The other day I got thrown off the bus. Never happened to me before; but the bus driver threatened to call the police unless I got off the bus. I hadn't done anything wrong I tell you. But let you be the judge of that.
Before I relate what happened let me ask you a personal question. Be honest now. How do you read?
You're sitting there, or here, or anywhere really; I can't tell where you're sitting. Some of you may be standing perhaps. So, you're there wherever you are and you're reading this on your monitor. How are you reading it?
You see ... when I read something I read it as I was taught at school. I run my finger over every word and read it out loud.
There I was on the bus reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
I started the first paragraph pointing at each word, and reading loudly, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife ..."
The other passengers looked at me and at first said nothing. I continued reading, "My dear Mr Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
“But it is,” returned she; “for Mrs Long has just been here and she told me about it.”
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
A man sitting opposite me said, "Can't you read quietly mate? I'm trying to read my newspaper!"
I said politely, "Sorry to have disturbed you. But I often see people on this very bus and on the train speaking loudly on their cell-phones. No one ever tells them to quieten down. What am I doing that is so different?"
At this point the bus driver stopped the bus and asked me to get off. No discussion. No argument or debate. Just get off. Which I did.
Anyway, I was sitting in my garden this evening looking at nothing in particular and ruminating about my bus episode when I noticed a moth flying backwards and forwards towards the light.
"What is the point of moths? I thought. What do they do and how do we benefit from their existence? They enter our homes and can eat our clothes if we're not careful.
Do you know how to get rid of moths in your homes? Lavender bags. You need to have bags filled with dried lavender flowers. You pick the bag and hit the moths with it. Very effective.
The problem is that you'll have a house full of old people. Why is it that old people like lavender so much?
I used to have a grand-mother that always smelled of lavender. You could smell her from a mile away. My other grand-mother smelled of pot-pourri. You could tell which grand-mother was visiting us ten minutes before they arrived.
My grand-father smelled of moth balls. As a child I often wondered whether moths had balls!
My other grand-father always smelled of liquor. He always had a saying for every occasion. He used to say, "Always fight fire with fire!" He lost his job in the fire brigade.
I didn't like my grand-parents because of their smells; although I could tell who was who in the dark.
I tried to confess my sin of not liking them. At church we had a wooden confessional. The priest sat in the middle and we knelt on either side and told him our sins through a small window.
I told the priest that I don't like my grand-parents' smells.
He told me to keep my voice down because my grand-mother was sitting on the other side of him. He did not tell me which grand-mother it was.
I could not smell her because the priest was smoking his pipe at the time. Either that or he was getting ready to say Mass. Why do Catholics burn insects in church? What kind of insects do they burn? Do you think it is moths?
Anyway ... as I was saying ... how do you read? Do you run your finger on the monitor and read loudly?
If not, you should try it in a public place like a bus, or coffee shop. It's good fun and it annoys other people.