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Train please, God

I called my cousin Michelle, and arranged to meet her at Green Park.

“You’re dragging Michelle and her baby in to the center of London?” said Róisín in disbelief.

“What are you on about? She’s used to it.”

By the time Róisín had finished with me I called Michelle in a torment of guilty anguish, and accepted her invitation to lunch at her home in Northfield.

Michelle still doesn’t look a day over fifteen; her two year old, Cormac, is already twice her density.

A couple of weeks ago, Michelle took Cormac blackberry picking. Cormac is a big fan of lorries, trucks, trains and anything that produces large quantities of carbon monoxide or, preferably, cement. So you can imagine his excitement when a train chuffed by beside the field.

Upon his strident demands for ‘nother!, Michelle advised him to pray to God to send a train his way. And so, her three year-old spent possibly the most passive two hours of his short life, sitting on a dried cowpat with his hands pressed together, intoning: “Train please, God. Amen.”

After two hours, Cormac started to get tearful, whereupon Michelle apprehended a passerby and desperately asked when the next train was due. Turned out there was only one a day.

“I can’t believe God couldn’t have sent the little fella a train,” muttered Michelle darkly.

With such promising capacity for pure evil, it may be hard to believe Michelle worships and praises the Lord on a regular basis. But indeed she does, and is otherwise a lovely, wonderful woman.

Long after lunch was over and Michelle and I had talked ourselves hoarse, Michelle asked if I would like a tour of their new house.

“I’d love to-“

“You can go to the bathroom,” she said.

“Oh. Er, do I have to?”

“Well, you want to, don’t you?”

“Actually, yes,” I said, surprised. “How did you know?”

“These days, I can sense these things.”


I’m not sure whether her newfound ability is similar to bowel-whispering, or more psychic and applicable to horse racing and blackjack.

“Poo poo?” enquired Cormac.

“No, wee wees,” responded Michelle. “That’s right, isn’t it?”

“Yes. But if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep my options open.”

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