Friday, 22 October 2010


**This happened a few weeks ago.  I jotted it down on my iPhone and just got around to getting it off the iPhone.

I heard a familiar clicking sound. It sounded like a toenail clipper. But I'm on the commuter train, that can't be.
It is.
There diagonal from me across the aisle a man is clipping his fingernails.  A pile of nail clippings accumulating on the floor. 
Let that sink in.  He wasn't trying to hide it and no one else seemed to notice, or else were doing a great job avoiding it.  I was in shock.  How disgusting!!  I know that there is a weird exception to the public/private divide on trains and the tube.  Somehow people see it as a transition between being at home and being in the public eye and conduct all sorts of business that is usually saved for more private spaces.  Make-up application, arranging very personal appointments, and uncomfortable child-rearing are just a few examples.  But this seemed to push the line a little too far.  

On my return journey at the end of the day, there he is again. 

I sat down at a table and as I settled in realised it was the same guy.  Directly across from me.  I didn't know what to do.  It would have been a bit awkward for me to then get up and move.  And then it became more awkward.  He recognized me.  He comments on the seating arrangement so similar to this morning. I smile and mumble something about commuting. I can't help but sneak a look at his nails. I'm surprised by the neat job he made of it this morning.

If he starts untying his shoes I'm making an emergency exit!!!

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