Sunday, April 13, 2008
There's always one...
I dedicate this post to Mutley, who gave me the idea, and to Electro-Kevin who has to put up with such people every day...
There is always one weirdo on the same mode of public transport as yourself.
You know what I mean - the man with the crazy eyes (one eye lookin' atcha, one eye lookin' for ya). Or the woman with rats up her sleeve who HAS to, yes simply HAS to sit next to you even though there are 100 seats free in the carriage, or the deaf old lady who feels the need to ask everyone how old she is.
This latter one, coincidentally, was my grandmother, who had a habit of asking random strangers to guess her age.
"Guess how old I am?" she would yell at some long-haired hippy student minding his own business.
"I couldn't possibly"
"Oh, go on, go on. Take a guess."
"I really couldn't"
"Just a little guess" (sorry, that should have read)
"JUST A LITTLE GUESS"
"Oh you flatterer, you, I'm 82 next year."
"So you're 81 now then?"
(turning to my mother) "We need to get off the bus now, this young man is talking to me and I think he's going to steal my pension book".
Anyway, when Grandmother Merms finally popped her fins, Merms was left facing the uncomfortable prospect of having an Unknown Weirdo on the bus... and realising that I am indeed that weirdo.
I AM THE WEIRDO ON THE BUS. One day I was sitting by myself, enjoying my seat at the front of an EMPTY bus, just listening to the Stones on my iPod, when Merms espies at the approaching bus stop a young lady with several shopping bags.
Merms does not have a crystal ball, but immediately Merms knew that, of all the 82 empty seats on the 133, that Bag Girl would come and sit right next to her. Now Bag Girl was not a weirdo, let me get that straight. But Merms was not happy. Puffer jackets should be banned in the interests of public safety. Bag Girl also put her shopping up on the shelf in front so that Merms could not look out of the window. Bag Girl also took out a newspaper too big for her to manoeuvre and flicked it in the Merms' face.
So I decided to be THE ONE. I decided to be the Weirdo on the Bus. I texted three friends to ask their opinion; they all told me to go for it. So I thought of my options:
1) The Alexi Sayle "Do you like sponge? I am only allowed Sponge. They won't let me have anything sharper than SPONGE" approach, which was not just Weird, but possibly dangerously creepy
2) The "I like dogs, but not brown ones" approach, which is weird, but also has the endearing effect of her perhaps thinking I am autistic, which might make her feel the need to stay next to me and talk to me out of the milk of human kindness
3) Chickening out
I decided on a mix of 2 and 3. Turning towards her suddenly and staring not at her, but at her jugular vein, I adopted a Yorkshire accent and said:
"Do you like Streatham?"
She turned to look at me. "S.................?"
"You're S.............. aren't you? You went to school with me. You were a couple of years below me."
She eyed me strangely as if to say: "You always were weird and I guess nothing has changed."
I had no idea who she was. I guess she recognised my tail. I was mortified.
I have decided that I will never again try to be weird. My life is strange enough without trying. Anyway I have to go now and milk the hippo.