The Cultural Divide

Purchase Big Mac at MacDonald’s at Victoria. Wait for optimum train, i.e. one that not too full so can stuff face in peace and quiet. Select seat on Epsom train most likely to get me valuable face stuffing time before fellow passengers board and start staring at mayo-daubed face and lettuce-garnished coat. Three minutes of face-stuffing pass before Scottish duo sit down at seats diagonally opposite and engage in discussion on obscure topic, allowing self to continue stuffing face. Big Mac managing not to disintegrate in hands so far. Five minutes elapse, praying train leave before Big Mac go loco. Good looking bloke in suit sit down opposite, fortunately holding MacDonald’s burger and fries. Unwritten convention say no one with burger going to be staring at person sitting opposite also stuffing face with burger. Spirits rise.

Continue munching burger, now getting messy, mayo stuck on fingers and smeared all over mouth, i.e. not the kind of look Audrey Hepburn affecting on Orient Express. Keep one eye on bloke who now delving into Macdonald’s bag, huzzah.

Suddenly, attention drawn away from desperate race to finish burger before look like social outcast, which obv am, otherwise wouldn’t be eating Big Mac on late night train after leaving work at 10.00pm, instead of being in Chelsea with handsome hottie. Attention now fixed on Scottish couple opposite who having hard hitting discussion on literary matters. Discussion seem to revolve around merits of first folio and demerits of anything not first folio. Discussion between bloke in spectacles who look like he experiencing intellectual castration and dark haired young bluestocking who have weirdest Scottish accent ever heard, kind of squeaky fairy drawl. Riveted by pretentiousness of argument. Bluestocking rifling through thesaurus whilst speccy bloke wilting under barrage of inpenetrable aggressive tosh deliverered by squeaky Pollyanna.

Bloke opposite continue stuffing face with burger; I continue stuffing face with burger; and Scottish people continue ludicrous intellectual argument as though they in Roman forum.

‘The first edition will be very corrupt,’ say Squeaky. ‘It is a principle where transmission of text is subject to corruption’. She continue in this impenetrable vein for some while, packing in as many obscure words as humanely possible, whilst lambasting speccy bloke who attempt feeble parry. ‘You didn’t understand what I said,’ shoot Squeaky, demonstrating remarkable perspicuity as bloke try vainly to get himself off ropes. ‘It’s a theory with parallels of boundaries. It’s not finite, it’s not indeterminate…Let me finish my sentence!!!!’

Realise am witnessing Cultural Divide between Intellectuals and Burger Eaters.

Get out paper and pen and start to write tosh down as gold dust.

Bloke sitting opposite, stuffing face with burger, obv driven into aggressiveness by Squeaky but unable to tackle on intellectual grounds, transfers biliousness caused by avalanche of intellectual tripe affecting digestion by having go at bloke who try to open door to pass to next carriage, saying aggressively ‘Aren’t there enough seats?’

Other bloke say ‘yes, but I want to go further up train’, irrefutable argument even for intellectuals, adding with majestic sarkiness, ‘Enjoy the feast’ before shooting off.

‘I still think the beeeest thing wooould beeee’ continue Squeaky dragging out syllables like candyfloss being made at a fair.

Get off train at Clapham, catch bloke opposite’s eye. He grins. Have pulled, huzzah.

Get Woking train at Clapham. Sit down behind feral youths, like have read about in paper. Youths, one of who certainly about ten and definitely should be tucked up in bed with hot milk and teddy, scratching on window with knife. Youths have feet on seats and baseball caps and speaking in patois like they is from Hackney, only it seem they from Surbiton, larf.

Now like Goldilocks and Three Bears as conversation on first train too high and conversation on second train too low, if subject matter ‘Have You Ever Poo-ed Your Pants?’ anything to go by.

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