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ANOTHER TERROR THREAT: MAN SETS FIRE TO TOBACCO ON PASSENGER TRAIN! January 14, 2010

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At 10.55, as the passenger train approached the tunnel, Jennifer Stephens looked up from her  text-messaging, and was shocked to see a ‘swarthy older man’ take a disposable lighter from his pocket. She then watched in horror as he proceded to ignite the pipe, which was clenched  determinedly between his teeth.  A man across the aisle shouted: ‘He’s got a pipe!  He’s got a pipe!’  What happened next was nothing less than pandemonium.  Imrinda Patel recalled the moment that will no doubt haunt her for many years to come:  ‘The train entered the tunnel and for a brief moment we were plunged into darkness, all you could see were those ghastly burning embers, I just screamed at him: “You monster, can’t you see what you’re doing?”‘ 

Jackie Doylem still finds it hard to believe that she was sat so close to the so-called ‘Pipe-Bomber’:

‘I don’t rightly remember what happened next’ said the bubbly blonde from Swindon, ‘but I know there was lots of commotion and screaming.  I distinctly remember one woman just lost the plot, shen ran straight into a closed door – I think she just presumed it would open automatically. It was panic, sheer panic.’

Mimzie Hymen and her two children were sitting unaware in the next carriage when the alleged terrorist ignited his pipe, later that day she related her brush with death to the jostling press pack.  As she spoke she instinctively held her children close to her:  ‘To think I was only a carriage away from that – that man.’ She stammered:  ‘I had my children with me for heaven’s sake! – And my youngest, Ollie, has asthma.  This sort of thing has to be stamped on – I think all smokers should be put on a database or be made to wear yellow stars or something.’ Said the young mother, understandably. 

Last night, following mounting press criticism over their sluggish response to the outrage, a spokesman for The Great Western Network finally stepped in front of the cameras to assure his customers:

‘Whilst we understand the concern and upset caused by this event’ said Mr Wzlewski, ‘ we can assure all our loyal customers that from next Thursday we will be implementing invasive body-scanning devices at all our stations.  We will also be installing CCTV cameras into all train toilets, and will be recommending to the government the mass-microchipping of the British public. When it comes to smoking in public, let me assure you…we are anything but passive.’ 

Meanwhile the man in question, the so-called ‘Pipe-Bomber’  denies any radical Islamic connections and claims to have been a British citizen all his life. ‘I worked for thirty-five years at Waddingtons brewery!’ He ranted at transport police.

The Pipe Bomber - denies Radical Islamic connections.

 

Meanwhile, today’s journey on the 8:35 to Reading had a distinctly fraught feel to it:

‘I hardly texted at all for the whole journey.  I just found myself looking at my fellow human beings instead.  -It was terrible, but that’s what that monster has done to us!’ Said Jennifer Stephens.

‘I used to be the life and soul of the party’, said Ms Doylem, ‘ Not that you’d know it  to look at me now. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel really safe again’, confessed the buxom 23 year-old, obviously close to tears.  Some of her fears did appear assuaged however, by the prospect of full-body scanning machines: ‘ They can’t install them quick enough in my opinion’, she added, and just for a brief flickering moment, the fire returned to her young eyes.

So for Jackie Doylem at least, the body-scanners and CCTV may be a start, but it will no doubt take a lot longer to rebuild her shattered confidence. As for little asthmatic Ollie Hymen who was only a carriage away from inhaling the deadly tobacco smoke,, what does his future hold?  Can he expect to grow up in a world where random smoking attacks are the norm?  And if that is the case, would an Orwellian surveillance state actually be such a bad thing anyway?   It seems that little Ollie Hymen could certainly do with a Big Brother to look over him right now.  Maybe we all could.

James Witched, International Political Editor.

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