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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison


Welcome to this month’s newsletter from the Southampton and District Rail Users Mobile Telephone Abatement Society.

This edition contains a report from Mavis Treadbetter on her success at eliminating target twenty-seven from the eight thirty-two to Waterloo. This target made persistent calls on that journey until Mavis produced the Complete Works of Shakespeare from her bag and recited the Bard at similar volume. Her request to the target to speak more quietly on the phone as it was spoiling her rendition of the final act of Hamlet, appears to have been the decisive move.

An innovative approach is described this month by Timothy Western who feigned symptoms of a schizophrenic illness by replying aloud to imagined voices in his head. The use of his line ‘Yes Master Lucifer, I will disembowel all mobile phone users.’ was, surely, the stroke of genius which led to the departure of target forty-four from the twelve twenty-one to Basingstoke.

Hilary Prichard recounts excellent use of her experience in the Southampton Amateur Operatic Society. She writes of sitting near targets and singing short repetitious sections of popular classical tunes while endlessly rummaging in her handbag as if unsuccessfully seeking a mobile telephone.

Such individual victories have greatly progressed our Society towards its objective of ridding the rail network of individual mobile phone users. John Hodgson, however, reminds us of the need for other methods when several targets occupy the same carriage. His strategy on the nine thirty-eight to Winchester also afforded an excellent rehearsal opportunity for him and twenty fellow members of the Eastleigh Male Voice Choir.

Marjorie Hillier reminds us not to overlook our four-legged friends. Jasper and Rufus, her two rottweillers, frequently accompany her on journeys to the Capital. She writes of picking a seat opposite someone with a mobile phone and then saying: ‘Excuse me, I must warn you that the dogs go berserk whenever a mobile phone rings. If yours goes-off, I’ll do my best to hold them back so you can escape.’

A more direct approach is related by Jennifer Wright, an attractive young woman who approaches male targets and enquires in a pleading, but sensual, tone if she might use their phones. When the device is willingly proffered, she violently hammers it against any protuberance below knee height on the nearby seats. She then returns the mess of shattered plastic and circuitry to its owner, saying in a grateful and seductive tone ‘Thank you so much. I was so worried I might snag my tights on that.’

George Harris reports less success by a team wearing lead-lined coats, discreetly surrounding a target to block the signal. This was both exhausting for the team and resulted in the partial collapse of an ageing platform.

Finally in this month’s magazine we provide a sheet of stickers which read ‘SECURITY ALERT - PLEASE PLACE ALL MOBILE PHONES IN THIS CONTAINER. THEY WILL BE RETURNED AT YOUR DESTINATION’. Please affix these at you local station to as many bins as possible.