Wednesday, 9 April 2008

The Revenge Of The Scientists

One of the main jokes I make about the seemingly random nature of life is that I sometimes feel that it’s all the work of some scientist somewhere, watching me through an extremely long telescope and throwing all kinds of weird situations at me in an attempt to see how long it will take me to go mad with an axe.

In the past I always thought that the boring and pointless nature of some of the jobs I had done was something akin to sending the mouse down the maze to find that someone had moved the cheese (someone always moves the cheese – even in my fridge it won’t stay still)

However, my main gripe with the scientists these days is Public Transport. As previously stated it takes me 35 minutes to cycle to work and anywhere from an hour to two hours on the bus. Add to this the fact that they constantly put on single-deckers at rush hour and pay teenagers to swear profusely whilst playing loud rap-songs on their mobile phones about gunning people down (with no headphones) and the bus can soon seem to be on the road to hell.

By swearing profusely I mean swearing as punctuation. Here is a cleaned up version: “Flip me, I went out down the flipping pub with that flipping winker Rod the other day, flip me, he’s a flipping todd-pot’ – only with a few more flips.

Just when my tolerance of this route had reached an all time low they changed the route – adding 10 mins to my journey and meaning I had to leave home earlier to catch my connection. I wonder what kind of notes the scientists made about that one (or maybe it was the cats that secretly rule the world??)

Anyway – the other day I was on the bus and it was in heavy traffic. There was a woman sitting at the front of the bus, talking to an extremely deaf man. She clearly had some kind of learning difficulty, because she was constantly repeating the same thing again and again:

“Well, I’ve got to get home, do you understand? Because I was in town and they called me and said they would pick me up, only I’m not there, do you understand me? So I don’t want them to have a wasted journey, do you understand? DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?’ Very occasionally the deaf man would interject some comment and the woman would repeat the whole process again.

After about fifteen minutes of this my mind was divided into two clear halves – the half that felt a bit sorry for her and felt guilty for finding her annoying and the half that wanted to walk over and scream in her face to shut the flip up.

It so happened that the lady sitting next to me on this day was a kindly little-old lady who put me in mind of Miss Marple from the Agatha Christie novels – blue-rinsed hair, prim and proper, about 90 years old – the kind of woman who takes in stray animals and nurses them back to health.

Just as we came over a big hill and saw another endless row of traffic in front of us this kindly old dear leaned over to me and whispered, ‘If she doesn’t shut up soon I’ll go over there and bloody well make her understand me!’

It was all I could do to stop myself from laughing out loud.


A. Stageman said...

I swear, it's the cats. They probably needed to get you out of your house 10 minutes earlier so they could start their "take over the world" meeting 10 minutes earlier.

I understand being divided in that type of situation. I have felt that way before.

I love elderly people who have spunk. You look at them and think they will be timid and sweet...then they end up cracking some sarcastic joke that leaves you in tears from laughing so hard.

Jenny said...

I recognize this kind of situation. On the bus to town there is sometimes a lady sitting there, who has learning difficuties as well. And she talks pretty loud and much the same all the time, but it's all about trying to ignore her, even though she is very annoying. I put my mp3 on and then I won't be disturbed. =) It helps. Although she is pretty amusing sometimes.

The Clandestine Samurai said...

Goes to show you that understanding transcends the age gap. Naturally, here in New York City we have the same kind of bus rides full of immature idiots. In all honesty, I sometimes wish buses were equipped with small gatling guns that shot and subdued anyone going over a certain sound decibel.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Samurai - i know exactly how you feel!

Honour said...

they HAVE done experiments on this you know ... or Dateline on ABC (an american channel did a quasi-experiment) ... they took people, put them in a public place, and had them talk loudly on their cell phone (my biggest pet peeve)... and see how long it took before someone told them to pipe down. Then, to make it really interesting, they switches ages, genders and races to see if that had any difference. People tended to not tell women to be quiet - because they wanted to hear how the story ended - ha ha. thanks for posting a link to my site - I'm flattered!

Pixie said...

you should try living with one of the swaering 17 year olds, not surprising I'm going to leave home next year, can't take the pace.

Liz said...

I hope I'm like that old lady!!

I often used to wonder if I was in an asylum and the rest of the world was looking in. Now I know I am.

Suburbia said...

Made me laugh too......still laughing!