OK, so here’s the problem: I’m sitting in the Quiet Zone of a Virgin Pendolino and a bloke who got on at Carlisle has been talking very loudly into his phone. So, knowing that, since this is Britain, no-one will say anything to him (opting instead for the well-worn and much-loved strategy of rolling one’s eyes and tutting barely audibly) I decide to walk over and have a friendly chat.
Me: “Excuse me, but you do know you’re in the Quiet Zone?”
Bloke with phone: “Yes, I read the sign.”
Me: “Okay… But that doesn’t really explain why you were on the phone, does it?”
Bloke with annoyed look on his face: “Point taken.”
Me: “Okay, then.”
So now I’m sitting here, nervously expecting him at any moment to make another call, just to send a signal that he won’t be told what to do by annoying Scotspersons. And what do I do then? Others in the carriage saw and heard me speak to him the first time; they’ll expect me to say something, won’t they?
I have a number of options if this happens:
1) Ignore him, thereby establishing beyond doubt that I am less than a man, worthy only of disdain. But then, I’m an MP, so I’m kind of used to that.
2) I could walk past his table, grab his phone, run through the train at full speed and try to flush it down the chemical toilet. This course of action could actually result in the first proper fight I’ve been in since 1975, not to mention the prospect of a large amount of media coverage round about the same time as my trial.
3) I could pretend I was only travelling as far as Preston and get out there.
4) I could shove a DVD into my laptop and plug in my earphones – then he could talk all he wants and I wouldn’t know or care.
Any other suggestions gratefully received.