So there I am, shunting on Clayhanger Yard and a wagon derails.
It's never happened at this spot on the layout before and there's nothing obviously wrong so I quickly pop it back on the track and carry on.
My crowd, both of them, run off with their noses in the air.
This isn't the first time I've had this happen. I know that they are thinking:
HOW VERY DARE YOU HAVE A DERAILMENT IN MY PRESENCE? YOU BRING THE WHOLE HOBBY IN TO DISREPUTE WITH YOUR SLOVENLY WAYS! IF I HAD A MODEL RAILWAY THERE WOULD NEVER BE ANY DERAILMENTS! I HATE YOU PARKER!
Which is probably fair enough. After all, I have ruined their day and probably their entire month with my derailments.
Of course, if I were a proper modeller I'd stop running and have an extensive post-mortem to work out exactly what went wrong. I've seen it happen and the crowd can enjoy watching modellers poking at trackwork with magnifying glasses for half an hour or so.
My take is that bad things happen. All derailments have a cause but sometimes getting on with the show matters more than sorting it out. If there is a regular problem with a bit of track or vehicle then it's worth a look after hours but most importantly, entertain the punters.
Punters - stuff happens. Get over it. We aren't doing it deliberately, in fact we like problems less than you as we have to fix them. Putting wagons back on the track is annoying and we don't like doing it so we do our best to avoid problems. However, bouncing a model railway around in a van and then installing it in a hall will a wobbly floor and variable heating can upset the best maintained of models.
To the gentlemen who huffed off - Sorry to have ruined your day. I appreciate that you are probably busy burning your collection as I write. A funeral pyre of old Railway Modellers doubtless blackens the sky. I didn't do it deliberately I assure you.