Just imagine, having stood for ages on a freezing platform, on a dark winter’s morning, and the train eventually pulls in. You’re in luck, as it isn’t too crowded, and there aren’t too many people in front of you. As you enter the train, a nice, warm feeling envelopes you. Soon, you’ll be slumped into a nice, comfy seat, snoring your sleepy little head off…
Oh, the delights of sleeping on the train while others are standing around you!
Oh no, what’s this in front of you? Slowcoah alert. Someone in front has found a seat, and instead of immediately parking his bum there, decides he’s going to go through the ritual of the following:
- Slowly and methodically takes off his overcoat. Folds said overcoat and places it on the rack above;
Slowly and methodically takes off his jacket. Folds said overcoat and places it on the rack above;
Takes out paper and laptop;
- Stops to stretch his arms and yawn for a bit;
Remembers to take scarf off and place same on rack above…
While all this is going on, about a dozen fellow passengers are standing behind him, waiting patiently to take up those seats of theirs. Astonishing.
Halfway through this ritual, it dawns on him that there are other sheeple behind him, so turning, with a smile which is part apologetic, part guilty, he whispers the word: “Sorry!” and promptly carries on with his ablutions! I find this even more amazing! Why say sorry if you’re not going to stop? Might as well shoot someone dead and apologise afterwards.
What struck me as particularly strange, was that there wasn’t a single murmur from the rest of us. Years and years ago, this used to be normal in the UK – British people had a reputation of being too hesitant to complain – but today, we’re far more willing to shake our fists and shove an oar in.
So why were we all standing there like stuffed sheep?
I can only suggest that the reason for our compliance was that by the time we’d got round to complaining, we’d all dropped asleep!