Saturday, 24 December 2011

Drunk Tank

Took the train to town today. Nothing massively unusual in that. I was merrily listening away to podcast after podcast, new recruit that I am to this whole podcasting thing, about 19 years after everyone else.

Took the train to town today and was listening away to a Friday Night Comedy, downloaded from Radio 4 because I am very well-to-do and that's the sort of radio station us well-to-do people listen to. My podcasting days are still very much in their infancy and are restricted to the output of the BBC. I am yet to stray to other podcasting sites as I am fearful of venturing to iTunes and catching iItis; a common disease of which the incurable symptoms appear to manifest themselves in the form of pods, phones, macs and pads.

I've dabbled, don't get me wrong. Leave an iPhone on the table in front of me and I'll be pinching and
thumb-and-index-finger-flicking anything and everything I can imagine, in an effort to zoom in and out. But it's a slippery slope; one day you're pinching someone else's screen to zoom in and the next day you're in an Apple Concession discussing the merits of a 23 inch touch screen teleputer hybrid and not even questioning why it is 2500 quid and whether you really need one. It's the crack cocaine of the 21st century. Or something.

Took the train to town today and was listening to a podcast while seated on one of the fold-down seats which are known as strapontins in France. Always did make me laugh that one.

Took the train to town today and was listening to a podcast while seated on one of the fold-down seats when a bescarfed and begloved gentleman took the other strapon next to me. He sat. I listened. He
dropped his glove. I didn't see him drop it. The tube rolled on. I listened. He sat. One glove lay innocently on the floor between our feet - his right, my left. It was unbeknownst to either of us. He sat.I sat. He pondered. I listened. Separate worlds. No bother. Everything's fine.

Then the bloke opposite and three along from me ruins everyone's day, shatters the peace and calm which previously prevailed and generally destroys Christmas for everyone on the tube and each and every member of their families. And anyone else with whom they come into contact.

'Excuse me, you've dropped your glove'.

Jesus Christ! Could the man have been any less sensitive? Every man, woman and dog in that carriage - there were no dogs, none obvious anyway, perhaps a few in some handbags, sleeping, probably, or just lying very still - took a sharp intake of breath.

'Excuse me, you've dropped your glove'.

For pity's sake, man, why don't you just force me at gunpoint to dance the Dance of the Seven Veils in front of this carriageful of strangers? Have you no compassion, empathy or guilt?

'Excuse me, but not only have you dropped your glove but that chap sitting next to you listening to the Friday Night Comedy, possibly starring Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis, clearly saw you drop it and was
clearly planning all manner of evility as he did not mention to you that you had dropped your glove. Do you have children and a wife and a nice home? Well, I would call the police as that heartless bastard in
the Primark knee pads is clearly feigning ignorance in relation to your glove-dropping and will therefore undeniably be planning some horrific kidnapping or worse for your beloveds,' he seemed to imply.

'Excuse me, you've dropped your glove.'

is what met his tube-riding neighbours' ears and never have I felt so much hatred aimed at me. Now I know how Jeanne of Arc must have felt as she claimed innocence whilst standing in front of the firing squad in Rennes. 'I'm innocent', screamed I wordlessly, reminiscent of Jeanne as my fellow tubers continued to hold their foul-mouthed silences in protest at my apparent misdemeanour.

My silent protests were met without words. I was a condemned man. If only I hadn't been inwardly laughing at a high-brow joke I didn't quite get, then maybe I would have noticed the glove's silent descent to the tube floor and I would not have been evilified by all around me. Nor would I have got off at the next stop and walked three miles home.


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