It’s a wet, miserable Tuesday morning. You’ve arrived at Clapham Junction with 30 seconds to get the 0824. You don’t bother and go to the other end of the station to catch the 0835. The train is cancelled due to a security alert. You wait for the 0905.
The platform is very busy but to sheer luck the train arrives and the doors line up with your exact position. You board train and get a seat! Hurrah!
Train is very busy. People are left on the platform. You notice a woman stood next to you. Her belly looks slightly big. You cautiously attempt to look at her face just to make sure she’s not just well built. She could be pregnant. It could just be the way she’s standing due to her grabbing on to the rail. You’re just not sure.
You face the eternal dilemma. Is she or isn’t she? Do you ask and mortally offend her because she’s not actually pregnant? DO you not ask and look like some rude, selfish, ignorant git because she is. What if she has issues due to her weight?
Now her hand is on her stomach! It could be a baby kicking! Mind you it could just be she had a dodgy curry last night. ARGH! You’re in a dilemma here.
You risk mortally offending. You ask, "Sorry, but are you pregnant"
No. She’s not.
You apologise profusely. Is she mortally offended? Well there seems to be a bemused look on her face but that could just be a façade. She could be secretly seething inside. Making a mental note of my face so that she can avoid coming near me ever again.
Later you notice that it was just the coat and the stance caused by being on an overcrowded train. You try to read your book, distracted by thoughts that say that those Baby On Board badges aren’t such a bad idea after all.