A 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.
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.
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’ ****.
TB2: What about this viola then?
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.