Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A funny thing happened on the way ...

I boarded the bus and took the isle seat next to a man who appeared to be sweating like a cold can straight from the fridge on a humid summer's day, except this was the middle of winter, and he was repeatedly muttering some mantra to himself under short breaths while rocking back-and-forth in a jerking motion.

Are you okay? Look: I know it's not the done thing to strike-up social conversation on public transport and/or associated infrastructure such as queues at road-side shelters and/or end-of-line terminals, but dude, you are seriously unnerving me. Are you about to have a turn? I mean, are you epileptic or something? Out of politeness you should really inform me about these things so I can like prepare myself, or move seat, or whatever.

His fear dilated eyes met momentarily with mine before lowering towards the trembling movement of his hands unzipping down the front of his puffer jacket to reveal of a series cuboidal blocks of incendiaries fitted laterally, at regular intervals, all about his waist and interconnect with a mesh of wires seemingly randomly knotted as if a kitten had been at it.

You are not worried?

Say, you're not from around these parts are you?

What was it that tipped you? He stammered. The foreign accent, the dark skin, the beard, or all of the above?

Relax, this isn't Hicksville buddy – look!

I opened my own jacket to reveal a near identical explosive configuration straddling my midriff, I then tapped the shoulder of the old lady sat in the seat in front; explained the situation; she hoisted herself up by holding onto the support rails and slowly turned round, opening the front of her floor-length coat with the one free hand, revealing her own belt. Clearly these events hadn't gone unnoticed by the rest of the passengers and, following, they, one-by-one, displayed each of their own similarly fashioned belts in turn.

There was an unfamiliar yet welcome sense of camaraderie as each passenger, including the old lady, sat back in their seats and resumed the rest of their journeys, each in a consensual bubble of silence.

See? Nothing to worry about. You did the right thing. Sensible precaution. It's your civic duty; would be impolite to demonstrate less. Can we relax now, finally?

1 comment:

  1. Crap - sorry Flimsy Cups, I deleted you comment by accident of beer soaked editing.