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Thursday, 21 August 2008

Guardian All Ears 9th August

Finished at breakneck speed before heading off to Japan...

Sometimes when I travel by train I swear won’t subject myself to the conversations of strangers and instead listen to music through headphones designed to block out all ambient sound. But if I can still see people talking then eventually I have to know what they’re on about, and so it was that I found myself bound for the south coast turning down my music and tuning into the private drivel around me again.

Man: (holding an open book, but seldom reading from it) “I’ve had my bike stolen, in broad daylight, outside Waterstones.”

Woman: (setting aside a magazine) “I’ve left mine for three days at Euston, and it’s been fine.”

Man: “You were lucky.”

Woman (matter of factly) “There are about 500 bikes there.”

Man: “Maybe I was unlucky.”

Woman: “Maybe.”

There was a pause while they weighed all this up.

Woman: “I’m going to Finland again.”

Man: “That’s great.”

Woman: “’I’ve got a friend who lives in the middle of a lake. It’s amazing.”

Man: “What do you mean, ‘lives in a lake?’”

Woman: “On an island.”

Man: (perhaps expecting a more Arthurian explanation) “Oh.”

Another pause, then the woman poked at her reflection in the window.

Woman: “I can only be smart (+I)and(-I) comfortable if I’m wearing black.”

Man “What are you wearing tonight?”

Woman: “Black. You know what she’s like, she won’t be happy unless everyone’s wearing an long dress.”

Man: (maybe anticipating an evening of reluctant transvestism ahead) “Yeah. I know exactly what it’s like.”

Article by Michael Holden

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