The King Of France Is Bald

There’s wrong, and then there’s wronger than wrong. Two South African girls joined the train this morning at Putney, and proceeded to have a loud conversation with each other right across me. So far so normal. When they’d finished character-assassinating all their colleagues (this part was actually quite amusing) they switched on to the topic of why South African Girl One’s eye was twitching:

South African Girl One: That means someone’s talking about me doesn’t it? That my eye is twitching?

South African Girl Two: No, when someone talks about you, your nose itches.

South African Girl One: No, I’m pretty sure it’s your eye.

Me (silently screaming inside my head): No your ears burn, you utter morons…

And yet I know that, in fact, when somebody is talking about you behind your back, your ears do not burn, nor do your eyes twitch nor your nose itch, as that is of course a complete old wives’ tale, with no basis in physical reality whatsoever. It’s just that it is still somehow MORE wrong to say that your nose itches than it is to say that your ears burn. I spent many happy hours as a philosphy student debating why this should be so, and never came up with an answer. I still don’t know. But I stand by my original judgement: they were morons. And I wonder how their colleagues’ ears were feeling early this morning … a little warm, perhaps?


12 responses to “The King Of France Is Bald

  1. Yes. Your ears burn. Any fool knows that.

    Right for spite & left for love. So if you’re right ear is burning someone is dissing you, if it’s your left they’re bigging you up.

  2. And if your nose itches it means a surprise – or a cold, of course.

  3. I have come to the conclusion that all other commuters on my train are utter morons.

    On my old train, Sun Man and Lady used to have some cracking conversations. She’s American and he once gave her a quick history lesson about the Tudor period and informed her that Henry VIII had had his sixth wife sectioned. It almost made me stop loving him so much!

    I have to say though, it is terribly annoying when that little muscle just below the corner of the eye twitches like a mad thing. Does anyone know why it does that?

  4. I would say it is more wrong because what they said is both physically wrong and incorrect with regard to the old wives’ tale, whereas ears burning is only physically incorrect.

  5. Pah! Idiots they were! You should have educated them!

  6. Ah, Pete, but you’re not allowed to show that you’re listening in to someone else’s conversation on the train, even if they’re broadcasting it right across you… Rule 11 in the commuter’s rule book

  7. That is a very good point, this is why you ride the tube, and I’m still stuck at measely metro level.

  8. Never mind, Pete, with practice and training you too can acheive London Commuter level and be issued with the fabulous blue oyster card…

  9. But I feel so unworthy!

  10. Well, you’ll only be allowed zones 2-6 at first, then as you show your worth, you will be admitted into the hallowed circles of zone one…

  11. zone one? now you’re talking! It’s 19 years since I last rode the tube, it hasn’t changed much, has it?

  12. Pingback: A Moral Dilemma « Disgruntled Commuter

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