Yesterday on the train I saw a remarkable scene unfold. A young man across the aisle was juggling two Apple Macbook computers, balancing one on his knees while simultaneously using the other one on the fold-out tray.
That in itself wasn’t so unusual. After all, we live in a high-tech world. Two computers at once seems, somehow, par for the course. It’s what happened next that I found surprising.
At some point he closed the computer on his lap, tucked it under the open one on the tray, and took an orange out of his bag. He then proceeded to peel the orange upon the gleaming white surface of the Macbook, eating said fruit piece by piece, while placing the bits of discarded peel on his computer, next to the trackpad.
Now, at this point I must confess that I am very particular about my little Macbook Air. Food doesn’t go near it — in fact, nothing goes anywhere near its keyboard but my fingers. So I was quite taken aback by this forward-thinking young man’s repurposing of his high-tech instrument as a snack tray.
When the man was done, he then proceeded to take out a second orange and go through the identical procedure, forming another pile on the other side of his trackpad. Now his Macbook was supporting two piles of discarded orange peel. I was horrified, yet I could not look away.
Thus things remained for quite a while. Eventually, the young man was ready to leave. He cleared the twin mounds of orange peels off his computer keyboard, closed the computer, placed both computers in his bag, and was gone.
And I was left to ponder the amazing differences between people. Here was a man doing something without hesitation (and probably without any thought) that I could never have brought myself to do. People are so different!
Like apples and oranges.