I was on the train from Limerick to Dublin last night and found myself distracted from my book by the conversation of four young men opposite.
Boy no.l: I am well-pleased with my skipping.
Boy no.2: You’re in the gym all the time alright.
Boy no.4: Diet is very important too.
No. 1: Absolutely, I ballooned in second year because I ate take away all year.
No. 2: I make a mean omelette actually.
No. 3: What do you put in it?
No. 2: I fry up onions… [insert your own description of how to make an omelette here].
[Is it all the images of male supermodels pressuring these young men to worry about their appearance?]
No. 1: UCC girls are really pretty. But they really know it.
No. 4: They don’t look after themselves like us though, they kind of let themselves go.
No. 3: Yeah, they’re all a bit over-weight. When do you ever see them in the gym?
No. 1: Trinity girls are well fit though. Of course they’re stuck up and all English.
No. 2: UCD girls are beautiful. And they are really natural and down to earth.
[Can I point out here that I was a UCC girl?]
No. 3: Have you ever seen Blood Diamonds?
No. 3: You have to see it, it’s one of the ten best films I’ve ever seen. It’s set in Sierra Leone.
No. 1 : Where is Sierra Leone?
No. 3 : In West Africa.
[Go Leonardo Di Caprio]
No. 3: I went to look at a flat and it had an outside toilet.
No. 1: No way, I don’t believe it.
No. 3: Really, I couldn’t stop laughing, it was like something out of the 1980s.
[As someone who lived through the 1980s, I longed to reassure them that despite all our problems, we did have indoor plumbing.]
I’m practising to be the next Maeve Binchy.