Monday, 5 October 2009

There is surely nothing worse than being pooped on by a deranged flock of pigeons

The bus was about to leave. Just as the doors shut there was a sudden knock on the glass. The bus driver sighed and opened the doors. An old man stepped slowly onto the bus. Sandals with socks, long straggly beard, blue mackintosh, more plastic bags than a bag lady on an exceptionally productive day. And when I say "slowly", imagine an ageing snail travelling against the wind.

He gently relieved himself of his plastic bags, carefully arranging them along the aisle. He rummaged through them, we sighed collectively, a bitter and despairing sigh. Even the chubby kid looked up angrily from his maths homework. The bus route had already been wrecked by the spectacular incompetence of a leading gas supplier. At every stop dizzy college girls delay us as they fumble for the change that they failed to get ready WHILE THEY WERE WAITING. Imbecilic drivers do their best to ruin our day. I don't let these things get to me. And now this? I'd have more fun being pooped on by a flock of deranged pigeons. Guess I picked the wrong day to give up sarcasm.

Stooping, drooping, his shaking hands fumbling, he searched for something as we looked on in horror. The bus was now five minutes late and it had not even started the journey. For several minutes he rummaged, (chubby kid went back to his maths) eventually pulling out a leather-bound book. He slowly unwound the binding cord. Round and round, round and round, a bit like the wheels on the bus, apart from the fact we WERE STILL STATIONARY. Good job I've been working on managing my anger. My patience is legendary. He flicked slowly through the book, finally removing his bus pass.

"Sorry love," said the bus driver, "you can't use that pass before 9."

What followed was the most painful exit I have ever seen. Rummaging, fumbling, dithering, mumbling. He slowly gathered his bags, chatting to the bus driver all the while. He chatted about this, about that, discussed that one and the other one. "About what?" you ask. I have no idea. The bus driver begged him to get off. We were running late, she pointed out. He commented on the weather, mumbled about the other one again, and something else, and this and that. The infernal wagging of his beard infuriated all of us (apart from the chubby kid apparently).

After much coaxing he stepped off the bus, bags and all. We emitted a collective sigh of relief, there was still a possibility of not being too late. Of course if the gas supplier and college girls had their way we would still grow old on the bus. He turned and stepped back inside. We shuddered collectively, anticipating a vicious loop of death whereby we all died trapped in the bus as this old codger shuffled on and off for eternity (watched by a deranged flock of pigeons no doubt).

"Cheerio," he said merrily, gave the bus driver a wave and shuffled away.

64 comments:

♥ Braja said...

Snap.

Harmony said...

Some people seem to liven up during their exit, more so than their arrival. It's absolutely fascinating if you ask me. It must be the collective feeling of relief that really gets their blood moving, perking them up considerably so. It must be as refreshing as a warm cup of coffee on cold drizzly morning.

diane said...

Poor old geezer, kept his spirits up though, didn't he?
I was actually waiting for the story about pigeons to unfold.

Jan @ Struck by Serendipity said...

Every single one of your readers was hoping you got pooped on by a deranged flock of pigeons.

Maybe tomorrow...

Courtney said...

At least he has a positive attitude!

PS: I kinda wish you got pooped on by a deranged flock of pigeons. Stone got pooped on by a deranged flock of seagulls. It.Was.Awesome.

otherworldlyone said...

I'd probably cry if I got pooped on by a deranged flock of pigeons. Or just one.

Sandals with socks. Are you fucking serious? Jesus! What is this world coming to?!

Mr. Condescending said...

The title was too blunt for me to think you were going to get pooped on, although I did think that someone was probably going to get pooped on.

There would surely be nothing better than to see the old geezer get pooped on though.

ladytruth said...

Why didn't anyone help this old man collect his things and assist him in getting off the bus? He was probably embarrassed, feeling everyone's impatience with his slow stride and therefore chat chat chatting along to the driver. Then again I'm sure it's just me thinking this way :)

Mary said...

And when I say "slowly", imagine an ageing snail travelling against the wind...
priceless.
Thanks for the chuckle at your expense :)

mo.stoneskin said...

