Of course, he is wise in one sense as if you don’t keep your wits about you and accidentally vocalise views on the over-heard chatter. For example, if the two girls in front of you on the bus are nattering and listing the flaws in appearance, attitude & intelligence of an unknown & unseen ‘Gabriel’ without at any point indicting that their views were in any way intended for an audience wider than each other, it may cause an awkward moment when you fill in a lull in their chatter to point out to the person you’re sitting beside that “that Gabriel does sound a bit of a hank though doesn’t he?”. Its jolly poor form – and not just in being swayed by such a one-sided & presumably biased take on the fellow’s qualities.
So, I accept that in practical terms it is not always useful – but that doesn’t mean that the aforementioned non-listener is morally justified in his choice. He has convinced himself that it is through sound intentions that he chooses to do this – but it is not. It is clearly because he is a vain, arrogant, ignorant being – who couldn’t possibly imagine some ordinary contributing something that was more involving than his own thoughts. Either way, it is becoming a rare decision in the post-iPod era.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one seeing through his subliminal message ‘luv – if a shitzu/poodle mix is going for £600, what price a semi-Greggs pasty encrusted beard/tracky/cap combo wool bullshitter mixed with a ruthlessly bottle blond , tanned to the max, scornfully short-tempered blousy scouse madam-type eh?’
That was but a 10 minute jaunt too – so the prospect of a 2 hour plus train journey from Morecambe to Liverpool and a ‘packed up’ mp3 player would have filled me with a strong sense of dread if it was not for these honed observational people-listening “skills” and a healthy dollop of nosiness. By any standards though, the over-full , baggage saturated, claustrophobic cafe-coach was a ‘must see’ for sheer oddness
As we trundled towards my appointed dismount at Wigan, the baggage-heavy lady decided that she now needed her gear to be nearer to her and that the easiest way to achieve this would be to ask everyone else to relay the overflowing bags to her. Despite the now deep-rooted tetchiness and general bemusement at this, everyone chipped in and shuttled them betwixt ourselves with only very minor disgruntlement displayed.