Saturday, 20 November 2010
(Article by Michael Holden)
Rush hour found me standing near a young couple seated on an underground train. They were headed for the airport and had the luggage to prove it. While others struggled gamely around their bags, the man hid his head in the free paper while she – with their baby strapped to her chest – talked about last night's TV.
Woman "I saw that Banged Up Abroad thing. It's scary what happens to these people. They're not like long-term pushers or anything. But they end up in all kinds of trouble."
Man (emerging from the paper) "Eh?"
Woman "That thing I watched. The people in prison overseas. It's terrible. It really scared me."
Man (vaguely) "Yeah."
Woman (fixating on bad things happening at airports and nodding toward the baby) "We won't have to put him through physio will we?"
Woman "X-ray. I mean x-ray."
He opened the paper to show her an advert for a new film and pointed out an actress.
Man "Do you like her?"
Woman "She's got fatter. Fatter round the mouth."
Man (turning the page to an advert for a digital tablet) "They're really pushing these at the moment."
On the next page was a huge picture of a badly burned man.
Woman "WHAT'S THAT?"
Man "He ran through a bonfire."
Man (gleeful) "As a dare."
Woman "Oh no."
She looked away, rocked the baby and held it closer to her as if to shield it from all the idiocy of the world. I wished them luck.