One of the benefits of recently becoming a North Londoner as that I can just hop on the bus to work, and not have to cram myself onto a tube carriage that's too small for anyone who continued to grow past their 10th birthday, and save some cash in the process.
One of the bad things about doing this is the number of window lickers you have to endure on a daily basis. Over the years I've all gotten used to the arrogant types who seem to think that because everyone else has paid to get on TFL must have loads of money, so why the hell shouldn't the driver let them on for free. I mean after all, they've been standing there shouting about it for long enough, surely that's going to have won someone over?
But they're not the most disturbing people you get on Buses, oh no, more often than not that get's saved for me.
I've long since considered myself to be something of a Mecca for the unhinged, so on the way home last night it was no big shock that once we'd extracted the afore mentioned hitch-hikers that life decided to serve me up with a new best friend to keep me company for the rest of the journey.
What followed for the rest of my journey was a short and concise lesson as to why people in London generally want nothing to do with each other.
Once my new mate clambered up onto the bus and dug around in what I'm relatively sure was a spare shoe to find his Oyster card, he turned to find and seat with that glorious almost vacant expression that inspires the universal prayer of public transport, as we all simultaneously reached out to the nearest convenient deity and said to ourselves, "oh for the love of God, don't sit next to me!"
Sadly being a card carrying Atheist, science doesn't pay much attention to the stray thoughts of a wayward Londoner, and as I'd clearly forgotten to remove the sign around my neck that said "Hi, I'm friendly and love meeting new and interesting people, it'd be awfully jolly if you came and started talking at me!" I had no option but to accept my fate as he came staggering towards me.
So, just as I was finishing up my mental calculations of exactly how long this pleasure was likely to last, and accepted that by having a huge box with me getting up and moving wasn't going to happen without throwing a hoover at someone, my new friend reached that magical final foot away from me.
And it was there, at the kind of distance where you've usually had to pay a lot of money to get someone in to, that I was greeted with the sight of an unwashed, unclothed groin, complete with dirt marks and overhanging stomach staggering towards my face. You see, while this guy had worked out the complexities of an Oyster card, and the concept of Buses, basic personal hygiene and the ability to complete the dressing process weren't apparently running a close second on his list of lifetime achievements.
Immediately after that fleshy wake up call he parked his thankfully mildly more clothed backside down next to me and started ranting.
It was a this point that I thought to myself, "Aha! I've got you on this one, that hairy groin stunt might have been a new one on me, but this talking bollocks insessently until I react will get you nowhere, for I've come readily equipped with ear phones and an iPod, so I can't hear you." At which point the album I was listening to immediately finished.
This however allowed me a few precious seconds to hear what the hell he was saying though, and it turns out I was having a mildly better time of it than whoever he was speaking to, as he was talking utter nonsense at them and doing things like repeating the bloody place names that the automated announcement system was sayi..hang on, he's not repeating them, he's.....talking to them. He's sat there hiding his man parts under a t-shirt that looks like it was turned down by any self respecting tramp, and having a conversation with the sodding automated announcements that tell you what the next stop is. How the hell does these people get allowed out!
Fortunately for me that's when I got to my stop, got up, and made a hastey exit. Then I wrote about my horror, and at least some of you laughed at it. You bastards.
Finally some of you are mentally shouting at me for being a heartless dick as he clearly had mental issues. Well, you're right, he clearly did. Incidentally, the opposite seat to me on the bus had a girl who looked like she was about 7 years old sitting on it on her way back from school. Perhaps the reality isn't just that I might be using this guy for comic effect, but that it's also a damn good job he sat next to me and not her. I'm used to dealing with this kind of shit, that could have scared the living hell out of her.