Tuesday, 16 May 2006

Free ride (part 2)

It’s 10.30am on a Sunday morning and once again I am awaiting the arrival of the number 42.

The vandals have dismantled the entire bus shelter by the bus stop at the bottom of Copley Hill. They must have done this during the day in full view of the passing traffic as they have ASBO curfews that restrict their night time activity.

‘The Crown’ has come back to life. The darts and dominoes plaque has been reinstated and there’s another one now that boasts ‘Under New Management’ & ‘Tetley’s £1.60 a pint’ scrawled on in permanent marker. From what I can see, it looks like ‘The Crown’ has been given a lick of new paint but the ‘cheap deals all day long’ will be what really attracts the punters.

I am joined at the bus stop by one of the residents of ‘Wortley Heights’ and his companion. The former, bearded, dusty and odorous, in a pair of dirty nylon trousers that hang off him. The latter ambles down the path towards me wearing an old addidas tracksuit and a pair of crutches as accessories. He has no trouble walking whatsoever. At no point do the crutches make contact with the ground or bear his weight.

As they take up their positions in the queue I spot a familiar character scuttling off somewhere all huddled up in a black bomber jacket and a peaked cap. It is my Muse. For a moment I am pleased to see her, apparently safe and well, before she disappears under the bridge and out of my sight.

The two men in the bus queue spot her as well.

Crutches man : oy, look at that whore

Dirty nylon trousers man : oh yeah, that’s ‘50p a go’

Crutches man : eh?

Dirty nylon trousers man : yeah, she can’t work at night when the other girls are out, they beat ‘er up ‘cos she's really bad for business ‘cos of ‘er cheap prices

Crutches man : ‘50p a go’?

Dirty nylon trousers man : that’s what they call ‘er

The bus pulls up and the man with the crutches skulks off to the back of the queue. The beardy nylon trousered man flashes his travel pass at the driver then makes his way to the top deck of the bus. The man with the crutches hovers at the end of the queue until his friend drops his travel pass out of one of the top deck windows. He then retrieves the pass from the pavement, flashes it at the naïve bus driver and drags himself and his crutches up the stairs to join his pal.

2 comments:

dormerportal said...

Oh my good gawd! Those characters are so vivid in my imagination - it's so tragic that it's comic! It's obviously a very eventful bus stop.

The Bum said...

Haha, I seen school kids doing that on the bus every monring - one pass for many.