Monday, 12 October 2009

It was a bit like O.K. Corral I guess but less guns and the weather was worse

Flippant, inexplicable and determinedly puerile. Unprovoked he swung round, cocked his head back and grinned. An evil, leery grin. To be fair it wasn't really a grin, more of a grimace or a snarl, almost like that of a cartoon villain. I knew exactly what he was about to do and I couldn't believe it. Only seconds before I was on the bus...

...all alone on the upper deck. Outside it was raining heavily, the bus was damp and bitterly cold. Did I say damp? I mean it was wet, very wet. Puddles formed and vanished with the motion of the bus. Drips on my head, drips on my book. I could barely make out the world outside. The windows were misty with droplets running down. Buildings loomed with dark, eerie windows. Eerie, the whole thing was eerie. It was a bit like a scene from a zombie movie but with a noticeable absence of any zombies.

Had I seen him before? Nope. Did he look dodgy? A bit. Was I doing anything other than minding my own business? Not at all. Yet here we were in torrential rain, facing each other like a couple of cowboys. I wasn't scared or even feeling uneasy. I just walked towards him while looking him in the eye. Such a surreal moment in comparison to the lonely and peaceful setting just moments ago...

...where I pumped out the tunes through my mammoth headphones, I had the whole top deck to myself and it was lovely. Sure it was wet, cold, miserable, damn miserable, miserable as the little sodden leaf that clung to the window beside me, but the solitude was strangely refreshing. Lights outside flickered through the droplets on the window. Brake lights, traffic lights, street lights, police lights. Watching them made me dream, thoughts that no one could understand. Hooded and tightly wrapped in my coat I felt comforted. Nothing compares to the comfort of a good coat. (Apart from perhaps a good clean poo).

I stepped off the bus and headed home. I love listening to music while walking in the rain. In the distance I could make out the shape of a man. He walked slowly so I gained on him quickly. He was lugging a huge shoulder bag, wearing a baseball cap and one of those bomber jackets that were slightly cool fifteen years ago. I was five metres behind him when he swung round.

It was the bizarrest thing that has ever happened to me. He was standing the other side of a massive puddle. That's when he grinned, snarled, grimaced or whatever. I knew exactly what he was going to do. The bastard. He, a total stranger, was going to drench me from a puddle using the schoolboy method, i.e. cause an airborne tsunami with a slow, swinging kick through the puddle.

He pulled his leg back slowly as if he was teasing. I picked up the pace and charged morosely at him. I was too wet to care and besides, any retaliation would require puddle-side positioning. He got the timing all wrong and soaked himself. The idiot. As I closed in on the puddle he scampered away into the night.

It's like I've always said. You can never trust anyone in a bomber jacket.

***

P.S. Libby if you stop by again - you missed an absolute riot at Kings Cross on Friday and I even had to confront a total prat on the way home...

68 comments:

JennyMac said...

this is why you should carry mace. Mace with a long reach.

Scope said...

This is why you need a tazer.

Electri-fry the puddle.

I believe the best lessons are those taught in the moment.

With electoshock therapy it appears.

Poppy said...

Ha ha, a good lesson :)
I hate rain by the way. It's a lot of fun when you're jumping into the puddles in the summer but now in this cold weather ... I hate it :P

erin said...

Sounds like a larger, scarier, more imposing version of my daughter Olivia. She can't stay out of a puddle despite what the disciplinary consequence might be.

Oh and rain rain go away. You make me cold and aggravated.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

If something like this were to happen to me, my retaliation would be to piss on the guy.

ellen abbott said...

This was an adult? What a jackass. But really, a torrential rain? How much wetter could you get?

Judearoo said...

Weird how sometimes something this petty and unimportant can really colour your day. Hope a hot bath was had on your returning home. Oh and that he caught one of those really messy headcolds.

:)

otherworldlyone said...

You should have shouted at him, kicked him, made fun of his bomber jacket. Something.

Oh, I like the taser idea...

Call Me Cate said...

