Monday, 26 October 2009

Kiss Chase is a great game but I wasn't in the mood

"This is fucking boring," he said, sounding thoroughly fed up, "kiss chase, why don't we have a game of kiss chase?"

Sitting beside me was a famous wine columnist. I won't name-drop, but only because I cannot remember her name. You would expect that we were having an intelligent, cultured and mind-numbingly boring conversation about wine, journalism and Chateau Magdelaine. Truth is we were distracted by the Jacob's Creek boys to our right.

One thin, the other fat, proportionally identical to Laurel and Hardy, two strangers who had met at the station. They each had a bottle of wine, in front of them an array of discarded Fosters cans. Hardy seemed a pleasant chap, sitting there quietly, quiet and sleepy. Laurel was wired and extremely rowdy, one of those types who, when inebriated, will badger anyone and everyone around them in a relentless attempt to be the most irritating donkey on the planet. He looked very similar to the freaky guy in Something About Mary, the one with hives.

With Hardy falling asleep, Laurel turned to the seat behind him where a spectacled gentleman was sleeping peacefully. He shook the gentleman and woke him up, "where are you going?" he asked. "York? I get off after that," he said and then in delicious irony, "don't worry, if you're still asleep when we get to York I'll wake you up."

"I get this train every few weeks," I heard him say, "drink my arse off every time." Could have fooled me. A lady came by selling tickets. "This whole service is great and you, my dear, are a darling." A passenger squeezed past on their way to the toilet. "He just wanted to rub past you," said Laurel, "the perv," before waxing philosophical in drunken optimism.

"The worst things in life are train fares. The best things in life are everything else." To be fair, there is a lot of truth in that statement, although it is incorrect. The worst things in life are public toilets.

As the ticket ladies moved up the carriage he turned back to Spectacles behind him, waking him rudely. "What do you do for a living?" he asked, before launching into a monologue. Did I say monologue? Soliloquy would be more accurate. Laurel spoke at great length, uninterrupted except for when he interrupted himself, speaking vaguely in Spectacles' direction, but certainly not to him. Spectacles sat there nodding gently, the colour draining from his face. My companion turned to me, "he needs nothing more than a good slap," she said. So I got up and...

...yeah, right.

Laurel's language got progressively worse (for which I apologise) as he ranted against bankers, doctors and pretty much anyone who earned more than him, "so far up their fucking arseholes," he raved. It wouldn't have been a good time for my companion to let on that she spends her time travelling across Europe, visiting the odd ch√Ęteau and drinking expensive wine.

We arrived at York and Spectacles escaped with an exhausted expression draped over his face. The poor chap looked like a man whose soul had slowly been sucked out through a straw. "Listen mate, " said Laurel, placing his hand on the poor chap's shoulder, "Ah fuckin' hope all goes well for ya fella." If Spectacles hoped for anything it was that Laurel slipped on the kitchen floor when he got home and died in a freak teaspoon incident.

And that's when he suggested playing kiss chase. I thought for a moment that Laurel could in actual fact be Rubbish, but then remembered that Rubbish only drinks apple juice. From miniature kiddie cartons I suspect.

"Why don't we have a game of kiss chase? There are plenty of girls around," he said, bubbling with enthusiasm. He winked at a blond further up the carriage. "She's alright," he said, "and her, and her, but that one's asleep so she can't play," and as if to explain the sleeping beauty's exclusion from the game, "it wouldn't be fair" he said kindly.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Casanova needed to find out the hard way when he got home and admired his flabby physique in front of the mirror

He stood there leaning by the door, propped up in a suave, arrogant manner. You could tell he had practised the pose, it smacked of hours spent in front of the mirror. He lounged about with exquisite precision. Collar wide open, the obligatory medallion, less buttons fastened than Simon Cowell on a forgetful day. Grey curly chest hair on the attack, a health and safety risk if you ask me. Man dies strangled by chest hair, the headlines would read.

An ageing swinger, 60s I'd guess, dressed like only an ageing swinger would. Dressed like no ageing swinger should. Casanova, to give him a name, was notably overweight. A blue frilly shirt was taut over his tub and tucked into smart tight jeans with a huge-buckled belt. The buckle sat there silently in iridescent glory, glinting wickedly, aggressively pursuing world domination. I feared for my life. Suede jacket and oh-so-pointy brown leather shoes completed the look.

Lingering, lounging, languishing I mean, he scoured the carriage, scoping I suspect, eyeing up potential conquests, a man who thought he was eternally young. I noticed he was flying low, low and wide I might add, his flies a redoubtable gaping hole. Did I indicate this to him?

Don't be silly, of course I didn't.

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...

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.
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!