Bus Snack

‘She has an assured style and a wonderful insight into the separated lady’s lot…I couldn’t put it down. I literally read it from cover to cover.’ Muriel Bolger, ‘No Jacket Required’ RTE RADIO ONE
Re. ‘Ordinary Miracles’.

On a crowded bus some time ago I sat beside a smartly-dressed middle-aged woman who was eating a big bag of popcorn.. Devouring it actually. She was shoving her hands right into the bottom of the bag and munching and crunching with the zeal of a ten year old. It had that slightly addictive shop bought snack smell about it…cheese flavoured perhaps…but not in the way cheese really smells. I almost felt like asking if I could have some too but by then she had consumed the lot and was holding up the bag to check if any stray morsels were left in it.

I felt rather delighted by her unselfconsciousness and the way she appeared to be acting completely out of character. When we see someone we do tend to form opinions about them according to their appearance. She seemed to be on to something. If she could eat popcorn like that she might be the woman on the package tour who didn’t go to the museum but flirted with waiters at a palm-fringed cafe….who could belt out ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ at a karaoke session…who could up and leave some worthy event because she’d decided there was something she’d prefer to watch on the telly.

As a novelist I enjoy such musings. Perhaps she wasn’t like that at all, but she did have a passion for the small pungent pleasures of popcorn and she didn’t care who knew it. Yes, she was growing older with panache.

Happy St. Valentine’s Day!



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