Why I should learn to behave on buses
No one else was eating feta-stuffed olives out of a jar with their fingers.
No one else had oil dripping from their digits because they hadn't realised the olives would be in grease and not saline. No one else had covered their iPod in oily fingerprints because they'd been listening to the radio while trying to eat olives on a bus. No one else had dripped oil onto their clothing in a way that cheap washing powder wasn't going to be able to deal with. No one else was so greedy that they couldn't wait until they got home to start gorging themselves.
No. Everyone else was behaving nobly and morally, thinking of others. One lady had her disabled daughter in a wheelchair and was holding her hand so that the bus noises didn't scare her. A couple boarded the bus and sat talking in hushed tones, huddling close together. A young man got on, sat behind me, and turned DOWN his iPod. Four girls dressed up for a night out queued for their tickets, left the front seats clear for older people, went to the back of the bus and sat chatting quietly.
And I, a respectable local teacher, and a pillar of the community, was on the bus, my iPod turned up really loud because I couldn't turn it down due to my hands being as slick as a beach after a tanker spill, and taking up two seats even though the bus was busy, because I was trying to balance a jar filled to the brim with oil and olives and couldn't move along because I had to keep it horizontal to prevent an oil tsunami from starting up.
It will be a long time before I can point a (greasy} fingers at anyone else misbehaving on public transport ....
On the same note, I told my class of seventeen year olds today that I would never, ever walk across someone's else front lawn in the summer. However, when it was white with deep and virgin snow, I didn't think twice about leaping across it like Captain Cook and being the first to make pioneering footprints. There was a silence. 'Am I the only one?' I joked, thinking someone would say, 'No, I'd do that, too.
There was more silence.