Friday, December 29, 2006

Festive lessons

My last day at work before the Christmas holidays was 21st December. As I boarded the bus to travel to work I entered mid-way through a conversation. A guy in a slick suit, greased back hair and shiny tie was shouting to the guy next to him:

"What time? Nine o'clock? Shit, I thought it was seven o'clock. Shit, I'm late for a meeting! I'm so gonna be fired. Shit, shit, shit, bollocks!"

I felt kind of sorry for the guy, I mean, he looked quite important, with a briefcase and everything - I mean who the hell carries one of those anymore? That is until he shouted out to all the passengers wagging his finger menacingly at us:

"Let this be a lesson to you kids. Don't take so many drugs at Christmas! I mean it! Otherwise you'll end up like me. I thought it was seven, but it's actually nine. Seven, nine, seven, nine, bollocks! (Sigh) Oh fuck it, it's Christmas - who's got some fags?!"

What a whacko....hope he wasn't a doctor.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Parenting, the Daily Mail way

So yesterday, I got on the 149 and a mother was on with her toddler son. He was screaming and shouting and being a bit of a handful - usual toddler behaviour. But to tell him off, the mother had a classic line:

"Nathan, if you don't shut up I'll feed you to the Arabs!"

I kid you not.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pets should not have human names

Yesterday on the bus, a guy got on with his menacing looking dog - I'm not great on dog breeds but it looked like a staffordshire bull terrier to me. His dog was on a lead but it was going a bit mental, trying to jump on the person next to him on the bus.

To reprimand the dog, the owner barked: "Pack it in Dave!"

What? Dave? Is it just me, or is that a totally unacceptable name for a pet?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tonight Matthew, I'm going to be...Boy George

I was sat on the back row of the 149 with the seat immediately next to me empty and the one next to that occupied by this black guy. And before you throw you hands up about why I've described him as black, it's integral to the story, all right? To make this story easier to explain, I'm going to call him "Tone Deaf".

Anyway, so we stop at a bus stop in Shoreditch. Lots of people with a-symmetric haircuts get on and so does another black guy with this ENORMOUS bag. I'm going to call him "Mos Def" purely because it rhymes and therefore pleases my musical sensibilities. He decides to sit in the empty seat between us, much to the disgust of Tone Deaf, who tuts rather loudly and rolls his eyes. Big mistake.

Mos Def: "You got a problem blud?"
Tone Deaf: Silence
Mos Def: "I said, have you got a problem? Something seems to be displeasing you, right? Why are you so pissed, man?"
Tone Deaf:"Your bag is in the way".
I'm thinking, oh no. Don't answer back - he's about three times as big as you and could very easily kick the shit out of you without breaking a sweat.
Mos Def: "My bag? Look, I can put my bag wherever I want to put my bag, whether you like it or not. You get me?"
Tone Deaf: Silence
Mos Def in raised voice: "I said, do you get me?!"

OK, so by this stage I'm thinking, there is going to be a big showdown right next to me and I want to get the hell off this bus.

Tone Deaf squeaks: "Yes, I get you."
Mos Def: "Anyway man, we shouldn't be arguing. We should be on the same side. We are like brothers innit. We are the same - you and me. We got issues. Listen, we can be brothers. Sing with me. 'I shot the sheriff...'"

What're singing?!

Mos Def: "Come on bruv, sing me the next line. 'I shot the sheriff..."
Tone Deaf in mouse-like voice: "' didn't shoot the deputy....'?"
Mos Def: "That's right man. I like it. Do you know this one? 'Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon. You come and you go, you come and you goooo-ohhh."

The whole bus is in hysterics at this mad bloke singing at the top of his voice except one guy sitting in front of me who is not so happy. He's dressed in full Nigerian traditional dress and turns round and tuts.

Nigerian: "You have it wrong. There is no second 'you'." And he too begins to sing. "It goes, 'You come and go, you come and gooo-oh!'" (To be fair, this dude could really hold a note).
Mos Def: "Oh right, I never knew that. Thanks man. Come on everyone, sing it with me."

Stifled giggling from everyone.

Mos Def in menacing voice: "I said, SING IT WITH ME!"

Jesus, the back of the bus was terrified. What could we do? We had no choice and I was sat next to the guy. Before I knew it, we were all doing our best Boy George impressions so as not to get our heads kicked in. "Karma karma, karma, karma , karma, gold and green...."

