I was reading my newspaper at the bus stop, which is never an ideal situation. To make matters worse, I was forced to do it standing, because the seat was wet. There was only one thing which could have made the situation even worse: a talking man. Wait, that’s a lie, there were two things, the second being a strong wind.
As a mighty breeze blew the pages of the newspaper in fifty different directions, an old man had been carried into the bus stop.

He spoke. I’m not sure what he said, but I was sure it was something to do the rain. Somehow my brain has evolved to censor out any words connected with the weather. It saves me from the terrifying mind-numbing boredom at bus stops, but sadly my sister’s name is Gail, and I couldn’t tell you a single thing that’s happened to her in the last five years.

“That’s disgusting, isn’t it?” he said, pointing at the front page of the paper. Today’s main news story was about how the CEOs of the major banks were still getting millions of pounds in bonuses, despite the economic crisis.

“I have no opinion on that.” I told him. Realising that all hope of reading my paper in peace was gone; I folded it up and placed it under my arm. Sadly the headline on the back page was still visible: Scolari Sacked.

“It’s ridiculous. He’s only been there six months.” the man said “They’re not even out of the title race.”

“I have no opinion on that.” I replied. All roads were now leading into an unavoidable conversation.

“Heard about Jade Goody? She’s not the greatest woman who ever lived, but how can people be so cruel about her now? Do you..”

“I’m afraid I must stop you right there. I have no opinions on anything you could possibly say.”



“Israel? Iraq? Come on, you must have some opinions about one of them.”

“I don’t. I don’t have any opinions.”

“But why?”

“Having an opinion is just one step away from having a wrong one. I’m playing it safe. Imagine feeling very passionate about something, only to find out that you’re completely wrong. No thanks.” I could see that I had pushed a button inside him. His face was turning red.

“That’s the problem with young people today! You don’t care, you just don’t care! No wonder the country’s going down the pan.” He waved his umbrella at me and walked off. “No opinions…” he mumbled to himself. “Did my father die in the war just so…” I couldn’t hear what he said next, because the bus had arrived. I got on and smiled to myself. Of course I have opinions. I just like winding people up.

Andrew, London.

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