Wednesday, 19 May 2010

On a Good Deed and a Half Century

Firstly, it would appear that Monday's post was my 50th so I'd like to take this opportunity to say thanks to everyone who has stopped by, followed my blog or commented on my posts. THANKS! A lot of my posts are complete drivel, so I do appreciate the effort you've put it in to sitting through them. Fifty(one) blog posts...not bad for a technophobe! :)

And on to the good deed mentioned in the title, which will surely be a disappointment. It's only worth mentioning because it's so rare that I actually go out of my way to perform one. I'm not a horrible person, but I usually worry that my interference isn't necessary won't be appreciated, and while I'm dithering about that somebody else usually steps up and steals the glory.

So - picture the scene, if you will. TbR is on the tube reading Wolf Hall. It's boiling hot. The man sitting next to me is an American fellow (which I cunningly deduce from his accent - I'm that clever. He's also wearing shorts, which most natives haven't dusted off yet). He chats merrily away to his friends about how funny it is that we have a politician with the surname Balls. Erm...Bush, anyone? Together they'd make quite the rude-sounded team.

The tube empties at Tower Hill. I'm behind him and his friends all the way up the stairs and out into Trinity Square. All three of them break into a run, frolicking about in the sun like carefree children at a panic. As the man skips along his travel card falls out of his pocket. He doesn't notice. But TbR, of the eagle eye, does notice. TbR doesn't miss a thing.

My first effort at attracting their attention is a rather pathetic "Excuse me!" It doesn't work. The happy Americans continue their fun game. Now I'm standing in the street, the man's travel card in my hand thinking, "What do I do now?! I knew I shouldn't have picked it up. If I can't give it back, is it theft? Am I committing a crime? Oh God..."

The next thing I know, I'm running. They're too far ahead, I'll never catch up. I shout. This time though, I inadvertently slip into my natural accent and end up sounding like a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins [have you ever noticed how ridiculous your own accent sounds when you talk to someone with a different one?]. The polite 'excuse me' is gone, replaced with a still polite but not quite so posh "SCUSE ME MATE...YOU'VE DROPPED YER OYSTER!" One of the girls in his group hears my cry, and turns round. Bless you, I think, bless you for sparing me from a life behind bars.

And, what's more, she looks and sounds genuinely grateful when I explain why I'm chasing her down the road. I'm not sure how I would have reacted if I'd been in her position; turning to see a madman wailing like a banshee with an oystercard in one hand and a bulky hardback in the other. The man to whom the card belonged was still galloping around somewhere in the distance, but I'm confident that the two were travelling in the same group, so I consider my good deed done.

What this essay amounts to then, is this; today someone dropped his travel card. I picked it up and returned it to him. See, I told you it would be disappointing.


  1. Damn! I was indeed disappointed. LOL

    Actually, it was awesome. And I can imagine your accent when you said, "SCUSE ME MATE... YOU'VE DROPPED YER OYSTER!" Pretty cool.

    Oh, kudos on your 50 blog posts. I would never think of you as technophobe considering I've only posted 36 posts. You're waaaay better. Dang!

  2. Congrats on the 50 posts!

    And I have to admit, the moment you said "Mary Poppins" I pictured you as a Dick van Dyke character with a boater hat and a striped jacket shouting at a group of Americans. But good on you for following them. I wonder if somewhere out there in the blogosphere there is the Americans version of this story...

  3. Congrats on your 50 posts!

    That was so nice of you! It would have better if i could hear say "scuse me mate...". I have this crush with British accent.

  4. Congratulations on #50!

    Also, that train of 'why did I pick this damn thing up and why can't I just keep it?' thought? I do the exact same thing.

    I hope someone hands me my Oyster card back if I drop it.

  5. Good on you! It might be because I'm not British, but the chimney sweeper's accent in Mary Poppins is fantastic - you should be glad to talk like that:) Also, congrats on your 50th post! I'm at 40:)