The 16.49 from Platform 2 is a local train that calls at endless small towns and villages as it meanders its way to Worcester. As such it is the train of choice for the countless blazer-clad schoolboys who crowd the waiting room every evening. Last night a tight cluster were discussing their history class, talking about those whose lives were lost fighting for their country in WW2. Two lads agreed that you wouldn’t catch them joining the forces! The third said he thought the threat of conscription and fear of being thought cowardly might sway him to sign up before he was forced to – at least that way he’d be making a choice, He said he admired anyone brave enough to fight for the status quo, and finished up saying:
“Come on, though – props where props is due!”
“Props??” his friend taunted. “Seriously, man, props?? At least say kudos!”
At this the third lad screwed up his nose in distaste. “No – cookies! That’s what they say now.”
Finally in agreement on this the first lad said to the others, “Okay, then. Cookies to them.” And I swear if they’d had pints in hand they’d have clinked, or hats, they’d have tipped them. I shared a smile with the woman sitting in front of them who was clearly as delighted by the entire exchange as I was!