Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Third Time Unlucky?

It's been almost six months since I posted a blog article. Traveling by public transportation uses up a lot of the free time I used to spend blogging. Also, I've been very busy, doing radio, TV, and my new day job. In any case, I wanted to share something with you, my lovely readers, for some time. I've finally taken the time to write about it.
The details are a little fuzzy, now, as this actually happened last spring. In my last two postings, I explained how I had helped total strangers. The first time was a beautiful, young woman. Then I helped an old lady, but as I got something out of it, cynics among you have cast doubt on that as an act of chivalry. It happened again, but this time, I helped a man.
I was on my way North, one Saturday morning, to do my radio show. I stopped at Egham Train station, to by a ticket to Victoria, since my season ticket didn't cover travel to London stations. Ahead of me, there was a muscular young man at the ticket window. He seemed to be having trouble communicating with the woman behind the glass. He was asking for directions to Victoria Station and I suddenly realized that he was speaking in an American accent. After a bit of hesitation, my impatience got the better of me and I interrupted them. "I can show you how to get to Victoria. That's where I'm going," I said.
The young man accepted my offer of assistance and, more to the point for me, got out of the way, so I could buy my ticket. The next train was due in minutes and I didn't want to miss it. After getting my ticket, I told the fellow to follow me, onto the next train. As I explained that he needed to change at Clapham Junction, he gave me an unsure look. "Just come with me, as I'm going that way," I instructed. It seemed the simplest way to solve his problem.
So, we ended up sitting together, on the train. He explained that he was a soldier, serving in Iraq, but was in the UK on leave, visiting some friends. Although I was interested in finding out about Iraq, he seemed reluctant to talk about it. I relented and we talked about what he'd seen on his vacation, so far. Once I had safely escorted him to Victoria, I showed him where to catch the coach he was looking for, then headed to my own.
Having now helped a man, so that it can't be excused away by my weakness for women, what does this signify? Am I getting soft as I get older? Was it just because he was American? Or, merely the result of me wanting to get him out of my way, at the ticket window? What will become of my reputation, now?

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