You are the Ball Cock in the Toilet Tank of Life

She is standing by the counter of the newspaper stall at Vauxhall, waiting for her coffee. She has a mobile phone clasped to her ear, but she is not speaking into it, nor even apparently listening to it. Perhaps she is on hold. Perhaps she just goes around with her phone stuck to her ear as a matter of course. She is not slim, not by a long way. She is blocking the exit. People queue up to buy things, things which don’t require waiting for, like newspapers and then they are stuck, they cannot get out with her there in the way. They say excuse me. She moves out of their way, dreamily, automatically, her phone still clasped to her ear. Then she bobs back into the gap, blocking the exit again, as though it were not of her volition, as though some physical process or law of nature was forcing her to do this. Someone else wishes to leave, and she repeats to process – moving out of the way, bobbing back into the way, regulating the flow of people out of the stall, one by one. I come to the head of the queue and buy my paper, make my excuses and go, leaving her there, still clutching her phone, still waiting, moving and bobbing, moving and bobbing as though she might never stop.

And it was only after I have taken my train and am walking to work that I realised just what it was that she reminded me of.

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10 responses to “You are the Ball Cock in the Toilet Tank of Life

  1. Pure genius Disgruntled. LOL!

  2. Ah, so you have discovered the new idea that SW trains have to regulate the flow of passengers on the trains, by making them travel later and prolonging the morning peak – in to th enew mini peak, SW trains are going to increase the price of an off peak ticket. it also means that with less people on the peak trains then the over crowning issue gets solves as well as the need for extra seats – simply brilliant!

    Maybe she was trying out on of these new TfL mobile phones that were also mentioned in the Metro today, ones that will work on the Waterloo and City Line, as well as at bank, and Waterloo Station.

    Wonder what woul dhave happened if you had grabed the elbow of her phone arm and swang her round like a giant gate …?

  3. c-side – thanks!

    LLD – she’d probably flush?

  4. could it be her knicker elastic was caught on the turnstile?

  5. I was wondering where you’d gone to …

  6. would that be a hot one or a bit like an orgasm?

  7. I think this post is going to be attracting enough unsavoury google hits as it is without expanding further …

  8. That’s brilliant. And deeply irritating on her part.

  9. Indeed. But it got me a link from the Guardian website today, so I’ve forgiven her

  10. Superb

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