Lady Bracknell has a brush with the criminal underworld
Her ladyship's rail journey back from Manchester to Liverpool was, in the main, uneventful. She was, however, intrigued by the fact that the lady who brought round the refreshments trolley was American. This lady explained to a neighbouring passenger that she had started work at 8 of the clock this morning and was therefore now very tired and prone to making errors. Lady Bracknell was much charmed by her admission that, when she is really tired, she starts charging passengers in dollars and cents rather than in pounds and pence. Her ladyship would have welcomed the opportunity to speak to this charming lady at length, as it is not every day that one encounters an American member of staff on our British railways. Unfortunately, the train was a lengthy one, the American lady had many other passengers to see to, and the opportunity did not present itself.
When the train arrived at Lime Street Station, there was what appeared to Lady Bracknell to be a quite unconscionable delay before the doors could be opened. But when egress was finally permitted, the cause of the delay was immediately apparent. Several police officers, accompanied by what Lady Bracknell believes is known as "back up" from liveried members of the transport police, were in the process of detaining and cautioning three young persons who had travelled on the train. The young persons were of a most sullen cast of feature and of a slovenly appearance: indeed, they amply demonstrated Lady Bracknell's theory that the shell suit flatters nobody, regardless of gender, age or figure.
Lady Bracknell was naturally curious as to what crime had been committed, but is too well-bred to importune one of the station staff and demand details. She therefore continued to walk up the platform, and was quickly overtaken by her fellow passengers.
Before long, however, she realised that the refreshments trolley was being pushed along behind her. The charming American lady whom she had encountered at the commencement of her journey then called out a compliment in relation to her ladyship's handsome blue walking stick. She opined that, were she ever to need a mobility aid herself, she would choose just such a stick. Lady Bracknell thanked the American lady, and explained that she purchases her sticks on the Internet, and that they are sent to her from Florida by Steve The Stick Man. At which point the American lady was pleased to have the opportunity to disclose the fact that she herself grew up in Florida.
A friendship thus having been established, Lady Bracknell felt it would now be appropriate to ask about the three sullen young persons and their brush with the law. She regrets to report, however, that the charming American lady knew nothing beyond the fact that they had been irritating the passengers in the carriage in which they travelled by playing loud mobile phone ring tones. As this, despite its being quite exceptionally discourteous and annoying, is not yet classified as a crime, the mystery remains.
The next time Lady Bracknell travels by train, she will endeavour to choose the carriage which contains criminals so that her own curiosity, and that of her readers, can be satisfied.