|When they came to me and asked me to say some kind words about British
Rail, frankly I told B R to be off.
Then they offered me a thousand quid. I said I’m not a man who
can be bought.
Then they offered me two thousand quid...
British Rail is a wonderful institution … but we do have our
problems. Now one of them is passengers. Did you know that every
second, seventeen men, thirteen and a half women and a brown
paper parcel get on to a train? And that seventeen men and thirteen
women get off … though not necessarily with each other? Which
only leaves half a woman, and a brown paper parcel … and that’s
no good to anyone, is it? Be honest. Oh, I don’t know though.
Another problem is the weather. Now due entirely to unforeseen
circumstances, winter has arrived this year. Yes, we’ve got
more frozen points than the topless bar at the North Pole. This
map shows the lines that are affected … by engineering works
over this weekend ,,, so if you are trying to go anywhere from
anywhere, you will just have to go via somewhere else.
Now believe it or not, some people even complain about British
Rail food, saying it’s not absolutely tip-top value ,,, well,
I mean, look at this cup of tea, I mean, have we doubled the
price? Certainly we have not. Mind you, we have halved the cup.
By the way, all complaints now go straight into our new British
Rail suggestion box, which is, of course, automatic. There it
is. SFX: Swoosh – bang!
Now, since we’ve installed our new streamlined ticket windows,
many ungrateful travellers have complained that they don’t like
queuing an extra half-hour just to get a ticket. They even claim
that outside Victoria Station ticket touts can get ten quid
for a single to Brighton.
What about fares? I hear you ask. Well British Rail are going
to replace the existing fare structure with a very unfair structure.
So, what about the new cheap tickets? Well this one is a monster
best-seller. It’s called the runabout rover away-day senior-citizens’
winter-break special. If you’re a one-armed old-age pensioner
with a bicycling dog travelling daily between Bodmin and Arbroath
you’ll get it for nothing. We’ll keep on with our old favourites
of course. The Scots’ “Wey-Hey Day” or we have, of course, this
one here, for divorcing couples, the “Go Away and Stay Away
Day”, and, of course, the Mother-in-Law’s Special Day Return”—the
train doesn’t stop and you wave to her out of the window. That’s
it. And, of course, then we have a couple of naughty ones—we
have tired businessmen needing a weekend with their secretary—we
have the “My wife doesn’t understand me weekend”, or we have
for the otherwise inclined, there’s a nippy day return down
to Portsmouth called “Hello Sailor!”
British Rail intend to maintain their standards. But now for
the good news. Yes, after a hundred years of research we have
perfected the robot porter. Now let’s try asking him a question.
“I say, my man, When is the next train to Slough?” [Farty noise]
“Don’t ask me mate.” There we are, you see.
But it doesn’t end there. Here is a good word for commuters
… scum. But for those bona-fide travellers who hearken after
the good old days of steam, we have developed this. Every twenty
minutes the guard will come into your compartment and blow soot
and smut into your eye.
Now, you do your bit, and we’ll do our bit, and we’ll try to
lose a hundred million pounds of your money every year.