Monday, 12 June 2000
The business compartment of the first class is an oasis of tranquility in the busy rush hour. A sign reminds the careless train commuter: "Silence, business compartment". From Utrecht onwards it's packed. Even the business compartment is quite full. 3 out of 6 seats are occupied. My two fellow commuters sit back and relax with some light reading.

I myself silenty jubilate. Earlier that day, in OHRA ( headquarters, I finalized a very succesful Java project with a flawless product demo. My gentlemen's disguise is on the clothpeg. The tie is unbound. My mind hosts a neural party. It goes unnoticed for outsiders. Of course I wish to respect the etiquette in the business compartment.

The tranquility cruelly gets demolished. How unpleasant indeed! A woman, disguised as lady, worms herself in, and takes the window seat, two chairs away from me. "Isn't it terrible!" she suddenly cackles. "Such a rush. This morning I even had to stand up. Well, let me tell you that's a kind of expensive hobby, standing up with a first class ticket." She gets very little response. My fellow commuters dive more deeply into their books. I see my joyful mood drop with some 200 percentiles. "Is this noise really necessary?" I wonder silently. "Would this chick, be better off indeed in an environment more suitable for cattle transport, instead of her current seat?"

Highly annoyed by the lack of attention, the chick starts digging into her handbag. O my goodness, (, a mobile phone emerges. What's worse: she is going to use it too.

The business compartment loses it's serene tranquility. With a sunken heart I'm forced to hear half of a conversation that had better remained private. Relational problems, a run-a-way boyfriend with car, financial trouble, I'm exposed to each and every full detail. In despair I grab some paperwork and try to focus my mind on it. That's a tough job. The chick-chat fortunately seizes. She finishes with "I'll give my husband a call".

"This is as far as it will go" I think, still silenty and open the door to the isle. Meanwhile madame starts keying in the next phone number. I tap her gently and ask her to phone outside the compartment. "I've opened the door for you" I add, and point at the silence sign.

The chick is about to lose her head. She starts screaming "Good grief, as if I'm screaming the whole compartment apart". Well, I think to myself "Skip the as if". The other passengers lower their books. "I would prefer to sit somewhere else too, you know" she continues. And I think to myself "Yes, wouldn't that be great, if you go and sit somewhere else?". But, I just keep it to the short "the door is open".

Sulking she puts the phone back into her handbag, and promises "Well. I won't annoy you any further". I happily accept this gesture, and the silence returns, albeit in a tense atmosphere.

The silence is brief. The chick needs attention, one way or the other. She starts rustling in her papers, and tears them up, one by one, and stuffs them into the waste-paper basket, as loud as possible.

It's fine with me. We're approaching Gouda Central Station. I put away my paperwork, get my jacket and coat and prepare myself for departure. At the threshold I'm tempted to fill the compartment with a stinking gass. Preferably with a loud, cracking anal volley. O, what joy I would have from a heavy brown mist, that she'll have to endure till her final destination.

Instead of this wicked plan, I turn my back to the chick, and silently leave the henhouse. After all, I'm disguised as a gentleman.

Till next week!

    With special thanks to
  • for the computer emergency facilities.
  • Sir M. Scager for the language lessons.