A talk with a man in a rumpled grey suit which looked slightly too big for him

A comb

A comb

I went to the Leicester Square Theatre last night to see a very good Burns Night comedy show.

Though it was not Burns night.

Before the show, comedian Simon Munnery got out a tape measure and, unseen by most of the audience, was very carefully noting in a book the dimensions of a seat towards the very back of the auditorium. When he performed his act on stage, he never referred to this.

I texted him after his performance: Why were you measuring the seats before the show?

Aye; ah have ma reasons, he texted back.

Afterwards, I was on a train back home to Borehamwood.

At Mill Hill Broadway station, a middle-aged man got into the carriage and sat opposite me. I had to get off at Elstree station, the next stop.

“I know you, don’t I?” he said.

“I don’t think so,” I told him.

I think I may have a common face. Occasionally I get mistaken for other people. Though never for Brad Pitt or Justin Bieber.

“It was about twenty years ago,” the man persisted.

I have a terrible memory for names but a good memory for faces.

He talked a lot about the rain. He tried telling me the names of various people we might know in common but nothing specific about companies or towns we might have met in. Mostly, he talked a lot about Margaret Thatcher (he was not a fan) and the television programmes he watched when he was a child growing up in St Albans. It was a monologue rather than a conversation. Then he talked about the rain again.

We reached Elstree station. I got up to leave.

“We’ve never met,” he told me.

“I didn’t think so,” I said.

“I just wanted someone to talk to,” he said, smiling slightly.

I went home.

He stayed on the train.

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