News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Fat Boy Sim

Making my way to work yesterday on the number 1 bus from Somerfield in Westbury on Trym to Whiteladies Road, I found myself sitting just behind two passengers who were having a disagreement.

The larger of the two was waiting at the bus stop on Canford Road and boarded the bus with his mobile firmly placed to the side of his head. His conversation continued from entering the bus through to his departure on Blackboy Hill.

Tension arose when the gentlemen, who was of some girth, adjusted his position in order to fit more comfortably onto the double bus seat he had occupied. The woman next to him - well spoken and silver haired - clearly felt inconvenienced by this movement and proceeded to adjust her own position in such a way as to communicate her displeasure at being in quite such close proximity to her fellow passenger.

The phone man, who was continuing his conversation uninterrupted, expressed surprise through his facial expression at the movement of the senior citizen next to him. This gesture afforded his neighbour the opportunity to make her feelings more explicit:

"You're taking up too much of the seat. I don't want to move for you. You've got a problem," were, I think, her exact words.

Clearly surprised, her fellow traveller proceeded to explain to his mobile what was happening.

After an uncomfortable few minutes, during which my fellow passengers stared hard into their copies of The Metro in that way that made it obvious they were not reading them but were listening intently for the drama to develop, the two passengers exchanged unflattering opinions about one another while the larger (and younger) of the two provided a running commentary on the proceedings to his Motorola.

Although I was not able to catch every word, I do recall him explaining to his friend on the other end of the phone that he was required, among other things, to attend the local police station that day in order to register his whereabouts with the officers - a detail which sent a frisson of nervous excitement through the attentive passenger body, who had now lowered their Metros and were fully attentive to the proceedings unfolding in suburbia.

The culmination of the discussion was when the portly passenger made his exit from the bus. Both travellers had clearly been preparing their final salvos for just this event. Hers consisted of, "You're a very rude and unpleasant person." His was more double-edged: "Have a nice day; though with a face like that I'm surprised you had the courage to come out."

A murmur of low level conversation around the bus followed the conclusion of these proceedings, during which time the senior citizen explained to a woman behind her that her former travelling companion had announced into his phone that he was suffering from a sexually transmitted disease - a claim I did not hear myself, but one which afforded me just that bit too much detail at that time of the morning.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

No comments:

Site Meter