On my way back from the South Coast, a girl called Charlotte interrupted my train journey. I know she was called Charlotte because I heard her shout it into her mobile phone several times. Instead of relaxing into my seat and watching the sun pass below the horizon in a glorious burst of pink light as the shadows of dusk fell across the Sussex countryside, I had to listen to Charlotte. There was no escape from her ridiculously loud and inane chatter. No escape from her braying into her phone.
I wanted to say something to her, but was asked not to on the grounds it would embarrass my travelling companion and I had a yellow-coloured face. (The logic being that an angry man with an apparently jaundiced look would not be effective against a more-money-than-manners loudmouth).
However, when she shouted her mobile phone number three times whilst making an 8:45 dinner booking at a restaurant called Tarot, an idea did occur to me. It also appeared to occur to another passenger who like me was typing Charlotte’s number into his Blackberry. About an hour after I got off the train I sent Charlotte a text message. It read: 'Hi Charlotte. My what a loudmouth you are! Don’t bother going out. I have cancelled your booking at Tarot.'
Of course, I had not cancelled her dinner reservation, I just wanted to give her a shock to possibly make her rethink the wisdom of loudly giving out personal details on a crowded train and having no sense of personal volume control. I have felt a little guilty about doing this since and it is probably a sign I am a deeply unpleasant curmudgeon, but I could not promise I would not do it again.