Yesterday Tony Baggins and I were on a train home, thoroughly exhausted after a Sunday of highbrow entertainment with friends. It was the kind of cultured afternoon at which Plato and Aristotle would have felt RIGHT at home.
So there we were, sitting opposite each other on the Central Line and struggling to keep our eyes open. When you reach your thirties an energetic few rounds of Bananagrams can really take its toll.
At the next stop we were jolted back to life as a dozen “merry” women descended onto our sleepy carriage.
Much like the ‘Baby on Board’ badges help other passengers know to offer their seats to those ‘with child’, these ladies were sending out highly covert messages of their own, emblazoned as they were with badges declaring it was ‘DEBBIE’S HEN WEEKEND IN LONDON!!!’. (Why use one exclamation mark when you can use three?)
Badges were clue no 1. Our other clues were thus:
3. Gentle aroma of Lambrini
Like a veritable Sherlock and Watson, Baggins and I were astute enough to piece together these 3 subtle clues before us and work out that this was, indeed, a hen party. And it was either still going from the night before, or I never got the memo that Sunday afternoon is the new Saturday night.
The volume level in our carriage went Spinal Tapping up from 2 to 11
They scanned the carriage and saw enough free seats to sink into. Well, enough for all but one of their brood.
Just as Baggins was about to offer his seat to this final woman – a fortysomething buxom brunette – she (making sure her other hen pals were watching) launched herself backwards theatrically into his lap and began to bounce around.
It wasn’t the first time I’d been part of/witnessed a lap dancing incident on the good ol’ London Underground, but it was the first time for Baggins.
Ms Buxom Brunette continued to bop merrily around in his lap – pretending not to have seen him – while Baggins turned from his regular complexion to a special kind of beetroot.
The kind of beetroot reserved – I assume now I’ve seen it – for unexpected advances from fortysomething women while your wife sits three foot away.
Baggins moved his hands up to hold her hips – either joining in wholeheartedly or trying to limit bum-to-crotch contact. For the sake of our relationship I’m choosing to believe it’s the latter.
When Ms Buxom Brunette was certain her kerrazy antics had solidified her the position as Queen Bee of the Hens, she got up…chuckling happily to herself.
BUT THEN HER MOUTH DROPPED OPEN as Beetroot Baggins lent over and high-fived me, both of us laughing our heads off at the randomness of it all.
She looked at me and back to him. Her friends looked at me, then Tony B, then their brazen, buxom friend…whose brazenness was plummeting by the second.
I must have been wearing the same classy blue as the tube seats because – seemingly – until the husband high-fived me, I had been COMPLETELY invisible to the hen party.
None of them had ANY idea that the handsome young man on the tube was married and – worse – that his wife was sat opposite him.
The group absolutely EXPLODED in laughter.
“MICHELLE!! You’ve done it NOW!”
Michelle scuttled off down the other end of the carriage and tried to hide behind the glass partition. It wasn’t the best hiding place, given the well-documented transparent properties of glass.
The rest of the women were in absolute FITS of giggles and were looking at me like I was The Most Relaxed Wife In The World Ever.
“If it was me and someone sat on MY man’s lap….I’d rip ‘er hair out!!”
“You not angry baaaabe?! She sat on his LAP!”
“Wot you gonna DO?!”
I was laughing too much to respond.
Strangers were now peering down the carriage, transfixed by the unfolding episode in a very non-London Underground manner.
As the train drew into our stop, and we got up to leave, the women sent us off with applause and whoops the like of which we haven’t heard since our wedding day.
Baggins – enjoying his moment – turned and shouted “See ya Michelle!” as the doors closed…which erupted the gaggle all over again.