"Who's upset you this time Alan?"

"I don't fink enuff people realise how clever Einstein's ideas are actually, really. I mean it's just so amazing how good his mind was. Like E=MC2 that just changed everything right, see," says the bloke opposite me to a woman who has just been talking about Shakespeare to him. She explained to him that she likes Shakespeare because she's an actress and as part of her job she researches the era in which he lived whenever she does one of his plays. Apparently, much to my irritation, she incorrectly thought he lived in Victorian times. I think they were sort of chatting each other up but her love of Shakespeare has really put his nose out of joint so now he's explaining why he likes Einstien and why that's better than "all that art farty stuff right?".

"The thing is right, it's like, what it means is, it's like, if you were to smoke loads of cigarettes right ...?"

He's revealing to her and everyone else on the train that he knows nothing about Einstein's famous equation. I don't either but I'm confident I know more than him. I'm also one hundred percent sure that it didn't involve an experiement where an aeroplane went at "exactly the speed of light and when the people got off right, they were all older because of that, so it's like time travel is possible but only slightly."

I don't know why his ignorance is annoying me so much. I'm fighting the urge to say "it's got something to do with energy being equal to light and motion, that's what it's about you idiot, it's not a fair comparison with Shakespeare because you've misunderstood the word 'genius'".

"The thing is though, he doesn't really get as much credit for his ideas," he says and she finishes off his sentence with "well, Shakespeare's more relatable I guess".

"And, about time travel, Shakespeare predicted that in one of his plays," she announces. "It's like this quote about how time changes but stays the same".

Fortunately the woman's stop has arrived and she's off.

How old do you imagine these two were?

I'd say they looked like they were touching 40 at least!

NM

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