Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Bus hero no more (alas)

"What do I know, whom am I?
My two left feet my big dumb face.
I'd so the same if I had the chance; cheat the system, rig the race."
I awoke this morning with the discomfort of being absolutely freezing and waking up alone. I decided the only course of action to prevent myself from catching hypothermia was to fully submerge me body under the two duvets that were doing an especially poor job of keeping me warm. Sadly, this prevented me from hearing my alarm, and after clambering out of the duvet to breathe I heard the usual inane and unfunny rumblings of Chris Moyles and I knew I'd be pushing it to make it to work on time. I eventually mustered the will to get up, and a scolding hot shower eventually defrosted me.

I dashed about the flat like a loon determined to arrive at the office before 9.30 and rushed out in to the beautifully sunny and crisp Tuesday morning. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Teenage Fanclub kept my spirits up until I encountered the depressingly familiar sight of the Office clad walking away from the train station. One of the more friendly commuter types informed me that once again the trains were cancelled.

I looked at it pragmatically, as my MP3 despite having it set on the usually unreliable 'Random' selection was spitting out some great tunes. I'll just catch the 60, and if I'm lucky I'll make it to work before 10am I reasoned.

I caught the next available bus and sat near the front so I could feed my curiosity and pleasure at watching the bus driver waving to the other bus drivers. For the first 5 or so minutes I was in heaven. The MP3 random selections included The Fall's 'Groovin' with Mr. Blow/Green Eyed Loco Man' -Peel Session (which I played twice), Lift to Experience's 'These are the Days' (I skipped the 3 minutes of noise at the end though), and The Broken Family Band's 'Behind the Church'. It was turning into a good morning despite all the obvious set backs.

It wasn't long into the journey when some Scally lads got on the bus. This of course didn't bother me (why would it?) but about a minute after they had boarded the bus, the foul stench of cigarettes wafted its way towards me. I subtly looked around and could see that the smoke was coming from their direction. I thought about confronting them. I really did. Sadly I figured that this could be an unwise move. Usually my travels on public transport increase my blood pressure massively, and I have in the past shouted at conductors, staff, drivers and other passengers. However, after another dose of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci I was feeling at peace.

I looked around on the bus and it was mostly women with young children and a few elderly ladies and gentlemen. They gave me a look of "...well aren't you going to say something?". Shit I felt awkward. I stopped the music in my ears, and prepared myself for the oncoming barrage of abuse I would no doubt be inflicted to. Then, as luck would have it, an American (or possibly Canadian) woman boarded the bus. After paying the driver, she took a few steps-clocked the Scals and stormed up to the driver.

"Why are you letting them smoke on the bus!!?" she demanded.

I could see the driver looking in his rearview mirror in their direction.

"Come on, no smoking on the bus please" he said timidly. No doubt the vast amount of times he's been spat at and physically abused by little fuckers like these had taught him to turn a blind eye. I immediately felt a wave of sympathy for the driver. The woman was made of sterner stuff however.

She barked at them:

"What's the point in me showering and putting on perfume if as soon as I get on the bus I stink like an ashtray!! I don't mind you smoking but please not on the bus, its not fair!"

This was very noble and brave, and had her American accent not sounded so whiney I would have given her a slow respectful clap.

The little fuckers reply was not what I'd come to expect.

"Were not smoking" was their pathetic response.

"I can see you, please, just have some consideration for the other passengers who don't want to stink of smoke"

She took her seat and looked at them with scorn.

Moments later the smoke had stopped.

'Shit' I thought; it worked! Why didn't I do that? I slumped back into my chair and put my MP3 back on. I had no right to refer to myself as a 'Bus Hero' as I had done since my altercation with a bus driver in town on the Friday before Christmas last. I was patted on the back by and applause from other commuters then. Granted I'd had a few pints in town prior to this, thus accelerating my bravery. I just won't tell any of the 50-60 people that I'd regaled that story to, about my recent act of cowardice.

Thank fuck my MP3 continued it's fine selections and I slowly began to cheer up.

I did, though see a rare treat in the 'bus drivers waving to each other' department. The driver, whilst maneuvering around the t Queen's Drive/Walton Church round-a-bout, proceed to flick the 'Vs' in a violent manner in the direction of another bus. I caught his face in the rear view mirror creased with juvenile pleasure.

BINGO! I thought.
I would have made it to work before 10am as I'd hoped, but chose to walk a longer way to listen to 'Blood of a Young Wolf' by Buck 65 a few more times with a sloppy grin on my face, eyes squinting from the bright sunshine. After all I’m sure they’ll be able to cope without me, after all the instructions about how to change the toner is etched onto the printer/fax and photocopier. I’m sure they’ll survive.

Oh, the Jade Goody debacle continues. Obviously humility isn't one of her strong points http://uk.news.yahoo.com/23012007/140/jade-goody-thugs-attacked-home.html

Buck 65- Blood of a Young Wolf
The Broken Family Band -Behind the Church
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci- This Summer's been good from the start
The Fall- Grooving with Mr. Blow/ Green Eyed Loco Man (Peel Sesh)
Lift to Experience- These Are the Days

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