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First Previous Next Last Contents Intro
Rail travellers
The Parent

Like everyone else, the Parent is simply trying to cope with the intrusion by others into normal personal territorial space. This, as we know, means no talking loudly, no eye contact, and definitely no talking about other passengers. Young children, of course, are blissfully oblivious to all these rules. The Parent squirms, as the child shouts "Mummy/Daddy, why has that man got big ears?". This is unbearable. The poor man has to pretend he didn't hear, and the Parent says something in hushed voice, which everybody hears, but nobody, especially the child, understands. "What?" cries the child. "Shup" snaps the Parent, slightly louder. "But why has that man...", "SHUT UP" the Parent screams, having now lost all hope of dealing with the situation dignity intact.