I had intended to get the earlier bus. By walking that little bit extra distance, I can board four stops later than usual. This enables a later departure from my house.
As I approached the stop, time seemed to slow down. In slow motion I could see the bus approach. Like a music video (a Pat Benatar one) I sprinted towards it, my arms flailing. Only for it to pull out, as I arrived. In a soulful manner, I swore like a sailor, having missed it.
Oh well. I had fifteen minutes to catch my breath.
When the sequel arrived – I was ready, and boarded to a gruesome sight – my regular seat was occupied.
By Beyoncé and Bruiser.
In my delusions I have sometimes wondered what I would do if this happened. That seat is mine. Other passengers need to respect that fact.
What kind of insubordination was this?
Taking a quick look at Bruiser’s furrowed brow, I decided to let it slide. I am no match for Bruiser. She could fell me with one hacking cough.
I slunk to the seat behind her. And zoned out. Beyoncé and Mommie Dearest were in a subdued mood this morning. And no-one else seemed to be engaged in any interesting, private conversations.
I started idly noticing the advertising billboards.
What is it about food adverts, that the models are always smiling deliriously, with their heads tossed back while consuming the products? It doesn’t look like a very practical way of eating. And the grimmer the good, the happier the model.
In advertisements for foods to aid slimming, for example, the female model always looks like she has just taken halluciinogenics – such is the look of deranged glee at having to drink that milkshake of misery.
I then witnessed probably the grossest advertising slogan I have ever been subjected to.
There on a twenty foot high billboard was a gorgeous male model, pimping out a junk food delivery service called JustEat. Now disregarding the fact that this model wouldn’t look the way he does if he consumed the flabby slop, he was promoting, he nonetheless had the open mouthed, slightly insane smile, typical of food advertising. The tagline to the poster was a line that I cannot believe was permitted.
‘Laugh with your mouth full’.
The thought of semi-masticated chunks of meat-pulp, spraying from the mouth of the actor, as he laughed uproariously, disgusted me.
I am aware that my reaction was exaggerated. At that early hour however I am slightly numb, yet hyper-alert to sensory overload. I don’t awaken fully until 11am so I am still in a semi-trance at this point, with heightened sensitivity to mundane situations.
I shuddered inwardly.
‘Watch my fucking foot’.
Alarm bells. Danger, danger. What was this?
The cackling croak of Bruiser’s angelic voice had just issued a threat. To the woman with the buggy in front of her.
I had missed her boarding, so enthralled had I been in my disgust at that ad.
Apparently she had rolled the buggy over Bruiser’s hoof.
The look of contempt she threw towards Bruiser was heart-stopping.
‘Sorry’ she declared in a voice both sneering and contemptuous. An apology so passive-aggressive that it deserved applause.
Squaring her shoulder Bruiser stood up. She muttered ‘So you fucking ought to be’ as she disembarked with her doting daughter in tow.
With a sense of relief I arrived at work. At the coffee machine a colleague bounded over .
‘Did you see that documentary about diabetics last night’. They found out I was diabetic last week.
‘No I didn’t’. Why would I be watching a documentary about something that dull?
‘Yes it was all about how they need to get their limbs amputated. It was disgusting.’
I stared blankly at her.
At that precise moment I wished that I had Bruiser with me, to unleash her fury.