The extended embarrassment on the bus…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s weather may include: exalted blueness with scattered sharp descending opals, ribald rising fluffiness in grey and white, strange wisps erupting from the jagged treetops, and the threat of crepuscular red chafing in the west, before gloom folds his dark blanket down upon us all…
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

There is a particular East Yorkshire bus that I like to get back from town around tea time, because not many people seem to get on it; perhaps most of them have earlier in the day bought return tickets with the other bus company Stagecoach and have to go home on one of those. Because it is not crouded it is generally a nice peaceful and speedy trip.
Yesterday when I boarded this bus in the Dulltown Interchange I found that I was to share the saloon (is that the correct word?) of the single-decker with just four others – an elderly couple and a pair of tired looking Hi-Vis clad middle-aged chaps with brown muck on their boots. I took a seat two or three seats behind the silver-haired fawn-clad couple. We set off…
After passing a few bus stops through town we halted at one to allow a person to board; an unshaven middle-aged man of modest stature – he engaged in some cheery banter as he negotiated his fare with the driver and then took a sideways facing seat in front of the elderly couple and across the aisle from the weary builders. We set off again…
The newcomer decided to address the assembled throng, his new-found captive audience. He had a loud, but slightly slurred voice, (I think he might have had one or two drinks in town) – he also sounded like his native country might be the Emerald Isle. Words such as, ‘Spud’, ‘Murphy’, ‘Kinsale’ and ‘County Cork’ could be heard proudly bandied around. Of course, I considered, this person could be a posh actor, from Hampstead or the home counties, going out ‘in character’ to get used to a new theatrical role… but I don’t think so, this ‘loveable Irish rogue’ seemed to be beyond parody and was indeed the genuine article. I expect he’d been brought up with the idea that it was his task in life to be always ‘amusing’ and to be the ‘life and soul…’
The builders reluctantly joined in with the jolly badinage, but the elderly couple seemed to prefer to keep out of it – ah, those old party poopers! Happily, I was just far enough away to be able to avoid all this.
The banter wasn’t too loud, and I could cope with it – it was, shall we say, bearable? Then, the unthinkable happened…
Paddy seemed to have sensed the elderly couple’s reticence, and their lack of community spirit, and decided to get them involved, and ‘cheer them up’ – he started singing a song at them. It was one of those multiple verse, humorous, bouncy, traditional Irish ballads. It went on for quite a while, it had perhaps a dozen verses, but from my position and disposition it felt like it would never ever end. Every time I glanced up from my head-down-in-misery posture I saw him winking enthusiastically, between the lines of his ditty, to the couple, and also across at the builders in order to keep them interested. As for the couple, I could only see the backs of their bowed heads, but I was sure they were displaying polite simpering smiles of fake appreciation…
So… this… is what hell will be like!…
He was just running out of lyrics as the bus approached my stop – before I alighted, and just out of devilment, I was tempted to shout out, ‘Bravo! Encore! Please, do sing it again!…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in drama, Grumpiness, Hull.UK., humour, music, observations, overheard, serendipity, surrealism, weather, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The extended embarrassment on the bus…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    Funny story, always good to have a free concert on the bus!

  2. Jheron Bash says:

    Could have been worse. He might have had a violin 🎻.

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