Journey of a Lifetime

A satirical train ride through the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult, via Universe City, with a trolley stocked with baby food.

Profile photo of Cal Harris
Image Credit: 
© Dave Adams / Used With Permission

This is your driver speaking:
Welcome aboard the Journey of a Lifetime express
terminating at Death.
We apologise for the small delay
but we will shortly be underway.
This was due to a late berthing boat
but I am happy to announce
that its cargo is being delivered now.
As we depart, if you look to the right,
you will be able to see the hump of Pregnant Isle
protruding from the Pregnant Sea.
When the tidal waters break
a small, cord-like spit of sand
allows safe crossing to the country of Life mainland.
As we begin our journey,
we will be crawling slowly
towards the county of Little Teaching,
where we will be calling at Nursery, Lower School Heights
and Upper School Heights, where bursaries are available for extended journeys.
For services to the neighbouring county of Greater Learning,
comprising College Centre, City of Guilds
and 6th Farm, please use platforms G, C, S and E.
You will then be able to catch a connecting train
taking you on an excursion
to Universe City.
A supplementary fee is payable for this trip,
and is non-refundable should you wish to change course.
After 18 years, we will reach the district of Work and Pensions.
On the con-course you will find a departures board
directing you to other destinations
including the towns of Little Worth, Earning-on-Benefit
and Bridge-Over-The-River-Job.
Alternatively, to coast through your journey at a steady speed,
please remain in your seats.
If you need any advice on which route is best for you,
just speak to a fellow passenger;
they will be only too willing to offer an opinion on your life choices.
Once we have left the district of Work and Pensions,
this service will become high speed direct to Upper Growing.
Feel free to visit the canteen as we careen
past fields of gleaming careers and pipe-dreams.
When we arrive at Upper Growing
this train will divide:
the front four coaches will continue,
on a nine month journey,
to Family Tree Orchard,
from where an airport provides flights back The Pregnant Sea.
The rear four coaches will be heading to The Industrial Counties,
where you can hammer out plans, forge a career,
build your own company, or melt into the crowd.
This is coach 6 of 8.
The train will rejoin at High Hills,
where managers and directors
inhabit houses on tall peaks,
and the train passes through a tunnel beneath.
Please keep arms and legs inside the train at all times
as we speed under the mountains.
As we emerge from the tunnel
we will shoot through the station of Mid-Life Crisis.
Passengers wishing to alight here,
move to the rear coach and pull the emergency release cord.
You will be able to hire a motorbike or sports car
to catch up with the train further down the line.
For passengers with surplus money and time,
we will be stopping at Sunny Sky Meadows and Snowcross
for holidays and excusrions.
Any passengers who can’t afford these trips,
switch on the screens in the back of the seats
for running commentaries, Facebook albums and tweets.
The final area we will be passing through
is Bridge Gardens,
where you will be able to take up horticulture,
or play card games.
There are short stay retirement homes
and hospitals for any passengers with heart conditions,
frailty or brittle bones.
The hospitals and homes also provide
a complimentary taxi ride to our final destination: Death.
Our journey will take approximately 75 years.
Anyone wishing to get there earlier,
please jump out of the doors while the train is moving.
In the event of an emergency,
stay calm and don’t panic;
we may arrive ahead of schedule.
A trolley service of drinks and light refreshments
will be available in the rear coach.
When we begin our journey,
we will only be offering SMA milk.
This will change accordingly as we progress
to include baby food, crisps, sandwiches, chocolate bars,
hot drinks, alcohol, kebabs, fish and chips, gourmet three course meals,
and finally a selection of pills and medicines.
A conductor will be coming round
to check your tickets shortly;
you should find these tied round your wrist.
Thank you for choosing the Journey of a Lifetime express service to Death,
we hope you enjoy the ride.

Cal's performance poetry is laced with witty observations of banality and infusions of pop-culture. Spoken-word for the everyday man.

Profile photo of Cal Harris

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