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Earlier on today, I found myself in quite the uncomfortable situation. It all started so well too. I was first on the train, ready with my ticket and video on my phone. I was set. Then, as the train began to fill, I became the ass-hole who divided the family of four. Yes, I could live with that. However, when the kid is 6 and a little more ‘honest’, he proceeds to remind you that you should, in fact, feel terrible.

As my headphones were tightly maintained in my ears, I pretended to not hear the comments of “if people weren’t so selfish, we could all sit together” and not see the family struggle to pass their rice cakes down the carriage to one another. I couldn’t move now: the child was too young for the cruel life lesson of how not to be a twat. But I still thought to myself “James, it isn’t your fault. This train only has four seaters and you were first on the train.”

Then he takes the roasting that one step further, with “daddy, why does everyone ignore each other with headphones now?” The very reason I had put the headphones on was now tearing me down by criticising that I’d put on my headphones, backing up his argument with the issue of humanity being divided by machine. For doing very little, I now felt an ignorant family-separating bastard! At this point, I played the video to spare me of this personality destruction. For the next 20 minutes, I could see the boy continue to stare at me, frowning. Occasionally making a remark to his dad, to which they’d both would observe me like a martian put in a zoo enclosure.

This reckless mortification didn’t seem to have an end. However, as the guard came along, I got my own back. He walked passed, the dad showed three tickets, with one for the other boy across the carriage. However, I never had to get my ticket out as he mistook me, the antisocial shit-bag enemy to their family unity, as one their own and he moved on. Oh, the shame they must have felt – for someone such as I to have been associated with their pure rice-cake eating ranks.. Justice restored.

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