothing
“I have my car at the station, I’d better drive you home”
The cabin door opened, he moved towards me but before he could grab my arm I’d scrambled down onto the platform.
Hurriedly I gasped “Thankyou but no, I’ve got to walk my dog now”
With that I jolted to the station exit and ran as fast as I could all the way back home.