On The Buses: Bus chats

vintage Leeds busComment logo 2A shorter edition this week. Some of you will be relieved Real life got in the way. As you can imagine, my life is a constant whirl of parties, gala openings and catching up with my celebrity friends.

I reckon I owe you some stuff about buses. That being what this was supposed to be about in the beginning. Before I got distracted.

So, I should admit first of all that nearly all my bus travel is either on the Number 2 or 3. And once on the 38 because I thought it was the 3A and I’m really gormless.

There was once a fantastic documentary-maker, Humphrey Jennings, back in the 1940s, who made wonderful visual poems about Britain. I, on the other hand, am a nosy so-and-so who listens in on other people’s conversations and then writes them down. I feel we are brothers of sorts.

Because these conversations take place in South Leeds I’ve had to edit certain words out. You know which ones I mean.
I don’t know whether I like buses or bus stops best when it comes to eavesdropping. They’ve both been a great source of pleasure to me over the years (except for when people are moaning about the bus stop being cold and I want to shout “God help us if there’s a war, you soft ****”). So anyway, here are a few of my favourite conversations I’ve listened in on.

This first one was between a couple of people heading into town and revealed that the gifts of prophecy in Yorkshire are not merely confined to Mother Shipton.

WOMAN: I’ve had one of my funny feelings again.
MAN: You know, I think your funny feelings always come true. It’s weird.
WOMAN: I know. My uncle said I’m a witch.
MAN: What are you feeling?
WOMAN: I’ve got a feeling the Pop Man might come early today.
MAN: Really?
WOMAN: Yeah. I’m never wrong when I have one of my feelings. Remember when I predicted that Amy Winehouse might die?
MAN: That was weird! Proper ******* creeped me out!

There was a short pause in the conversation which gave me time to think of the amazing foresight required to predict Amy Winehouse’s demise before the subject took a mysterious turn towards the subject of keep-fit. The mystic cleared her throat to speak.

WOMAN: You don’t need to go to the gym. I lost 12 stone walking to the Co-Op and back.

And let that be advice to all of us. Unless you live next door to the Co-Op in which case you may be asking too much from the Gods of Weight-loss.

Young people are, of course, the greatest source of joy and humour, and also, you know, the future. The following conversation took place around the time of the media’s Ebola-panic a couple of years ago. My favourite part though is the indeterminate number of coats worn by one of the boys.

TEENAGE BOY1: It’s ******* cold.
TEENAGE BOY 2: I know.
TB1: I’m wearing two to three jackets.
TB2: Eh?
TB1: To keep warm.
TB2: Yeah, but that makes no sense. Two to three. Anyway, why don’t you get a big coat?
TB1: Too many pockets.
TB2: Yeah. You only need two pockets and an inside pocket for your drugs an’ ****.
TB1: Yeah.
TB2: What about this viola then?
TB1: Eh?
TB2: It’s coming here from Africa in 16 days.
TB1: **** that mate. I’m not getting viola – I’m getting gas-masked up to ****.
TB2: Yeah. **** viola.

Final words which would have made string quartets around the land weep.

And lastly, one of the best conversations I’ve ever heard which took place at the Corn Exchange, a place I’ve found that all the finest discourse takes place as ideas and dreams are floated and discussed.

YOUNG LAD #1: I have to buy all my own stuff. Me nan dunt give me owt.
YOUNG LAD #2: She dunt buy your food?
YOUNG LAD #1: She gets me food. I dint mean that.
YOUNG LAD #2: What about yer clothes?
YOUNG LAD #1: She gets them an’ all.
YOUNG LAD #2: What you on about then?
YOUNG LAD #1: I have to buy me own weed an’ that. She dunt give me nowt.

Grandmothers everywhere take note. Today’s teens expect more than food, a drawer full of sweets and even having the dirt wiped off their faces with the wet corner of a hankie.


One Reply to “On The Buses: Bus chats”

  1. Best conversation I overheard was from this 20 something couple over in Cumbria. Caught the Cumbrian Coast train from Ravenglass to Carlisle and this couple boarded at Seascale, the bloke asked his partner if she had her ticket ready, she replied ‘yes’ looking rather confused upon seeing the conductor. She then said ‘does the conductor drive the train, I thought they always did’

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