A telling off from Miss Marple

I’d cycled slowly through the pedestrianised area of the business park, where lots of people cycle even though you’re not supposed to.  It’s a glorious morning, a quietly woozy Foo Fighters song plays in my ears while a handful of people mill about.  I’m happy to come to a complete halt to give way to pedestrians.  My cycle pace isn’t much quicker than walking, I’m not busting a bollock to get to the gym.

When I finally get there and prop my cycle against the last vacant stand, I notice a lady approaching the same stand with her cycle, and move out of the way so she can easily park her’s on the other side.  She says something to me I can’t make out through a louder Foo Fighters song.  I smile and nod, looking up from fixing my lock, thinking she’s commenting about the beautiful morning, or thanking me for moving out of the way.  Then I surrender to politeness and extract an earphone.

“Did you hear what I said?” she asks, in a well to do accent.

“No, I’m sorry,” I confess.

“I said if you’d used the road and not cycled through the pedestrian zone, you’d have got here just as quickly.  I was just behind you entering the business park and now look, we’ve arrived at the same time.”

“Oh right, you were telling me off.  Well, you must just be extremely clever,” I replied, clicking my cycle lock together.

 Then I walked on into the gym, hearing her prim voice yapping behind me, “no, I’m just obeying the rules!”

I appeared as if I didn’t care in the least, but in truth it wrankled with me for some time afterwards.  Speed wasn’t my intention.  It was just a more interesting cycle through there.  A nice morning for dawdling.  Admiring impressive looking, purposeful office workers.

While pondering the exchange further in the gym, I was reminded of Malcolm Tucker, the ferociously brilliant Director of Communications and pastiche of Alastair Campbell in the recent political film, In The Loop.  How would he have reacted?  

A booming, “Oh fuck off back to your knitting and your Daily Mail, Miss fucking Marple!”  Together with an aggressive bulbous-eyed glare in her face.

And how would she have reacted to that?  The idea of actually behaving like that in the real world briefly made me giggle.


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