I am commuting. Regular followers (My Grumpyans!) will be well aware of how much I love commuting. To those, reading my blog for the first time, welcome! Sorry but the sentence before the last one was intended sarcasm.
But despite the fellow passengers, the delays and the cramped conditions at times, the bodily odour, the lack of consideration displayed by others, the germ spreading , the noisy speakers on phones and other things that cause me annoyance on a daily basis, one of the benefits to commuting is that you can eavesdrop accidentally on people and catch some real gems of conversation.
Take the other day for example, behind me was a local fellow talking to a very well spoken woman. I didn’t intend to listen in but I really couldn’t help it.
This is pretty much how the conversation went. It is not word for word accurate because, well, I’ve been to sleep since then and I wasn’t scribing in my finest shorthand at the time.
Let’s call him Johnny. Johnny and the lady were talking about where they lived.
Johnny: “I’m getting off at Dudley Port. We’ve just moved to Tipton. A nice part of Tipton”
Nice and Tipton cannot belong in the same sentence. They are like trying to get the two northern points of two magnets to meet. The only context those two words can be used together is for example, “How nice it is to leave Tipton!”
Johnny: “Yeah the missus really likes it there. It’s a really nice area. You haven’t got the scum bags round there.”
Again, refer to my previous comment.
Johnny: “Mind you, we got broken into last night.”
The lady gasps in surprise. Not surprising as this completely blindsided her. This was like being told by a Doctor that you are in perfect health but just as you leave the office, the Doctor says, “Oh by the way! Your arms are about to drop off!”
Johnny: “Yeah well, they didn’t really break in. I forgot to lock the back door.”
So they didn’t break in Johnny! You little fibber!
Johnny: “Yeah I heard a bang and I got up and I must have disturbed them because they had gone by the time I got downstairs.”
Well at least you and your family were not harmed Johnny. Personal possessions are merely material objects, which, apart from the sentiment, can be replaced.
Johnny: “They didn’t steal anything. They just took my house keys.”
Okay Johnny, is this for real? Why would they need to take the keys? You leave the door open for them to wander in! Besides, surely you would notice and get the locks changed rendering the keys useless? One final thing, if you could steal anything in a property, why take keys?
Johnny: “Yeah, locks are being changed today. The missus hates it there. She wants to move again now.”
Woah, hold on Johnny, you said she loved the area. It was nice you said. You can’t keep changing your story. You are confusing this well-spoken lady!
Shortly afterwards, the lady departed the train.
So in this short conversation, what had I learnt?
Tipton, it’s a nice, bad area that Johnny’s good lady loves and wants to leave. Which is understandable, because the thieves break in through unlocked doors and in true opportunistic fashion, steal valuables such as keys to the doors which will have the locks changed anyway.
Admit it Johnny, you just lost the keys didn’t you?