A Little Less Conversation

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen …”

oh no

“I’m sorry to disturb you on your journey home this evening …”

perhaps if I concentrate very hard on reading the paper

“I’m trying to get some money together this evening so I can go to a night shelter …”

I will just come across as very deaf and absorbed in this interesting

“…and maybe get a bite to eat …”

article on EU policy

“… and more importantly have a chance to have a wash and wash my clothes.”

mmm, fascinating stuff, EU policy.

“I need nine pounds, ladies and gentlemen, and I’ve got …”

It’s not as though I don’t believe him, and that I think he goes back to a penthouse flat in his BMW laughing all the way

“… just over seven pounds so I need …”

It’s not even that I think he’d spend it all on drink or drugs or even blame him if he did. It’s what I’d do

“… just under two quid if any of you could spare something towards that …”

It’s not even some principled stance about not perpetuating the problem and supporting homeless shelters directly instead, although there’s probably some merit in that.

“… I’d be very grateful.”

It’s the way he asks. The endless explanation. The unneccessary detail. The cringing courtesy.

“…”

Whatever happened to ‘spare some change’?

“… oh well, thank you for your attention, ladies and gentlemen, and I’m sorry to have disturbed your evening and I hope you have a good journey home …”

I feel bad now.

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6 responses to “A Little Less Conversation

  1. I wondered where he’d got to, long hair, limping with a stick and smells rather too strong at times????
    He had a few months of getting onto the Thameslink 19:25 or afterwards at Cricklewood to KX, and would start at the end and work his way to every door exit, then stop, deep sigh and start his speech. I probably know it off by heart.
    Trouble is, he never really figured out that it was only the drunken crew bound for Kentish Town that paid any attention to him.
    Anyone that can make me cringe like that doesnt need my money either!!!

  2. Oddly enough there was a similar guy on the Silverlink – same spiel, different smell … I have begun to wonder whether they have all been on the same training course. Only the trains, though, never the tube.

  3. Of course only the overground, for they board and alight at stations that are rarely manned! Still, its fairly inventive and not as cold as sitting outside KX Thameslink, although as I’ve not seen the regular characters there lately, perhaps they too are wandering the trains too!
    A more amusing and less gratifying speech would reap in more pennies though!!

  4. True, hadn’t thought of that. The buskers on the District line obviously net enough to cover a ticket … can’t think how.

  5. He cant have made much dosh away from Thameslink….. he was back on the 20.54 to KX tonight!!!!
    How to turn an entire carriage silent in 3 secs flat!

  6. ah, a silent train. Not all bad, then…

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