Scipio and the New Atheism

The New Oxonian

Mathilde‘s opens at 10 on Sundays, so Scipio and I usually meet at 9:55 sharp so that we can watch people scurrying to the service at First Church.  Scipio enjoys this much more than I do. Today a mother with two over-polished kids in tow pushed past us without saying excuse me.

Then she turned.  “What did you say?,” she said.

“Nothing,”  Scipio said, with that perfect little way he has of meaning something when he doesn’t mean it.  He looked at me slyly. “I didn’t say anything.  But you might have said ‘Excuse me’.”

“Actually,” she said, “I’m English. We normally say ‘sorry’ and slog on. So, sorry”

“I hear it now,” Scipio said. He did hear it because he tries hard to sound British, a habit he picked up from having attended a summer school session at the University of Leeds.

“So, sorry,” she said again, casting a faint…

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