I have never wanted London Bridge station to arrive so fast in my life....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Freesheets

I was on the 149 the other day - funny that. Anyway, there were two teenage boys sitting in the seats beside me - they looked about 16, maybe 17 tops. One boy was reading a copy of thelondonpaper and says to his mate:

"Why's it called "thelondonpaper", then?", to which his friend replied: "It's cos of the London bombings innit."
"Oh yeah" says the first kid.

I'm sorry, what? Am I missing something here? How exactly does that response correspond to the question? My only explanation is that I mis-heard the question. Perhaps the first boy asked: "Why is the cohesion between the Muslim community and the rest of British society increasingly the cause of much debate particularly in our country's media?"
Or indeed, "Why has Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Racial Equality , or CRE for short, suggested that the term multiculturalism is now defunct?"

To which the friend replied: "It's cos of the London bombings innit."

Somehow, I don't think I mis-heard. If anyone can explain this bizarre response, I'd be ever so glad to know... thanks.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


This event actually happened whilst waiting for the 149, which counts right? Oh who cares, it's my blog so I make the decisions.

Autumn is in the air, (well, kinda, because it's the end of September and yesterday Bedford hit 29 degrees - that is climate change in action man, and the most publicity Bedford is ever going to get). Anyway, there I was, at the bus stop minding my own business with two girls waiting in front of me and a guy behind. As the autumnal wind blew through my hair, I pulled up my collar and thought: "Where's that bleedin' bus?"

Just then I felt something hard and spiky hit me on the back of my head. "What the fuck?" I thought as I spun round to glare at the guy behind me who giggled into his hands. A conker wrapped in its green, menacing, touch me and I'll do some serious damage, shell, rolled into the road after bouncing off my cranium.

"Hey!" I yelled at the laughing man thinking the vindictive little shit (a grown man by the way) had launched a missile at me for no reason whatsoever.

"It weren't me, honest" he squeaked in a school-boy fashion, pointing up at the tree hanging over us.

"Oh, shit, sorry. Right, yeah, the tree," I mumbled. feeling guilty that I'd accused this poor guy of being worthy of an asbo, whilst also thinking that perhaps I had anger management issues. But, man, conkers sure hurt. Watch out, they're nasty little mo fo's.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


People who leave their crap on the bus should have their oysters confiscated and their hands cut off (oh wait, must remember, Rikki Lake is always right "Violence is never the answer")

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Why he doesn't fancy you

I was traveling home the other night - it was late and I had just cleaned up in a game of poker. As I was thinking about what to spend my winnings on, I overheard two girls, probably in their early twenties discussing their evening.

"I should never have gone tonight. I knew that party would be crap", says the blonde girl. "I just don't get it - why didn't he talk to me, eh Vick?"

"Maybe he was just a bit busy darlin'," says her friend, "there were loads of people there."

"But he could've just said hello. I mean, it aint hard saying hello is it? Oh..." Cue tears and melodramatic wailing.

"Come on Nat, don't cry. He's not worth it."

"But why don't he fancy me Vick? I don't get it. Aren't I good enough? He doesn't even look at me - why don't he fancy me?"

"I dunno Nat, but it probably didn't help when you threw up on him darlin'."

What? You puked on him?! Hello, no wonder he didn't fancy you darlin!

"Yeah, you're probably right" says the blonde girl, as she tries to stifle her sobbing.

Yes, your friend is probably right.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

What a picture

Yesterday was a grey and wet day in London and waiting for the bus in the rain left a heaviness in my heart. To add to my dismay, along came the 67 before the 149. What to do? I love the 149 but I hate the rain. So, with a sigh, I decided to board the 67 and get home as fast as I could. Wearily, I climbed the stairs in the hope that the driving seat would be empty and help raise my spirits. Alas, no. I took my seat about half way along the bus when lo an behold, I spied an odd looking pair in front of me. "Surely not?!" I thought. But here is the evidence (see above). It was Gilbert and George in trademark tweed. I had heard a rumour that the couple make a regular trip to a kebab shop in Dalston but thought that it was artistic bullshit. But no - the pair got off the bus at said kebab shop stop and disappeared into the Dalston gloom. And to think I would have missed it if I'd waited for my beloved 149. I went home smiling, inspite of the rain.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mr Lover Lover

I'm going to deviate slightly on this one and recount a story aboard the number 243 - a similar route but crucially a double decker (no, not the chocolate bar that never quite took off).

I was sitting upstairs in the driving seat (you know, the one up front in the right hand corner that lifts your heart when it's empty), when the crackle of the microphone disturbed my reading of The History of Love (by Nicole -writes suspiciously like Jonathan Safran Foer slash husband coincidence? - Krauss).

