There's an advertisement for a dating website on the London Underground at the moment that reads as follows: "Wouldn't it be great if you knew that everyone in this carriage was single?" The most accurate and succinct answer to this question can be found on a Northern Line train where someone has written underneath in capital letters: "IT'D BE SHITE."
Just imagine. Men strutting up and down the carriage like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, smiling like a game-show host going into an ad break. Women unable to stop playing with their hair. And a load of single people of both sexes praying for the next stop so they can rush for the relative safety of the escalator. Yeah, it'd be shite.
This misapprehension that single people are desperate to be outed in public so they can quickly pair off, rush to the nearest secluded spot and begin breeding is also evident on a website called mysingleworld.com. It promotes the idea of singletons wearing special "MY" wristbands in order to be easily identifiable to merciless predators, and I'm doing my best not to draw a tasteless parallel with Nazi Germany at this point.
The loved-up couple who misguidedly dreamt up this dystopian nightmare are called Rina and Rob; according to the website, they met and fell in love in Lanzarote, and you know what, they did so without the aid of wristbands. They assert that "identifiable singles are more attractive", but that's not true. They're just easier to spot. Like antelopes with neon targets painted on their backsides.
If I'm going to be charitable, I suppose Rina and Rob are trying to do a nice thing – you know, take the supposed stigma out of being single – but they don't seem to have thought it through. The wristbands come in a range of shades including blue, pink, orange, turquoise, red and black, thus ensuring that from approximately 10 yards away a single person toting a "MY" wristband will be indistinguishable from someone who's on their way back from a great weekend at Bivlington Folk Festival, or someone who's trying to raise awareness of type-2 diabetes.
If being visibly single is your aim, you'd be better off wearing a T-shirt saying "Sufficiently Open to Offers to Wear a T-Shirt Stating as Much", which I'm selling from my website at the bargain price of £15 plus postage and packaging.