The Bizzle

"Saving your ass since 1999"

The pigeon has landed: introducing the Kilroy Scale

Tom Kilroy blogged recently about how lawyers working on the train may be committing serious breaches of confidentiality. For the his pains, he has been called, on the Roll On Friday discussion board and elsewhere, “a prig”, “an utter nob”, “a pompous arse”, and “a keeno teedfest” (this last from a partner at the prestigious firm of Beiber and Bieber, apparently). 

Now, I’m completely with Tom on this, if only because the constant tippy-tapping of laptop keyboards and self-important BB yapping irritates me almost to the point of homicide. But it is clear that a more nuanced approach is required to head off accusations of over-reaction and priggishness. 

I have therefore gathered together a team of the finest intellects in the country (myself, Mrs Bizzle, and the cat) to consider this vexed question. After a week of hard thought and intense debate, we are delighted to present the Kilroy Scale.

The Kilroy Scale measures train-based confidentiality incidents in ten levels of increasing seriousness. In an attempt to attach a spurious topicality to our work, the units of measurement will be Letwins.

The Kilroy Scale

Letwins (Lw)

Indicative Behaviour


Droning on about our Linda’s hairdressing course in Coventry, and how Gerald hasn’t been the same since his vasectomy. A 1Lw conversation probably indicates the presence of civilians on your train.




Discussing the sexual proclivities of the new trainee intake, with liberal use of the word “totty”. And no, you are not “in there”,


Filling out job applications on a laptop that has your firm’s logo as wallpaper, breaking off occasionally to have loud mobile conversations with your wife/mistress/golf partner about how your last interview went.


Working on papers that, while strictly speaking confidential, are so dull as to send anybody reading them over your shoulder into a deep slumber within seconds. A 5Lw incident usually indicates an accountant or company secretary.


Reviewing top secret deal papers with code names like Pigeon and Guacamole. If you don’t understand what they refer to, neither will anyone else.


Working on a presentation that says PROPOSED RESTRUCTURE in 24 points at the top of every slide, next to your client’s logo. Your guilty look when someone marked for redundancy gets on the train isn’t helping, you know.


Loudly discussing your negotiation strategy with your team, oblivious to the lawyer from the other side sitting in the seat behind you, stifling his giggles.


Neatly laying out the documents for your IPO/takeover/other huge price-affecting deal on the table in front of you, all the better to be able to find the right information for your strategy conference call. And isn’t mobile reception on the train awful? You had to keep repeating youself, and even then you had to virtually shout to be heard.


Leaving an unencrypted laptop containing defence secrets on your seat when you get off at Godalming.

It is hoped that the categorisation of train-based confidentiality incidents in this manner will help ROF commenters, and perhaps some adults as well, to determine whether someone who objects to a such behaviour is “a teed” or a righteous avenger. In this way, we might perhaps reduce the anger that some feel at Tom’s vicious attack on the traditional rituals and customs of their tribe.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, a man from the Daily Mail is on the line wanting a pseudo-scientific quote for their cover story on the Kilroy Scale.

10 responses to “The pigeon has landed: introducing the Kilroy Scale

  1. PrincessofVP October 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    This made me hoot with laughter. I shall grade my fellow commuters with this henceforth.

  2. Bhamiltonbruce October 23, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Inspired. That is all.

  3. David Standard October 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Ta – printed and on wall.

  4. The Defence Brief October 24, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Lv10 is VERY misleading!! You make it sound like Godalmind is awash with unencrypted top secret laptops. I was in Godalming for a friend’s wedding last week and I only found a couple of laptops with top secret information on them.

  5. Mark Stamps (@MarkStamps) October 24, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Oh this is so very good. I have been the software equivalent of the giggler in Lv8 on a number of occasions 🙂

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  8. Mark Anderson March 7, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Reblogged this on IP Draughts and commented:
    Breaching client confidentiality on a train: a scale of 1 to 10

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