Sunday, 20 October 2013

Embarrassment on the bus

It began when my ten pound note was blown off the driver's dish and onto the floor...

I exclaimed "shoot" and it sounded a bit like "s***". An old woman gasped. (It might have been a hiccup, but it occurred curiously close to my supposed profanity.)

I sat at the front. There was a bottle rolling along the floor. The scene looked something like this:

Bottle on a bus


The bottle hit a young girl and she pretended it wasn't there. "Just pick it up," I thought. It continued its journey and bounced against my foot with a perceivable thud. I followed the girl's hollow lead.

I've actually never been on a bus that swayed quite like this one, it was smoothly tilting left and right. The tricky Dr Pepper bottle tumbled forward against an old man's sandal. He looked down at a forty five degree angle. That was all.

I couldn't get it off my mind. Why did I care? Why did I care so much about this damn bottle?

It's weird, I think it's just because it was litter. It was litter on a bus, and litter should be picked up. Everybody could see it, choosing victims, but nobody wanted to be a hero. Who was next in line to be humiliated by a mischievous bottle clinging to their boot?

Me, obviously. I was the one panicking and it had sensed it the little git. I could feel passengers staring down the bus as it lay next to me. The scene looked something like this:

I thought a woman said "are you gonna' pick that up, son?" but she actually said, "yeah, it was a big gash down his arm" to her friend.

Dr Pepper travelled on towards a tough looking woman - face like a burst soufflé. It didn't even get close, she practically jumped off her seat to pick it up and put it in the 'take your free newspaper' basket.

Problem solved? Not exactly. How was I going to enjoy the rest of my journey knowing there was a Dr Pepper bottle in a basket designed for newspapers?

"You know what, Scott? Don't worry about it," I thought, beginning to see sense. "Someone is going to get off one stop early today..."