July 07, 2009

There's Nowt So Queer As Folk (2)

As explained in the first of this series, this anecdote is one of several collected during a recent UK holiday.

Even when things don't go to plan, there is often an unexpected gem on a holiday.
On one otherwise infuriating day it was the glorious presence of a stereotype on one of the many trains I took. He had a tweedy flat cap, hunched shoulders, a large watch, and a well-thumbed notebook in which he made copious notes every time we passed another train or a shunting yard. On the pretext of losing my balance en route to the toilet, I managed to peer over his shoulder, and sure enough, the pages were covered in squiggly numbers and times. Yes, he was a bonafide "Train Spotter".

But that was almost incidental to his sudden loud assertion that "Actually I prefer to sit on my own, thank you". This was directed at a boarding passenger who attempted to take one of the 3 spare seats around our hero. A spirited discussion then ensued, but Mr Train Spotter was implacable, and the other chap shuffled off down the carriage, muttering loudly about bloody people who think they own the bloody train just because they know the bloody engine number.

I was exchanging fascinated and appreciative grins with a lady across the aisle when the petulant voice rose again, explaining (apropos of nothing)
"I'm retired. And I'm not married, either."
Marvellous stuff.

1 comment:

DeathOwl said...

We had a teacher at primary school who was extremely adamant that she was to be addressed as Miss W and not Mrs W.
If you made the mistake of saying "Mrs W" she would bellow out "I'm not married." One cocky lad once replied "I'm not surprised." in response to this - particularly brave as she was quite big and scary looking and had a temper on her!


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