I think in the grand scheme of things he wasn't (that) long getting on and off, most of the time was dithering.

The Peach Tart said...

No poop? Damn.

Libby said...

Heya,

Check out the column by that Danny Wallace guy i was telling you about, I think you'd like it. You can read them on the Shortlist website.

http://magazine.shortlist.com/competitions-danny-wallace-Keifer-Sutherland/1N4ac230d312bfa012.cde

Take Care, Libby :-)

mo.stoneskin said...

Thanks Libby, hope you made it to MacDonalds this AM?

I certainly did, two McMuffins straight down...

TechnoBabe said...

Well, dang, why didn't someone just pay his fare if nothing else just to move things along. Just a thought.

jpooh said...

During my bus-riding days, the old people like this didn't bother me so much, it was the...itinerant folk who managed to beg enough change to ride that made me weep.

Literally - most of them don't bathe on a regular basis, you know, and for some reason they always sat next to me.

Organic Meatbag said...

Hahahaha, I thought you were going to say there were pigeons in the old man's bags...the cooing and shitting would have given it away... hahahaha

Trinity said...

I like to think the old coot just likes to jack around with people and knew he couldn't ride with the pass before 9. He probably just does this occasionally to mess with people.

blueviolet said...

Your adventures are unlike anyone I've ever known. I felt like I was right there with you on that bus, and I'm not entirely happy about it. ;)

The Girl Next Door said...

Brilliant. even sans the poop.

Alan Burnett said...

This stuff you produce is of such a consistently high quality. We were with you on the bus there. We glanced at our watches whilst he fumbled for his pass. Fine work.

ellen abbott said...

People so anxious to get to work that they are pissed by a five minute delay? I'd be thankful for the slight reprieve.

Nikki-ann said...

I think if I'd have been the bus driver I'd have just accepted the bus pass, but then you'd have had to have waited for the old bloke to find a seat and sit down!

Diane said...

Awww... he got back on to say 'Cheerio!' I'm just a sucker for a happy old person!

Tooj said...

Is it very revealing about ME if I say that this old man sounds delightful? And if you DO get pooped on by a bird, don't randomly picks leaves to wipe it off. It could be poison ivy. Ask my friend about it if you don't believe. ;) Happy Monday.

Sassy Britches said...

And then he said, "SMILE! You're on Candid Camera !"

Char said...

Your train stories are just the best-est. But, I have to say, I was hoping you paid for the old guy's ride. I would have. But then I am just a sucker that way.

Stacie's Madness said...

i'm thinking that all of you ON the bus were the pigeons...poopin on him for not picking up his fare...yeah.

JennyMac said...

There would be some deep submergence into Clorox if I got pooped on by pigeons. Seriously. UGH.

although your post titles do make me laugh..even when direct, they still hold intrigue.

Ananda girl said...

Okay, I admit that I was drawn to the idea that someone was going to be bombed and there was some regret when that did not occur, but a fine story that I think we have all experienced at one time or another in our own miserable ways.

Captain Dumbass said...

I just read something funny about pigeon shit today, but it's too long for comment.

Lana said...

on the plus side, it appears that you've fallen into an unspoken comradarie with your fellow bus travelers.

LiLu said...

Entertainment, at least? ;-)

Samsmama said...

I came here for poop, dammit! Which is quite possibly one of the oddest sentences I've ever typed. Eh, probably not.

Beth said...

Heck, you got a blog post out of the production. It was good for something.

About those deranged birds... I was waiting for them to arrive on the scene and peck out your eyes.

blognut said...

Could you just have his bus fare ready for him tomorrow? You know? Pay for it, it'll go so much faster for you and he's such a nice guy!

A Mom on Spin said...

Jesus! Were you not better on the train?

When will you get back on the train???

Fragrant Liar said...

Dang! Poor old guy. He WAS old, wasn't he? He probably just wanted to connect with the world, and YOU, and the chubby fingered boy.

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I had a brain fade while reading this and thought you wrote that he'd 'gently relieved himself.' I'm glad I actually cleaned my glasses so I could re-read that properly.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

When you wrote he relieved himself of his plastic bags? My brain just read that he relieved himself! I was horrified! : )

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

The amount of time someone waits for someone else to get on and off the bus is probably longer than the amount of time the someone else gets on and off the bus.