"We're not stopping at the next stop - the next bus stop is not in use", informed the driver.

"That was helpful of him" I thought, but sadly for him, the driver forgot to switch his microphone off. Ah, I suspect you see, where this one's going....

"Come and talk to me" says the driver, "What you do for the money?"


"Oh, so you're a clever lady. I like clever ladies."

Pause. Sniggers from fellow top deckers.

"So why is a pretty little thing like yourself traveling alone? "

Outright laughing from girl sitting next to me.

"I don't believe it. Today must be my lucky day! So tell me where you'e going and I'll drop you anywhere you like sweetheart..."

And then I guess he must have realised about the mic since the last thing we heard him say was "Bugger" before a thud and the abrupt end to our performance.

I'd bet you a one-day travelcard that he got her number - what a smooth operator.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

"Read it before you die!"

So last Friday, I was on my way home on, minding my own business reading Londonstani by Gautam Mulkani. It was late because I had been at a colleague's leaving do. The bus was pretty rammed as usual and stank of the alcohol seeping out of drunk people's sweating pores. So there I was, sitting down, and reading, when a pissed girl in front of me grabbed my book to see what I was reading.
"Whass 'at then?" she slurred.
I held it up so she could get a better view.
"Whassit about?"
"Well, it's about disillusioned Asian youth in...." but before I could finish my sentence she blurted out: "Norwegian Wood!"
"I'm sorry?" I asked, now aware of several fellow passengers' eyes on us.
"Norwegian Wood! It's AMAZING! Yeah, wicked, Norwegian Wood. Can't remember who it's by. Mura-fammy-or somefink. "
"Murakami?" I said.
"Yeah, that's the one. Norwegian Wood. It's the best book ever. It's a bit fruity, know what I mean? A bit saucy! A bit of naughtiness! Norwegian Wood - write it down!"
"I think I can remember it" I said, thinking, you've said it enough bloody times.
"Do you know what my favourite book of all time is?" she asked, arms and legs all over the place, mascara smudged.
"No, what is it?" (I know, I know, dumb to encourage a drunk person)
"Norwegian Wood! It's by some bloke, funny. You should add it to your list of books to read before you die, right."
And so it went on for about ten minutes.
As we approached my final destination, I hastily said: "Oh this is my stop."
"Mine too!" She shrieked as the people around me burst out laughing at my misfortune. "We can carry on talking about this great book I've just read. It's called Norwegian Wood. "
"No shit", I thought....

Friday, July 14, 2006

Open the doors

The other day was a swelteringly hot day in London and the 149 was particularly crowded. We were all crammed on to the bus and not getting anywhere fast - the bus was stuck in traffic. We were about 20 metres from a bus stop where loads of people get off and one man was getting rather impatient.
"Why doesn't the driver just open the doors now?" he asked his fellow passengers.
" Come on mate" he yelled towards the front of the bus, "open the door. I'm sweating like an Afghan on terrorist charges here!"

Most of the bus tried to suppress laughs as they guiltily thought they shouldn't condone such turn of phrase.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I do love you but....

As I was sitting on the 149 yesterday, I couldn't help but overhear a conversation (ok so I was listening in but I need material for this blog dammit!) A couple were sitting at the very back of the bus. The girl, blonde and skinny looking, was holding her boyfriend's hand - he looked older and was staring out of the window and bouncing his knee in an agitated fashion for most of the time. He looked pretty pissed off and if the snippet of conversation that I heard was anything to go by, I could understand why.

She said, "I do love ya, you know that. But if we go to that party and you look at another girl's tits I'll fucking kill ya!"

Poor guy....or poor girl?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Excuse me, you've got something on your chin"

A guy got on the bus the other day. He had on a crisp looking pin-stripe suit - the kind that looked expensive. He had expensive looking glasses too and is hair was slicked back - in a greasy fashion. As he climbed aboard he had just put the remnants of what looked like his dinner into his mouth - a burger of some kind. He stood right in front of me and glanced in my direction. To my horror, he had mayo all over his chin - so much so that as random people passed him to get off the bus they were actually laughing out loud to themselves or friends. I felt a bit sorry for him but he also looked like a bit of a twat - I can't quite explain why - I think it was the way he yawned without putting his hand over his mouth thus revealing the contents of his mouth. He looked completely ridiculous and it did liven up an otherwise slow journey - but the question is, should I have pointed out his mayonnaise faux-pas or was I right in continuing to let him look like a greedy five-year old, thus carrying on the grotesque entertainment? Answers on a postcard/blog please.....