I like listening to other people's conversations on the tube, especially if they're being really angry or emphatic. So yesterday I knew I'd hit gold when two arguing scenester kids (with stupid fringes and massive Nike trainers) holding skateboards boarded my carriage mid-argument. It soon became clear that they were arguing about who sang lead vocals on various Clash songs, if one said Mick Jones, the other said Joe Strummer and so on. Not actually that interesting, really. Until I realised that they were talking about Joe Strummer in the present tense. And continued to do so for quite some time.
- Holy Moly, thought I, They think Joe Strummer is still alive
This led to a moral dilemma. Should I, could I, be the one to break it to them that the artist they were arguing so passionately over died of congenital heart failure more than five years ago? I decided to give it a few minutes, generously thinking that perhaps they did know, and were just shit grammartarians.
But then one of them said 'Right, well when we go and see Joe Strummer next time he tours you'll EAT YOUR WORDS'.
Oh to be seventeen, stupid and blissfully unaware of the harsh realities of rock 'n' roll. I didn't have time to tell them after that bombhell, as they got off at Paddington and I was left wondering how, or if, they would ever find out. I'm banking on Wikipedia.