See, I have been thinking more about this idea of people being annoying on trains – thinking about it, mainly, because I continue to be plagued with them. On my way into work yesterday morning (yes, it was Saturday, boooo), for example: A lady whose normal light-conversation-voice was the same voice that the rest of us reserve for impassioned arguments with soon to be ex-spouses, and next to me, a priest with alarmingly pungent body odour.
So I concerned myself, as usual, with my new Brilliant Idea.
When I lived in Scotland a few years ago, there was a column called I Saw You. People who had seen someone else (you see? thats where they got the name from) that they found attractive would put a note in a little box in various places in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and their note might appear in the next weeks edition
You were wearing a green jumper and were on the no.86 bus, I smiled at you, and you blinked. Drink sometime?
Me: glasses and a shaved head. You: the gorgeous barman who served me till I fell off the stool. Ring me?
In the last few months, I have taken to picking up one of the London free sheets, which also offers this kind of service to its readers.
You brighten my commute every morning with your lovely brown hair. Im your Central Line admirer. Give me a sign
And generally, theyre so vague that you wonder if any of them do any good, or if everyone just assumes theyre NOT about them, and life carries on unchanged, or everyone assumes it IS about them, and the commuters of old London town start looking at everyone with a mixture of lust and suspicion. Which, now I think about it, covers the way half of them look at each other anyway.
Whatever. Its all very sweet and terribly romantic and a beautiful reminder of the fact that every train carriage is packed with individuals with a need to love and be loved, and the instinct to reach out and make meaningful human contact with those around them and blah blah blah yawn.
See, my Brilliant New Idea has sprung from this beautiful well of humanity, but diverted via the twittered train annoyances I was telling you about last week.
Its based on the I Saw You concept, but is called – and heres where the idea grubbles off down a branch line – I Hate You.
Or perhaps more mildly and accurately: You Irritate Me
So its a way of making contact with those people you see every day, but instead of contacting them in the hope of sex, or marriage or something, youre instead contacting them with the intention of perhaps trying to get them to shut up. Or, you know, just making them aware that there are other people in the world and that being courteous to their needs is like, in a way, caring for your own little corner of society.
You: On the 9.41 from London Bridge to Croydon shovelling a really smelly McDonalds into your mouth like an angry moonpig. Please slow down. Youll give yourself indigestion. Or CHOKE And DIE.
No.30 Bus, Tuesday. You: were shouting into your phone about how utterly hilarious your crazy debauched drinking weekend was. I: was sniggering behind my newspaper. So was everyone else. No, Not with you.
I think it is a genius idea. As well as giving people an easy way to vent their frustrations with humanity, it also – in the hope that their intended recipient read it – may provide a useful public service.
You: on the 915am from Wokingham, wearing a red jumper, carrying a gym bag, and clearly had forgotten your deodorant. I: was sitting five seats away gagging. Woo-EEE, Mister.
You: were on the 8.46 from Haywards Heath biting your nails. I: found a nail fragment stuck in the folds of my skirt just after you got off. Seriously. Euw.
So heres my plan: a website, which people can submit to by text or IM or web or whatever, and whose content can then be syndicated by local newspapers depending on location of the postee, and I can make several billion pounds for thinking of the worlds best idea ever and never ever have to get on any kind of commuter vehicle ever again.
You: gorgeous, tanned, smug, listening to your iPod on the central line, tea time Tuesday. I: could hear every note of the Celine Dion Greatest Hits you were listening to. Classy.
And, of course, making the world a nicer and more societally-aware place.