The “science of deduction” – setting aside it is actually inductive reasoning – doesn’t work does it. If you see a man with no fingers wearing a party hat, muttering the word “Revenge” over and over while trying to read a well thumbed (or well stumped) copy of “The brief History of Time” that doesn’t automatically mean they were severed trying to give Stephen Hawkings (and his chair) the bumps at his 70th Birthday party. Extrapolating from one observation an entire house of cards is all well and good for entertainment but in the real world we should probably just ask.
So what can be “deduced” from the couple sitting in front of me on the train this morning. Although coming from different socio-economic backgrounds they are in love, have a healthy relationship and are recently married, childless, aspirational middle class, diligent, thrifty, city workers, in a single television household, They’ve been arguing over the second episode of last night’s Sherlock. His recommendation that she would “love it” was sadly off the mark and she is still angry with him that she didn’t get to see who went from Dancing on Ice. Which he detests.
*Huge intake of breath*
The wedding rings are new and although similar are noticeably of different metals, hers is platinum and his is white gold indicating that money was a concern during their wedding and savings had to be made. Their office attire and the destination of the train mean they’re city workers. The time of departure preclude children under 5 and the old style Porsche car keys visible in her open handbag preclude children over 5. The tiny tremors in his hand coupled with the fact that he keeps glancing at her and my coffee indicate that he has recently given up caffeine (probably as a new year’s resolution), the fact that she has bought a coffee and removed the lid to free the aroma is suggestive that she is aware of how hard it is for him but she feels the need to get back at him for something. We know it must be hard for him because why else would you give up caffeine unless you drank too much. His tie is Hermes (expensive) but askew, that his wife has chosen not to mention this to him reinforces the fact that she feels the need to seek petty revenges for a perceived slur. His purchase of a broadsheet and inability to fold it correctly are suggestive of aspirational middle-class (plus he immediately turned to the TV pages). The plastic coated copy of Kim Newman’s “Moriarty” indicates that he is a library user (therefore a big reader) and a fan of Sherlock Holmes, the book’s newly out and to have it this quickly rather suggests he is organised and thrifty. Any fan of Holmes would’ve watched and been excited by last week’s episode and keen to impress upon his wife the quality of the programme to the point where, in a single television household, he would’ve pushed the point further than usual to ensure he got her to watch episode two. If they’d had a second television this wouldn’t have been a problem. Given the huge dip in quality she was deeply unimpressed with the Hound of Baskerville and resentful of the opportunity cost i.e. Dancing on Ice. We know she wanted to watch this because she is a woman. We know he detests this because he is a man. The ensuing argument and subsequent body language indicate that although they love each other (they are still sitting next to each other) they both still harbour feelings of resentment (they are not talking or looking at each other and the arm rest is down) following the argument which inevitably will not last. A quick argument followed by a period of sulking then the inevitable reconciliation in a bedroom without a television equals healthy relationship.