Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Overheard On The Bus

Well, it wasn't exactly overheard as everyone on the bus could hear what was said. On Monday night I had to work back late. Not wanting to wait at the bus stop too long I grabbed a bus that I wouldn't normally take. Not too far down the road an old woman and an old man boarded the bus.

What a pair they made. She had no front teeth, a durry in her hand and some raggedy clothes. And oh what a voice. Think Kath & Kim and mix that with the loudness of an alcoholic. The guy, Fred was his name, wore a singlet which revealed a very skinny frame, quite a reasonable beard, uttered not much more than "Yeah" and "Ah" and "U-huh" much like a hen-pecked husband along with the extremely strong smell of stale urine. And I was standing next to him.

You know how people are reluctant to move back in the bus? Well, the next time the bus stopped a couple of people alighted but the ones standing were running to the back of the bus. The stench was quite overpowering.

The lady was dominating in the relationship. When asked about paying the fare by the driver she said that it would either be a fifty or ninety cent fare. Then, at the top of her voice, she told Fred that she had George Bush all worked out and that she had something to say to him. She hated living her life in fear and wanted to tell him so. We passed a couple of stops and the bus driver, quite irately, asked her if she was going to pay for the fare.
"How much?" she asked.
"Ninety cents each," was the response. The bus driver thought that she wasn't eligible for a concession as she had not shown a concession card.
"See that Fred? They are short of money. It could have been fifty cents but noooo, they want my ninety cents." This had a few people chuckling.

The next discussion involved alcohol. Our friend announced "You'll never get me to admit that I'm alcoholic, Fred. You'll never get me to say that. Lips that have touched liquor will never touch mine. Lips that have touched liquor will never touch mine, Fred. Lips that have touched liquor will never touch mine." A few more chuckles were evident.

At this point an older lady wanted to get off the bus and walked past this woman. "How are you dear?" said the alkie. "You are welcome to come to Fred's place."

Then she went on to tell Fred that when she first went down this road you could smoke on the bus.
"In 1956 no-one said anything if you had a smoke on the bus. You worked hard all day and if you felt like a smoke no-one said anything, Fred. That was it, Fred. That was it. I-T it." More chuckles raised.

"My sister's father-in-law lived to be 106, Fred. A hundred and six. And he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. Three packs a day, Fred. And he drank two bottles, two big bottles, of whiskey a day. When he was in hospital the doctor said, 'Nurse, give this man his cigarettes because the only thing holding his lungs together is the tar. I don't want to be held responsible for manslaughter.'"At this point the front half of the bus had burst out laughing. Next time we heard how old he was he was 108. And just before getting off the bus, where she yelled to Fred, "Fred, get off the bus!", she mentioned that the sister's father-in-law was 102. People on the bus were nearly in tears.

As soon as the pair of them alighted the bus driver turned around to face everybody and said, "There you go folks, some light entertainment!"

Talk about hysterical. I wish I had thought to record it on my camera with the audio function.

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