As I’m just pulling away from a stop, a huge woman of indeterminate age decides to run – if you can call it that – right across my path in order to make me stop so she can clamber on. Inconceivably, this plainly dangerous act is a familiar strategy of getting a bus to stop, most often employed by those who can move about as freely as a steamroller driven by Dawn French

She is easily 25 stone and sports a wispy moustache, a whopping fat hat and a brace of mossy teeth that resemble a broken graveyard. She is also clutching an utterly decimated Mars Bar in one meaty fist and, as she hauls herself on, the following conversion ensues

To whit:

Me: You do realise that what you did was really dangerous?
Fat woman: (Gasping like an asthmatic hippo) What?
Me: What you just did. Running across the front of the bus as it was moving
FW: (Angrily) Well, if you don’t want me on your bus…
Me: But…
FW: I’ve got enough problems without this
Me: I can see that
FW: Eh?
Me: Look, it’s up to you: on the bus or off it is fine. I just don’t want you under it
FW: Are you being funny?
Me: Apparently not
FW: (Unwrapping a second Mars Bar) Got enough problems (grumbling)


Two little old ladies greet each other on the 1

Little old lady #1: Oooh, hello Jean. How are you?
Little old lady #2: Hello Mary. Yes, fine thanks
LOL #1: Off to town?
LOL #2: Yes. To sort some business
LOL #1: Ooh, sounds exciting!
LOL #2: It will be…
Me: Gulp…


It’s horrendously busy Saturday evening and the bus is packed to the gunnels with jocular rugby fans in varying states of belching inebriation. I pick a woman up at the Guildhall who proceeds to ask for the nearest stop to a church situated at the top of Walcot Street. The stop is Walcot Gate, about six minutes walk away, and the citadel in question is the First Church of Christ Scientist.

This, as the following conversation unfolded, should have been my first clue.

To whit:

Yampy Christ Scientist Woman: Walcot Gate? OK, how much is that?
Me: £2.20
YCSW: Not it’s not
Me: Sorry…?
YCSW: It’s not £2.20
Me: (Fearing some sort of Jedi mind trick) I can assure you that it is
YCSW: (Fixing me with a steely glare) It’s not. It’s £2.20 all the way to Larkhall, not just up the road
Me: It’s £2.20 to Walcot Gate
YCSM: No it’s not
Me: Yes it is
YCSW: No it’s not
Me: It’s a £2.20 flat fare. It’s been this way since 2014
YCSW: No it hasn’t
Me: Yes it has
YCSW: No it hasn’t
Me: Look, I’m sure you think you’re right but it’s £2.20
YCSW: (Stroppily) Well, I may as well walk then. It’s only up the road
Me: May your God be with you


An American woman, straight from central casting and wielding an excruciating ‘oh…ma…God’ accent, was waiting to get off at the bus station. We pulled into a bay and, as I opened the double bus doors to allow her to alight, the following conversation ensued

To whit:

American woman: Is this the elevator?
Me: (incredulously) Sorry…elevator?
AW: Y’know… the lift…up to the bus station?
Me: No
AW: OK. So, where is the bus station?
Me: We’re here…
AW: Oh sorry, my hearing aid’s not working
Me: Trump’s trousers…


On a packed bus during the school run, a young mum is loudly helping her small daughter remember her somewhat extensive collection of names

To whit:

Young mum: So, what’s your name?
Small daughter: Sophie
YM: What else?
SD: Um…
YM: Sophie… Jade… Esme… anything else?
SD: Um…
YM: Summer…
SD: Why did you call me Summer?
YM: Well, we couldn’t call you Winter, could we?
Me: No; that would be stupid…


As a little old lady got off the 4 on Grand Parade, she handed me two somewhat misshapen and disconcertingly warm Snickers bars, whereupon the following conversation took place

To whit:

Little Old Lady: Ooh, drive, someone’s left your lunch on the seat
Me: (Somewhat reluctantly) Er…thanks
LOL: (Jerking a thumb towards her husband) Oh, it’s OK; he only sat on them for a minute or two
Little Old Husband: (Sheepishly) I didn’t know what I was sitting on
Me: I’ll gobble them right up


As a tribute to the Thin White Duke, today’s Metro had the classic shot of Ziggy Stardust on its front page, precipitating the following conversation between to little old ladies on the 5

To whit:

LOL#1: I see David Bowie’s popped his clogs, then
LOL#2: Who?
Me: Aaaargh!


Oldish guy gets on the 1, and greets a neighbour of his who happens to be Spanish

OG: Oh, hello Mercedes. I thought you’d drive.

Tickled me, is all

Car Park

An elderly couple get on the 14 at the RUH. He’s somewhat reserved and down-trodden, while she’s over-tall and plainly accustomed to getting her way. She’s also wearing a truly hideous coat

Over-tall lady: Is this the one for the car park?
Me: The car park?
OTL: The car park
Me: Not sure what you mean. This goes to Odd Down
OTL: (Rolling her eyes) Yes. Odd Down car park!
Me: (Penny drops) Oh, you mean the Park & Ride?
OTL: That’s what I said, the car park and ride
Me: Right. You need the 41. This is the 14
OTL: But this is the 41
Me: It’s not. This is a 14 going to Odd Down
OTL: I know. The car park and ride
Me: Ok, fine. Why don’t you get the 41 from that stop there?
OTL: (Stroppily) Alright
Her husband: (Conspiratorially, as they get off) It’s OK; she doesn’t listen to me either
Me: Really? Lawks


A little old lady was bending another’s ear regarding some scaffolders that had been ‘doing some work’ on her house.

To whit:

Little Old Lady #1: There were three of them, but only two were doing any work. The other one just sat in the truck. Waste of money
Little Old Lady #2: Waste of money
LOL#1: Mind you, he couldn’t really have done any work, because he was a very substantial fellow. And he seemed to spend the whole time eating
LOL#2: Yes
LOL#1: Waste of money
LOL#2: Waste of money
Me: Scaffolders are tossers, aren’t they?
LOL#1: Eh?
Me: That was a bit of a waste of money
LOL#1: Waste of money
LOL#2: Waste of money