Nightmare for Burton Dasset this evening. Of an occasional Monday evening, he and the train-spotters' posse like to hit a local hostelry for a wild evening of a couple of real ales and some serious number-exchanging. Not phone numbers - train numbers.
But fancy picking the same night that the Beaker Secularists decided to hold their monthly get-together. It must have been mayhem, all those anoraks in one place at the same time. Trainspotters are a free-and-easy bunch - you always know you'll be meeting people just like you - so Burton sat down with a couple of other be-anoraked types for a chat. It was when they were halfway through discussing Gary Numan's "Telekon" album that one of the secularists remarked that the clean bleakness of "Remember I was Vapour" reminded him of the purity of a godless universe. For Burton, the penny dropped.
For a moment, says Burton, he was worried that he might end up discussing how lovely Richard Dawkins is, instead of reminiscing blissfully about how he once went over the Harrington viaduct in a train pulled by the Mallard. Thankfully, there's an easy way to tell the train-spotters and secularists apart. The train-spotters had all brought their Thermoses, for the journey home.