Other than punching him in the face, I can't think of a more fitting ending.

Courtney said...

Wow....just, wow.

Char said...

Ah, justice prevails! You should've chased him down and handed the asshat a towel.

p-huong said...

Amateur. Too bad he got away. You should have stopped him, "Here son, stand here. Let me show you how it's done." Splash and run away laughing.

Captain Dumbass said...

I still can't resist driving through a puddle if I see one.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

This was awesome. I hope you are putting together a book of these train and bus stories.

"determinedly puerile" It sounds like it could have been one of my students...

Soda and Candy said...

What a bastard! Still, when it's raining that hard it doesn't make much difference, at least not in my town where the gutters are perpetually flooded and any rain means you'll be ankle deep if you have to cross the street.

ladytruth said...

That is funny right there; almost like a duel but without the prospect of getting sliced in half.

♥ Braja said...

Crap. What you need is a GUN.

Mr. Charleston said...

I must confess Mo. That stranger was me. There's nothing I like more than drenching someone when they least expect it. It was the cold, OK Corral stare you gave me that caused my aim to be off. But next time...

BrightenedBoy said...

Wow, a grown man? That's kind of crazy. Your descriptions are excellent by the way. I want to read a book by you.

Matthew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew said...

One more with empathy and fewer typos I think....

What is all this nonsense about a tazer? We didn't flatten Dresden so that we could prod people with electric sticks - a good old fashioned tommy kicking is what's required.

The Daily Heil would side with you, surely? Not sure that's a good thing - just saying.

Another marvellous piece. You encapsulate the parts of life in Britain that I swore I would try to never forget. That's one of the many reasons I enjoy your postings so much.

A Mom on Spin said...

Only you. . . my friend. . . these things seem to happen only to you. . .

jadedj said...

This makes me want to get rid of my bomber jacket...almost.

Madame DeFarge said...

This is why I always wear a black PVC mac. Or maybe that's some other reason. I forget exactly.

blueviolet said...

A grown man with such malevolent intentions of splashing people with rain puddles? What a freak.

Oh My Goddess said...

He must have been a Zombie. A bomber jacket wearing Zombie.

The Jules said...

Aged about 25 I once chased a bloke who threw a snowball made of ice with a stone in it at me, like fat bullies used to do at school.

When I caught him I wasn't sure what to do, so also reverted to prebusecent larks and made him eat it.

Still makes me giggle to this day.

Fenix35 said...

Haha this can't have actually happened? You should have chased after him hehe

the mama bird diaries said...

I'm so glad he soaked himself. Serves him right.

Hit 40 said...

Your adventure back and forth from work is very taxing on you!! LMAO!! The worst problem for me is finding the perfect song on the radio for my short 15 min drive.

My husband had a man from Japan visit for a few weeks at work. His company is opening a store in Japan. And, Tom needed to train him on their accounting system. Anyway...

The point is this poor man rides a train to work packed in like a sardine for 90 minute a day each way to get to his job in Tokyo. Just crazy!!!

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Never a dull moment in your travels to and from work! Served him right that he soaked himself instead of his intended target. :)

Joanie M said...

Serves that guy right. How do these people find you?

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I do love the rain. The only thing that could've made that better is if he splashed the water and it went completely over you onto someone on the other side, thereby leaving you dry and him kind of looking stupid. Especially if the other someone who got wet was much bigger. True story.

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

You Brits really are barking mad! Is this something I might have to worry about next time I am out enjoying a drizzly, moody, music-drenched walk in the rain?

LiLu said...

I'm with JennyMac and Scope. Either of those objects would guarantee an excellent vlog at some point...

Cora said...

The nerve! A grown man attempting to puddle-bomb a stranger! Ha ha ha! And you Brits have such a mature, classy, respectable reputation. Pffft!

;-)

(I'm British too, btw. Or my parents are. So I know how we Brits REALLY are. *snicker*)

diane said...

The only thing that could have been more redeeming would have been if he had lost his shoe in the process.

