Our guest blogger arrives today all the way from acoss the pond, over a continent, and then across another pond. Mo "Mad Dog" Stoneskin thank-you very much for pitch hitting for Pseudo Land today. If any of you don't read Mo, you really should. Wonderful posts featuring characters from pubs and trains are just some of the fun you will find at Mo's blog. I think I'll send him a Hawaiian shirt as a thank-you present...
He marched up the bus towards me. I hate that march, the one that inevitably results in them infringing on your space. The glare, the determined expression, the realisation that you don't stand a chance. His goofy teeth, splayed like a cog, and Hawaiian shirt – never trust anyone in a Hawaiian shirt (did Pseudo resist editing this out?) –filled me with dread.
Women are not a problem. They are perfectly able to think “oh, there are more free seats behind me, I'll turn back." Men are too stubborn. The bastards. They will storm past a million free seats and get to the point when they think “all the free seats are behind me, but it would be embarrassing to turn back, so I'll sit next to that chump instead."
Phew, I thought, the old man sat in a seat in front of me, across the aisle to my left. In one hand he was clutching a handful of coins, which he repeatedly counted, his other hand held a bus ticket. It hurts to imagine the pain of sitting next to a coin-counter.
The neighbouring seat (across the aisle) was free. Over he leant, looking for coins I think, his beady eyes ever alert. Tip of the day, never try and pick coins up when your hand is full of coins. Clink, clatter, fumble, clatter, clink. He fumbled, he rummaged, he scrambled. The passenger in front kept looking back, disturbed. The white-earphoned (ipod, I assume) bloke to my left was watching in awe. This was one determined old man, I'll tell you that. But a dissatisfied one too, his face told the tale of more coins dropped than found.
I didn't want to laugh, his life was probably the perpetual hell of picking coins up with a coin-filled hand. Maybe he was Sisyphus himself. When he got up to leave I saw he had a huge stretch of stitching across his bum, white thread on blue trousers. Bad choice of thread my coin-counting coin-clenching friend. The irony, and I kid you not, was this. At the exact stop he got off, a lady got on and sat in the seat he had been rummaging under. As she sat there, change spilled out her pockets all over the floor.