6.30am Bedroom window. Mr Groat, respectable retired architect, slinks down the road looking furtively from side to side, 10 paces in advance of his great dane, Attila. At some point Attila will stop and deposit enough faeces to cover a manhole - right in front of someone's gate.
Options: 1. Run out. Confront Groat and threaten to bring my children round to do likewise unto the pavement outside Dunbuildin. Problem: by the time I get dressed and have wrestled with the Chubb, he'll be safely indoors. That's why he does it at dawn. 2. Tap loudly on window and make outraged and disgusted faces at him. Problem: none, but alas he is already out of earshot. 3. Put anonymous typed note through his door expressing disgust and reminding him of pounds 20 penalty. Problem: being caught posting it by Mr or Mrs Groat (or, more likely, by Attila). Nevertheless, heart be bold. I'll do it tonight.
7.20am Hall. Local freesheet pushed halfway through letterbox by idle delivery boy. When on holiday, with milk and newspapers safely cancelled, this practice is an invitation to local burglars, effectively saying "house unattended - start here".
Option: wait by door until next delivery. Open it suddenly and express views forcibly to surprised cretin. Problem: paper can be delivered any time between 6am and midday. And often not at all. Therefore impractical.
7.48am Newsagent. Next train leaves very soon. Need change for the ticket machine, which I'll obtain by buying a copy of New York Review of Books. But man in front with fag decides it is a good time to purchase lottery tickets and select the numbers.
Options: 1. Push in front, saying: "Excuse me, but I'm in a hurry. You'll lose anyway." Problem: He is Glaswegian, wearing hobnail boots and may be disproportionately offended. 2. When he has left, mutter to Asian woman behind counter that I am a regular customer and may well now miss my train, lose my job and be unable to patronise her establishment in future. Teach her a lesson. Problem: none. That told her.
7.52am Escalators. Two Japanese tourists standing side by side, admiring such early morning sights as maddened commuters trying to get to work. No dilemmas here - push straight between them, deploying elbows and epithets to good effect. They are small, confused foreigners, more likely to apologise than fight back.
8.00am Tube station. Adopt clearstrategy. Train will stop just here. Doors will therefore be just here. Optimum position for being first topush way into packed carriage is thus just here. Stand two feet from edge of platform, in readiness for dash. Young woman with vacant look, nose-ring, unpleasant, coarse hair and copy of The Prophet comes and stands directly in front, jeopardising entire operation.
Options: 1. Utter crazy giggle and push her on to rails. Problem: murder charge, plus upset to her innocent family. 2. Push in front of her and teeter on brink. Problem: Risk of being hit by train. 3. Give back of her head dirty look, swear under breath. Problem: Solves nothing. Do it anyway.
8.06am On train. Immensely big man attempting to read Daily Telegraph folds page into my face. Youth behind listening to dysfunctional Walkman, with earphones apparently facing outwards. Nose-ring's Prophet boring hole in my shoulder.
Options: 1. Retaliate by sliding hand down to pocket and pulling New York Review Of Books, holding it six inches before eyes, while loudly humming "Nessun Dorma". Problem: Can't even get hand into pocket. Can't quite remember Nessun Dorma. 2. Break wind. Problem: As revenge, good. As solution, poor unless you are prepared to admit authorship, in which case a space will somehow be cleared. Other problem: Youth has just beaten me to it. 3. Use sharp end of briefcase spitefully to give small, painful jabs at the shins of over-intrusive neighbours. Essential to avoid all eye contact. Problem: Unlikely to help, rather demeaning, evil. Go for it.
8.45 am onwards Office. Smile at receptionist, flirt with female colleagues, flatter boss, tell jokes to subordinates, ooze charm, sharpen briefcase for return journey.
Miles Kington is on holiday.Reuse content