"What's your story?" the interviewer asks the man on the street.

"What's that?" he asks, "I'm afraid I don't--"

"This isn't an interrogation," she says, bunching the scarf up against her ivory neck, checking the camera in a sideways glance.

"I was going to ask you that exactly," he says, trying to coax a smile from her by varying the tone of his words, dropping into a lower (honied) register for the lingering ex-act-ly, "Interrogation or interview?"

"And now it is unnecessary," she smiles. It is her own smile, not the one he meant to coax from her.

"Wouldn't you say," she asks, "that the two questions differ in kind, that is 'what's your story?' has the sound of interrogation while "what is your story?" has that of interview? Could anyone imagine that a simple elision, a slipped vowel, would make such a difference? Might not one suppose on this account that civility itself depends upon what we are inclined to vocalise?"

"Which question shall I answer?" he asks.

"Oh don't be difficult. You aren't some celebrity," she replies rather sternly, already tired of him.

Realistic if not rigorous in this early warmth, after going down to the staging area this morning witnessed the first green fingers of daffodils pushing through compacted brown leaves.