When I got onto the train the old lady was yakking. She had cornered the ticket inspector and was subjecting him to the most deadly form of torture known to man. Verbiage. Arguably I am subjecting you to that now, but never mind.
The poor chap was supposed to be walking down the train checking tickets. Instead, the old lady had him in a death grip, and out of her mouth came a relentless barrage of yak. She wasn't angry at him, she wasn't really angry at anyone, she was just spilling out a continual stream verbiage at an astonishing rate and intensity. For twenty minutes she continued. The poor inspector had the look of a man that is caught in the death grip of a merciless old lady and longs for only one thing, a quiet beer down his local.
The facts are simple. On Tuesday there was a suicide on the railway in London. On Wednesday there were two more. On both days the South-East ground to a halt. You can hardly blame the train companies, what were they supposed to do, pretend it didn't happen and plough over the corpse?
The old lady was caught in one of those infinite mental loops. Who committed suicide? Why? Why did it disrupt the trains? Who committed suicide? Why? What about CCTV? Who committed...
You know the type. Some people just get stuck in a loop. Their brain fuses and the result is an unbreakable grind of destructive proportions. She was able to keep speaking without even the slightest pause for breath (just like this woman). The only way to escape such loops is to run. If there had been a herd of donkeys nearby all their legs would have dropped off (just the hind ones of course).
Every commuter in the carriage was rolling their eyes. I swear I saw several disembodied eyeballs cruise down the aisle. I swear. Some were waiting to buy tickets. Commuters, not the eyeballs.
Twenty minutes later, at my destination, the old lady was still looping, wherever you looked eyeballs were escaping, it was like a jailbreak in a zombie movie. In one bold movie the ticket inspector broke free.
"I'll love you and leave you," he said, and literally ran away. The old lady alighted on the platform, and as I walked away I saw her corner the nearest member of station staff and the verbiage continued.
A Little Girl Feeding Some Baby Crocodiles, 1932
4 hours ago