Robert Hampton

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29th April 2003

Adventures in Public Transport, Part II
Posted by at 7.20pm | No responses | Uncategorised

From the poetic justice department:

The bus this morning was crowded. Not head-in-sweaty-commuter’s-armpit crowded, but only-a-couple-of-seats-left crowded.

A middle-aged woman was sat in an aisle seat, with the window seat next to her empty. When I say empty, it really was empty. She hadn’t piled shopping bags or similar on it to discourage occupation; instead she was warning people away from the seat by giving a really dirty looks. Honestly, from the shape of her mouth it was if she’d just drunk a pint of vinegar.

I paused for a moment, wondering whether I should challenge her. A second look at that vinegar mouth and I decided that it was too early in the morning for a confrontation, so settled for another seat near the back of the bus.

People like that really annoy me. Sitting there, knowing full well that she’s being a selfish pig. I can’t understand it: why?! Is it the small risk that — gosh — a stranger might sit next to her? Is it really so awful to share your personal space with another person for twenty minutes?

Anyway, a few stops later, a really smelly, dirty man with a drug addict’s demeanour got on the bus. By this time, Vinegar Mouth’s was the only spare seat. So he sat next to her. She looked decidedly displeased. I bet she wishes she’d let someone else sit next to her now.

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