Why buses are better than soap operas
Got on the bus yesterday and sat at the front. A chap's on the phone to his mate, saying 'Hey, mate! Meet up tonight? Thing is, I haven't had a shower for days! Sorry about that! Ho ho ho.'
So I'm glad he was sitting at the back.
Then, a girl gets on the other day wearing under a very small T-shirt what I presumed was one of those push-up bras that convert your chest into a vegetable market display. Anyway, she had quite a deep cleavage, and on either side of it were a couple of matching tattoos. Were they initials of lovers? No. Were they dramatic pictures of lions or devils? No. Were they exotic Chinese characters? No.
They were large pawprints.
I really didn't want to know this about her. What kind of statement are these tattoos supposed to make? 'I have a cat which is five feet tall when standing on his back legs so his paws land just here?' or 'I have a lover with normal feet but paws on the ends of his arms but he keeps the claws retracted so it's OK?' or 'I asked the tattoo artist to pause a while and he misunderstood?' or 'I asked for a sealion but the tattooist was hard of hearing and I got a feline before I could stop him?' or 'I wasn't wearing the push-up when I got it done and they were much further apart then and didn't show under my T-shirt'.
Whatever the tattoos were saying, I didn't want to hear it.
Then, there've been several arguments between couples, on the bus with a four year old who is legging it up and down the aisles dangerously armed with a large icecream cone. The conversations go like this. All of them.
'NaTHAN. Stop running up and down. Kyle, will you stop him running up and down?'
(Yes, Kyle. Please do. On behalf of the whole travelling community, stop him.)
'Who me? I can't stop him. You stop him.'
(No, please don't go into the you stop him, no you stop him, he's your kid, no he's your kid thing.)
'NaTHAN. I said bloody stop running up and down. Why can't you stop him? He's your kid.'
'He's your kid too.'
(Now she's going to pass the buck on to the driver. And then she'll go onto the procreation debate.)
'NaTHAN. Do you want the driver to phone the police? Oh, just my kid, is he? So where were you when the egg and sperm met, then?'
(No, don't tell me. Don't tell me. Just comment on the comedy factor.)
'I suppose you think that's bloody funny.'
(Phew. That was a relief. Threats of throttling coming up.)
'NaTHAN. I'm gonna strangle you in a minute. Well, that's bloody typical of you, that is. There for the fun, don't want the responsibility.'
(Fun? With these two?)
'What do you mean, don't want responsibility? I took him to the park last year, didn't I?'
(Ah, a slight mismatch of expectations here. She'll go on to the I'm getting off routine now.)
'NaTHAN. Wipe the icecream off that lady. Well, if you don't sort him out, I'm getting off the bus right now.'
(He's going to be completely happy with that arrangement.)
'Bloody get off, then, for all I care, and walk.'
(Ah, he's called her bluff. Time for violent threats. And a discussion about genetics.)
'NaTHAN. Get down here or you'll get a slap round the head. He's only like this because he's the same as you.'
(And what's that supposed to mean?)
'And what's that supposed to mean?'
(You know bloody well what.)
'NaTHAN. Get down here, NOW. You know bloody well what.'
(Go on, tell us what. Now we're here, we might as well hear the whole story.)
'Isn't this our stop?'
'NaTHAN. We're getting off. Get down here, NOW. And, no, you can't ring the .... NaTHAN. Stop ringing the bloody bell.'
(Well, that's typical. Just as we've settled down and given up on our magazines/ipods/own conversations, you get off the bus. Some people.)