That totally made sense in my head.

cactus petunia said...

Well, at least someone had the right attitude. Next time, you might consider just paying the old codger's fare. It would be a whole lot quicker in the long run. But then, maybe he'd feel compelled to sit next to you. ; )

Irish Gumbo said...

aaaarrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh....I would have been tempted to pay his fare, just to keep moving!

So where were the pigeons?

Shana said...

Your life is rather entertaining!

Lola Lakely said...

Honestly, you get me EVERY time with the titles you come up with for your blog entries. So I'm laughing even before I start reading the bloody thing.

Don't. Ever. Give. Up. Sarcasm.

Michel said...

Okay, so the story was good - better than good - it was great. however, I was waiting for the "POOP, there it is...." (do you remember that song. I'm not sure the first word was poop exactly, but it SOUNDS like that. ANYWAY, I'm just saying, a little poop goes a long way in a story.

erin said...

I sooo look forward to your monday bus stories. They get better every week!

Mr. Charleston said...

Better a deranged flock of pigeons than a flock of deranged pigeons. Much more messy that.
Have to agree that someone should have picked up the bus tab for the old guy. Although, he probably would have been pissed that he was being treated like a bum and cussed everyone including the pigeons.

rubbish said...

Yeah, your anger management classes are working. Now put your hand in your pocket and pay for him next time you tight bastard. Haven't you heard of Karma?

Vodka Mom said...

Are you sure you didn't throw him off yourself?

Surge said...

'Khhhheeeeeeeeheeeeee, where are yaaahh papar boyyee.....' is what this post makes me think of. That and the episodes of Robot Chicken that are funny at first and then go on for like ten minutes of the same bloody thing.

Total.Waste.Of.
Somebody should tell us which episodes to skip.
I love how the pigeons have absolutely nothing to do with anything, by the way. Tehe.

ladytruth said...

I have something for you over at my blog :)

Amy said...

It's true. We all did think, and hope just a little bit, that you were pooped on. Sorry!

What I want to know is why you didn't attack the bus driver for being such a bugger. Sometimes you have to just Let It Go. You know? At least the guy was cheerful about it though. All that work undone.

Madame DeFarge said...

Maybe that was his entertainment for the day too. Better than Jeremy Kyle, with that people watching opportunity open to him.

Matthew said...

I just love your weekly observations. Plain and simple.

The Jules said...

I bet he does that to a different bus everyday, and blogs about passengers reactions.

the mama bird diaries said...

Oh my God. I would have paid for his bus fare and told him to sit the hell down.

Poppy said...

ahhh pigeons :S one of my friends hates pigeons so much! She once had a nightmare about them: she was tied, lying on the ground at the main square in Venice and people were tossing corn over her. :D That you can call a pigeon-phobia :P

Hit 40 said...

Was he hoping someone would cough up the $$ for his ride? Was he lost? Senile? Just lonely?

I have a soft spot for old people. I just wish they would stay the heck out of the stores on the weekends. They have all week to shop!!!

Slyde said...

for some reason when you wrote "He gently relieved himself of his plastic bags", my mind stopped reading after "he gently relieved himself".

whew!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I love the kid looking up from his math homework. Such a wonderful little detail.

Nej said...

So, you don't believe he was doing it on purpose, just to "get everyone's goat?"

Gaston Studio said...

It's so painful watching a really old person doing anything. You have the patience of Job, just for being there.

The Rambler said...

Sigh.

My impatience is one of my downfalls but it's an internal impatient. I only irritate myself. (I know, I'm strange)I'd have been shifting left and right having an argument with myself wanting to say out loud

For.The.Love.Get.Off.Already!

And for extras...I've been pooped on by birds. That sucked. Nuff said.

~E said...

You know what... that whole scenario just made me sad. I kept picturing him going home to his empty house to stare at the picture of his beloved dead wife. And the sons that never call him. And the lonely dinner he's gonna have that night.

*sniffle*

this is also the reason I don't watch commercials with puppies in them.

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!