Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I can, on occasions, be extremely childish. So can the Hubbo, which is why at least once a week I am pinned down on the sofa while he tries to fart on my head. However, I've not seen people be childish about public transport before.

I was at Euston bus station, waiting for a 476 to take me home. A 73 had pulled up but I didn;t get on it, because it was rammed and also a man had got on wielding an angry looking pitbull, and I didn't fancy having to whip out my Brownie first aid skills during the journey.

A 476 pulled up, but because the route starts at Euston it pulls up round the corner from the actual stop to allow passengers to get off and for the driver to have a smoke, or whatever. So, knowing it'd be rolling up at the stop in a couple of minutes, I pottered down to the part of the bus stop where the bus would actually stop and carried on reading my book (The Secret History, by Donna Tartt. An excellent read, but haven't a clue how it'll end).

I am a big believer in personal space (after an unfortunate tutorial at university on the subject of 'non verbals' which probably only stuck in my mind because it was one of about four 'Interpersonal Communication' tutorials I went to over the course of the year) and will go to extreme lengths to ensure that I am not, you know, breathing on someone or standing on their shoes. Likewise, I am most appreciative when people reciprocate the favour. So, imagine my face when this woman came and stood directly in front of me, close enough for my shoes to be touching hers. It wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't nearly been toppling off the pavement. What's more, she turned round and gave me a look that said: "Har! I have foiled your wily plan!"

Anyway, I didn't fancy continuing my read with my nose in the back of this woman's hair, so I moved up a couple of paces.

She moved again, right in front of me. It was the movement equivalent of the childhood copying game ("Muuuum! He's copying meee!" "Muuuum! He's copying meee!" "Muuuum! It's really annoying!" "Muuuum! It's really annoying!" ad nauseum until someone, usually me, gets grounded). And gave me another look, this time: "Don't think your cunning moving technique will get you out of this tight spot!" Rahaaa!"

I moved again, just to escape the madness, but this time of course moved so far that she thought that she'd won the 'who's getting on the bus first? Me!' game and did not follow.

Of course, the 476 pulled up right in front of me. Her facial expression was priceless, but not as priceless as those of the various commuters she shoved out of the way in order to be second on the bus.

I thought the whole ludicrous caper was over and done with, until I was walking up the bus towards the seat I wanted. Yes, ok, I have a favourite seat on the bus. Shut up. It's the one on the opposite side of the doors next to the buggy space, and its good because no matter how rammed the bus is you don't have to do the "Sorry, can I...thanks. Excuse me, excuse me, EXCUSE! Oh, thanks. Sorry! Sorry! Can - I - just, oh sorry, gah! Don't shut the doors! Sorry, thanks" dance trying to get to the doors before you end up in Edmonton. However, if someone's sat in said seat I don't haul them up by a lock of their hair and fling them off to another seat.

Not that my new-found rival did that. She did, however, charge up the bus like Linford Christie, push past me and seat herself and all her shopping on said seat. And then gave me a smug look along the lines of "game, set and match. Bitch."

Its almost enough to make me miss the ninety minute Southwest Trains commute.


Dandelion said...

Oh for Euston bus station! Where I didn't have a First Kiss with a nearly-man, way back in the 'five.

Happy days, waiting for the 73!

Quink said...

Ha ha ha. That bloody woman gets everywhere. She also comes and stands next to you when you're about to enter your PIN in the supermarket (tip: say "Would you like me to read my pin out to you?") and then stands at the end of the checkout with an open bag glaring at you as you put away your shopping.

Unless, of course, you are behind her in the queue, when she won't start to put the shopping away until after she's paid. And then she will do it veeeerrrrrryyyy slllooowwwwlllyyy...

She's also the same woman who puts loads of things in her basket, but dumps most of them with a sneer on the confectionery counter and leaves them to rot (and push our prices up).

Oh yes, she's everywhere. I know her well. Bitch.