I am riding a train late at night, and alight at a semi-rural, semi-urban stop, in order to transfer to another line. The lines run perpendicular to each other, so from the platform on which I alight, I need only walk to my right and down some stairs, to the other part of the station. Unfortunately, a train has just left the station, and it will be quite a wait for the next one. I sit down on a handily-placed bench. All of a sudden, the platform lights go out. I hear the sound of a train passing through the station at speed.
Here's a long one:
I, with my family, which appears to be much bigger than it is, am going out to dinner at a fictional Netherlee restaurant (on Clarkston Road, beyond the school, but there are no houses there). We are presented with a choice of two, either a dilapidated-looking pub, or a dilapidated-looking Italian restaurant. We choose the Italian restaurant, reassured by the name L'Ariosto (the name of an Italian restaurant in town, on West Nile Street, I think) that hangs above the door.
Sadly, the restaurant is under new management, and is actually the Sea Shanty Inn. It is as tawdry as it sounds, with naval accoutrements adorning the walls, creating the obvious blue-white-and-rope-coloured décor. The shape of the place is odd. We walk in through a hall, then turn right into a short corridor. The dining room is to the right of the corridor. I notice that there is also a gaudily-coloured cable-car outside, which serves the same purpose as the corridor. And our legs.
We sit down in the middle of the room. I take a green, leather armchair. There is one other family in the room, and all seems pleasant. The waiter has a banjo, but it entertains more than it irritates. The waiter shows me the banjo, and allows me to inspect it.
The harmony is broken when a coarse family of Mancunians comes in. There appear to be about twenty of them, and they make an unholy racket. The sweet sounds of the banjo are replaced by the elderly paterfamilias, who starts to play a mouth organ. I offer the banjo back to waiter, in case he should want to hit anybody with it.
The action transposes to a beach terrace, and I am sitting on its edge. All of a sudden, one of the dysfunctional family's children is jumping up and down on the sand before. Said sand is flying everywhere. This is the final straw, and, much out of character, I launch into a tirade against these annoying, impolite, uncivil people.
Later on, our three families are still together, this time on a railway platform, having a sing-song (inexplicably). En masse, we go on to the train, and prepare ourselves for a journey. It is not long, however, before the annoying son (who must be around my age), begins playing with a squeaking toy. He points it at each person on the train and, in turn, squeezes it. This might not seem annoying, but he does it continuously, until I implore him to stop. He does, fortunately.
One dream hereafter:
I am with some of my friends, walking home at night (it's dark) from somewhere or other. We are walking along the side of a lake. At one stage, there are a series of canals, which look only a few feet wide.
I ask one of my friends, "How often do you think of jumping over them?"
He then does. However, later on, as we continued, we find an adventure playground. One of the attractions is a wobbly bridge across a part of the lake. The self-same friend walks across the bridge, and falls into the lake. I apologise, believing that it is my fault.
We continue along the lakeside path and get to a gatehouse. In order to get through it, we must climb over the gates and under the roof of the building. We manage through, but it is a tight squeeze.
Looking ahead, I see a man-hole cover exploding with ferocity. For some reason, I know that a small van, filled with compressed-gas cylinders, is driving in front of us. I yell to my friends to get back, we do, and there is an almighty explosion, as the van passes over another exploding man-hole cover.
We run like mad things to a large car park, which is already filling with ambulances and fire engines. Despite surviving the explosion unscathed, we risk being run over by the emergency services that are trying to help us. I take a seat, to read a magazine. The thought enters my head that, since the drains were exploding, the road could have collapsed and we might all have been killed. Fortunately not, though.
As I sit with my magazine, a friend of the family comes to me with a gift. In a turn of pathos, the gift is the same magazine that I am reading. I feel awkward, and try to hide it.