When the time is right, I love Pearl Jam. Like right now, as I (horror of horrors) flick through the Daily Mail, sipping Young's Special, over a lovely quiet lunch break. I dislike the Daily Mail, or as Rod Liddle recently put it, that 'sulphurous organ of Satan', but it is the pub's free paper and there is nothing superior available. Note, by superior I don't mean the Guardian or the Independent.
I'm distracted by a guy at the bar, ordering what appears to be his third "Lager and lemonade with ice". I'd always thought that only a Des (designated driver) would drink that, but this guy certainly wasn't a Des. Two other guys come in and order Fosters. Come on. Who would drink Fosters with such a fine array of Young's? What kind of person...
Everyone loves a free paper. The other day I was skimming through one of the free papers on the train, acutely aware that the guy across the aisle was reading it over my shoulder and eagerly anticipating the moment when I had finished with it. This is clearly against train protocol, which states that "the personal space of a paper holder should be respected at all times, even if the paper in question is a free paper". I was done with the paper pretty quick (most of it is trashy celebrity gossip - why would I want to read about rich socialites messing up their lives and frittering away their time?), and when my antagonist was looking out the window the other way I subtly slid the paper onto the table by my window. You know, about as far away from him as possible.
Cruel? Perhaps. In hindsight it sounds like some sort of psychological experiment. But it was an innocent impulse, an application of natural justice if you like. Before I'm attacked for my cruelty by some Guardian readers, let me just say that normally I offer the free paper to the person next to me. In fact, if he had asked if he could have it when I had finished I would have obliged with the gentleness of a lamb. But after reading over my shoulder and circling like a vulture he deserved it.
My subtle movement was spotted immediately. "Can I have it?!", he blurted, loudly and to the whole carriage. He then scrambled across, before snatching the paper off the table. I felt terrible.
Right now, Pearl Jam, Beer and the Daily Mail are the perfect combination. Last night I ate a fabulous steak, and today I got a piece of software running 90% faster. The thought crosses my mind that had those two been combined that would have been an even better combination.
A helping hand, ca. 1910s
3 hours ago