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.”
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