Sometimes, a good telling off will not eventually end up with smiles or friendship in the future and this is what I meet each morning on the train, the stony faced silence of people I have upbraided for bad behaviour in a public place.
Some have been subjects of my Essential Snobbery 101 blogs not only in the way I told them off for putting their fully shod feet on seats, but also for the way they responded and reacted to being told they were in the wrong.
The trains also have a way of bringing together a broad spectrum of society, from the well-groomed to the unsophisticated, all of whom one can find a means to engage and converse with, it is the downright dirty that leaves one literally weak and speechless.
Of the yuckiest sort
This morning, I sat across from such a person, as I was leafing through my issue of The Week magazine, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stick a finger in his nose, bring out a string of the yuckiest colour of mucus and deposit it in his mouth.
I can only wonder why I was destined to be a witness of this nauseating spectacle, but there was more to the problem that I had to resist the urge to look again. He had a sniffling running nose and nothing to with which to blow his nose, so he devised this means of rubbing his nose with sides of his forefinger and discreetly licking it off, like a cat grooming itself with its paw.
The only thing was, it was neither discreet nor surreptitious and it makes you wonder about where the age-old parenting and community moderation breeding fell off the rails. Things like covering your mouth when you cough or yawn, sneezing into a handkerchief and well, not picking your nose – at least not in public.
Some good old advice
I guess many do subconsciously pick their noses and do nasty unprintable things with the stuff, and I am not against people doing what they are wont to away from the public glare, as it will cause no revulsion in others who are unequipped for the ultimate reaction to the revolting, which is reaching for a sick bag and retching uncontrollably until emesis creates a total evacuation of food seen again after mastication.
It makes one suggest that every man and boy, just as the girls and the ladies do, must never leave home without a handy pack of tissues for the emergency of blowing their noses.
Much as this matter called for an intervention as I was quite ready to throw my pack of tissues onto the paper his was reading rather than politely offer him a sheet or two to blow his nose. It would have been almost too aggressive, but I cannot end up making so many enemies on the train just because I am being old-fashioned. The times have indeed changed. Good manners in public are too much of a rarity today.