MOD­ERN STEREO­TYPES

The last-train peo­ple

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

Tim and Jenny have been to see a play in the West End. A rare ex­pe­di­tion that re­quired ex­haus­tive tim­ing in or­der to catch the last train home. Jenny did not want to be like Aunt Bunty, who con­fi­dently be­lieved Godot ar­rived af­ter she’d had to leg it to Water­loo sta­tion.

So here they are, squished on the 23.15 with the chipcrunch­ing, beer-slurp­ing, mo­bile-chat­ting last-train­ers. Tim, al­ways a stick­ler for look­ing on the bright side, says they were lucky to get a seat. Jenny is wor­ry­ing whether the dog-sit­ter re­mem­bered to give Tig­ger his pills. On the way up (the 16.42, as they wanted to have a bite be­fore the show), she’d ag­o­nised about whether she’d left the iron on. Re­ally, pa­tro­n­is­ing the arts is hard work. And no one had told them that the male parts in the play were all go­ing to be per­formed by women.

Jenny sup­poses that it is a mercy no one dresses up for the the­atre any more, so she was able to wear comfy shoes. Who knew if they might have had to run for the last train, not to men­tion the in­ter­minable walk­ing re­quired to change Tube lines. The price of taxis is al­most more than the the­atre tick­ets and since Uber has not reached Lower Chip­ping they do not have the app. And the traf­fic in Lon­don these days! They’d cer­tainly have missed the train and the joy of sit­ting in a fug of burger smell. Jenny couldn’t do this on her own, she’d ac­tu­ally clung to Tim’s hand as they’d been pro­pelled along the plat­form by a tide of hu­man­ity.

As crisp pack­ets waft along the aisle, they both feel the quiet des­per­a­tion of be­ing out of the swim. No longer Lon­don­ers, no longer blind to the noise and the peo­ple. Parochial, which they had sworn never to be­come, long­ing to re­turn to the bu­colic cer­tain­ties of a cold house and blocked gut­ters.

As the rigours of the jour­ney fade, Tim and Jenny will tell ev­ery­one, with the su­pe­ri­or­ity of the cul­tured, that the play was mar­vel­lous.

Tim, al­ways look­ing on the bright side, says they were lucky to get a seat

ic­ing, or you will have a messy fin­ish.) Al­low the ic­ing to dry out com­pletely. Store the short­breads in an air­tight con­tainer for up to one week.

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