The Stylist Hobo

As I was on the way back from my business trip in Leeds last week, I missed the morning excitement of being able to pick up my free copy of Stylist magazine. After work I went to meet a friend in the West End, and on the Picadilly Line sat opposite me was a woman reading Stylist. I was most jealous. But then like all formidable genius(es…geniui? Someone call the Grammar Police for me quick) I began to formulate a cunning plan.

Many people read the freebie mags and newspapers then leave them behind, because they a) want to be kind and leave them for someone else to read, or b) and the more likely option, is that they just can’t be arsed to carry them. I was going all the way to Piccadilly Circus. If this woman would leave her Stylist behind, then I could grab it and all would be good again in the world.

I kept my eye on her as she remained engrossed in it. I willed her to abandon it, but she kept on reading. Which of course made me want it even more.

As we headed closer to the West End, the tube began to get full, and people had to move along to stand in the middle of the carriages.

As we left Green Park and headed towards Piccadilly Circus, I began to think that I would not get my copy of Stylist.

As Piccadilly Circus was announced as the next stop, and the train began to slow heading into the station, I stood to leave. As did the woman in front of me. I have to admit I got rather excited that I may get my prize after all.

As she stood, she turned and placed her Stylist on the back shelf of the carriage, behind the seats.

I prepared myself to make a lunge for it before I left the train. But it was too late.

A rather scruffy man with a hole in his tracky bottoms and his messenger back slung not across his chest but hanging halfway down his arms asked the woman for her copy of my beloved magazine. The woman, who was obviously surprised but didn’t want to deny this man his request, handed it over.

I left the carriage in a daze. I couldn’t believe the holy grail of magazines had been so close to my grasp. I felt defeated. The war was lost. But at least I had done my part for humanity. While I don’t have the best fashion or beauty sense in the world, the hobo guy did probably deserve that copy of Stylist more than me.

Thankfully, they were handing out copies of Stylist the following morning outside Ealing Broadway tube station. So I now have my copy. But I will always wonder what happened to The Stylist Hobo…

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