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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Twenty-first Century Fairy Tales 

We all remember the tooth fairy, the mythical creature that would take the discarded teeth left under our pillows and replace them with money.

I'd like to postulate some modern ones.

There is the Tangle Fairy, the creature responsible for creeping into your pocket and tying up your iPod headphone cables. It also, in its spare time, mangles the Christmas Tree lights every year just before you bring them down from the loft.

The Tangle Fairy is related to the Shoelace Pixie, who untie shoelaces as you are walking and then tighten the knots so that they are impossible to undo.

The Glasses Grease Goblin who takes perfectly clean pairs of glasses stored in a case and smears them so badly that you come to wear them you might as well not bother.

Anyone think of others?

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sorry but … er … 

Occasionally, when my train arrives late at Charing Cross there is an apology given over the tannoy. There is usually some reason given even if it is just the standard “train operating difficulties” which means that the train is broken.

I’ve noticed that for the past few times the announcer gets so far through the message before pausing:

“We’d like to apologise to passengers who have just arrived on platform 6 for the late running of this service. This is due to …”

Then we have the tiniest of pauses. It’s small but noticeable.

“… train operating difficulties.”

“… a trackside fire at Hither Green.”

“… congestion in the London Bridge area.”

“… a passenger being taken ill on an earlier train.”

The pause is probably due to the announcer (and it is a real person, I can tell) rattling off the first part without even thinking and then having to look up the reason for the delay but to us passengers it does sound like he is making it up as he goes along.

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