… than being stuck on a train with only a freebie newspaper for entertainment? Well, if this morning was anything to go by, it’s being stuck on a train with a perfectly good newspaper of my own to read but being unable to concentrate on it due to having someone sitting opposite me reading out snippets from a freebie newspaper to amuse his travelling companion with. That’s ‘amuse’ in its loosest possible sense. The companion had given him the paper to read (having a copy of his own) probably – and I’m guessing here – in the hope that it might shut him up for at least some of the journey. Sadly, it didn’t work and it meant that the rest of us were treated to such entertaining snippets as ‘Look there’s a woman here who committed suicide after giving birth to twins. I call that a bit selfish’ while his companion wearily pointed out that he was reading the same paper and was in fact a few pages ahead, and had seen that bit already. The only respite we got was when another man got on at Clapham junction and drowned out the first with a long, involved and similarly amusing anecdote about how he ended up working in the oil and gas industry. (You really don’t want to know)
Look, it’s January. It’s dark, it’s wet and it’s miserable. Proper etiquette in the train in the mornings is to acknowledge your work colleagues with a cordial nod and then resume staring out of the window at the dark, cold, wetness with a weary air. Jocular conversation is just too much for anyone to handle until at least the clocks have gone forward and there’s some daylight in the mornings. Please? Or I’ll be confiscating those papers. I mean it.