I love your writing style Mo. xo

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Well, makes a nice change from happy slapping.

Simon said...

This is the type of person usually described in court as being ‘disturbed’.

Nikki-ann said...

Never make eye contact. No chance of this happening to me... since I dive home and only have to walk from the door to the car at either end of the journey!

Beth said...

Have you ever considered you might have a magnet that draws you to these almost-disasters? I hope you keep it because I love the drama that ensues.

DebraLSchubert said...

Glad you avoided even more water, but too bad you didn't get him first! It's not too often we adults get to act like children, so we may as well take advantage of the opportunities when they arise, right? (Um, I hope my mom doesn't read this comment. I might get grounded...)

jpooh said...

You, my friend, are a weirdo magnet.

Explains why I hang around here so much, doesn't it?

Eric said...

Good to hear you were like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven and kept your cool in a waterfight. BTW, on BBC I saw a story about a couple that were splashing kids with a car. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you? ;)

Nej said...

A man did this? Not a kid? (giggle) Actually, it's kinda funny. Not that he was going to soak you, no, that's horrible. But the fact he soaked himself instead...that's a riot!!!! :-)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

You have some unusual customs on Planet Earth.

Samsmama said...

How in the world did I miss this in my reader? And now all the good comments are taken! Dammit!

My husband is forever driving through huge puddles and making large splashes when we're in the truck, but I'd knock his block off if he actually did it to a person. But he wouldn't. I don't think.

bernthis said...

I thought it was going to be something much worse than that. Glad it wasn't. I love walking listening to music in NYC but not in the rain, sorry

Poppy said...

hello again,
I don't know if you like blog awards but there's something for you at my blog :)

Poppy

Gaston Studio said...

Wow, I think I'm going to stay on my side of the pond (pun intended). Can't believe that Braja suggested a gun!

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Doc Martens - with nails imbedded in the toes

missamericaengland said...

Too funny. Poetic justice too!

Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

Your blog posts are going to be my guilty little pleasure reads.

Maria Roth said...

I know I've been gone forever, but it was great to come back and read this post. Terrific writing--I mean it! Mickey just mentioned you in an AC article today...

Sid said...

First time on your blog. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your writing.

"(Apart from perhaps a good clean poo)." Erm ...

The Urban Cowboy said...

Now that's strange!

Jimmy Bastard said...

Matalan, how many more bedroom warriors will it claim?

blognut said...

That's why it's important to make sure you get to the puddle first, and you don't give bomber jacket wearing zombies the advantage over you.

Glad it backfired on him, but you might not be so lucky next time.

reinventingsandyb said...

I'm with JennyMac... MACE ALL THE WAY.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Really? This happened? Damn, you British are dodgy...lol

slacker-chick said...

Puddles don't kill people, people stomping in puddles...don't kill people either... At least your crazies don't (usually) have guns!

Love your writing!

Lola Lakely said...

I adore listening to music in the rain too! I just had to get that out before I comment on how effing strange that is. Wtf to the maniacal grinning/leaning super villain? I guess we should thank him for making your post awesome, but still. We live in a mad, mad world. "You can never trust anyone in a bomber jacket."- Taking this nugget of wisdom with me when I go out tonight.

Debbie said...

Maybe this is why I prefer to stay home!

San Diego Momma said...

You make this stuff up, right?

RIGHT?

If not,I demand that you begin carrying a vidcam with you on the train. I must see pictoral evidence.

Vodka Mom said...

omg.

you have the best damn stories.

Mr. Condescending said...

Did you go home only to find Gideons Bible!?

Michel said...

OMG that is the BEST story! hAHAHAH! I love it!

Is it wrong that I totally want it to rain here again now because I totally forgot about splashing people like that. HOW FUN DOES THAT SOUND!?

What? Was that not your point!?

Tooj said...

Maybe he just wanted to play??

As I have quite a few new readers since I became a "Jelly Biter" I've put this up here again. To understand the context you must read this post!