Phil Kay

Holding a train to ransom with a wasp

sing all my years of training in insect gathering and sedation. I leapt up and gently gathered the wasp in my yelour jacket against the window of the beloved 9.50 from Glasgow to I’enzance.

It had suddenly appeared. A wasp. A lady through the seat ‘\" yelped

and I rose. knowing that to press it against the window and smother-gather

it in my zipper top was the surest. tnost humane way to keep the insect aliye and saye the lady.

With an extra compressing. balling action and the wasp inside. I walked ottt of the carriage towards the shop of this computerised Virgin train. I ask if there are any windows that open and the guard and the shopkeeper imtnediately ask why. as if I was going to jump out with my crttmpled jumper. ending it all and delaying the train further. and as if their tltotlgltt-pt‘oyoking line of questioning would dissuade me.

I say l have a wasp here and wish to free it. The shop keeper says: ’Kill it. kill it. flush it down the toilet . . f like his were years of training too. for automatic poetry pleas. l decline and then ask them how long they reckon a wasp can survive like this.

Then I tell the guard that I haye no ticket. I haye paid for my seat. it is just that it didn’t arrive in postal time. I say to him that therefore I was hoping to trayel without forking out one hundred and fifty eight for a new one. He says well sort it otll.

I say you better . . or else I am releasing the wasp. They look at me and I say: ‘You don't want a carriage full of screaming passengers hurtling down the

John Fardel

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128 THE LIST 15031.”,7?

track at 99mph with Mr Branson getting in a pickle. his orchards of tnillions ripe for a litigation harvest.~

Then I realise I am holding the entire train to ransom. Then I realise I am holding the train to ransom with a wasp no one has seen yet.

It might not be there. I could easily be doing this with no wasp. Schrodinger‘s wasp.

I return and stow the wasp up in the oyerhead luggage and insect rack and sit down to read. The wasp is down now beside me resting on the seat after a slow fall or a yery quick climb. I atn beginning to like this wasp.

admire his tenacity and his simple animal forgiyeness. I feed him a bit of

croissant while he tries to get his wings going. l‘or a wee while here I haye a pet wasp. I call him Stephen Ilawking.

At the next stop I locate and bundle him once again

inside the balled \‘elour and take him to the nearest exit. I

throw the top up and young IIawking falls on to the

platfortn. He is . I am chasing the train as - - the door closes and ,i ‘33 beglrlnlng to for a minute I think 3:. Ilke thls he might be like a " reincarnated human wa§p! who desperately hls tenaCIty wants me to and hIS snmple animal forgiveness


Later. as I was being dragged away by the police at (‘arlisle for not haying purchase of a ticket. sortie standers-by must haye been confused by my mixture of pleas. I called out: ‘Ilere I have money. I am ready to pay . . . what about the wasp. remember the wasp . . . I sayed him . . . I sayed you all.‘

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