Friday, August 2

following the rules

The weeks in captivity had sickened me of Piddledorf. Ordinary petty burghers had been coming up to me, to offer gratuitous "advice", sometimes several times in one day. Do it this way! Don't do that! You shouldn't be walking on the grass, Wrong way! Go back! I'm before you! Don't put that there! Look where you're going! Do it properly! Shower before the pool, not after!

The best one was this demand, from a punter in the no-clothes sauna, delivered to the cellmate: take off your swimsuit! (And he stood over her while she complied). 

At last, one cold morning we got on the early train from Piddledorf, and made our escape. As the train pulled out, we found our seats, in the quiet zone compartment. Ahh, peace at last!

But then I noticed the businessman sitting in front of me, muttering into his mobile phone. I looked at the sign above his head, "No Phoning". Something exploded in my head. I got up and pulled at his sleeve. He said into his phone "hang on a minute".   I pointed at the sign. 

He whined: "but people are allowed to talk!"

I said (and I quote): "Just TURN IT OFF! Jesus, some currants want to make up their own rules! I mean, are we in effing Bavaria or not?"

He shut off his phone, picked up his briefcase, and moved quickly to another carriage. 

I sat there for some time, congratulating myself. If these people can dish out the rules, well they can effing well abide by them!

About half an hour later, the victorious feeling faded and it dawned on me that I had behaved just like the rest of them, smugly forcing rules down other people's throats. I felt disappointed, and a little ashamed. He had actually seemed like a nice guy, and I had made him so uncomfortable that he couldn't stand being in the same carriage.

So I got up and walked down the train to look for him. When I found his seat, he looked up, warily. 

I said: "I want to apologise. I over-reacted."

He touched my arm and said "I accept your apology gladly".

I thanked him and left him to it. Justice was done. I had shown that I was better than that. 


  1. Albert? You should have said you were Scottish and would stick the nut on him if he didn't behave himself!

  2. Albert? You should have said you were Scottish and would stick the nut on him if he didn't behave himself!

  3. I say!

    There are only two rules here in Kalimbuka. The first rule is that there are no rules.

    MM III

    Do I have to copy and paste that post, like your previous Commenter, or do we just assume that once again he's having problems with the technology?

    MM III

  4. Hotters, I assumed he had assumed that already. I speak Bavarian with a Billy Connolly accent.

    Mingers. Not sure we're still allowed to make fun of the electronically disabled.

  5. It would be frustrating to be put under that kind of constant pressure.

    I can understand why you over reacted. I give you a *pat on the back* for doing the right thing and finding the guy to tell him you were sorry.

    I think we need to remember that everyone wakes up a human being, just like us.

  6. Thanks Nanners. Lovely to hear from you. X

  7. I say!

    After a very late night up at the Domasi turn-off, I'm not 100% convinced that I have woken up as a human being.

    MM III