On the top deck of the 66 bus, Friday night, heading into town. Bloke starts having an incredibly loud argument over the phone with the person whom we on the bus could only assume was his girlfriend.
“I’VE TRAVELLED HALF-WAY AROUND EUROPE, F**KING FRANKFURT, LISBON, DRIVEN ACROSS IRELAND TO SEE YOU! I SAID I’D MEET YA IN MAYNOOTH AND THAT’S WHERE I WAS, YA STUPID B***H!”
Cue more cursing, before hanging up and apologising to everyone within earshot. Which basically meant everyone on the bus at this point. This was a nice gesture, though slightly diminished by his promptly calling up his girlfriend several more times to lambast her.
“WHAT THE F**K ARE YOU DOING IN ARMAGH?! WHO GETS A F**KING TAXI FROM BELFAST TO MAYNOOTH ANYWAY, YA MAD YOLK?! YOU’RE OFF YOUR F**KING TROLLEY! SOFIA, JUST STAY WHERE YA ARE, I’M GETTING A TRAIN TO BELFAST RIGHT NOW”
After hanging up a 3rd or 4th time the by-now-at-the-end-of-his-tether lothario turned and addressed the entire top deck of the 66, informing us directly that today was his birthday, he had travelled a frankly mind-boggling distance to see his girlfriend, and that he was virtually at his wit’s end. Then he unleashed the gem of a question, one that I will never forget:
“Does anyone here know where the f**k Maynooth in Armagh is?”
His girlfriend Sofia, an evidently quite flighty and kooky sort of girl (and damn hard to get a hold of, clearly) had got into a taxi in Belfast and asked to be taken to Maynooth. The driver, quite reasonably assuming that she couldn’t possibly mean Maynooth in Kildare, 120 miles away, instead took her to a Maynooth in Armagh.
Amazingly enough, having run the gamut of responses to this spectacle – feigning ignoring it, embarrassed silence, suppressed giggles, tentative chuckles, and finally open guffaws – several passengers did indeed get out their smartphones and help the poor frazzled lad in need. Even I, after I got off the bus at the same stop on Bachelor’s Walk, wished the misfortunate man a happy birthday and received a high-five in return for my best wishes.
Heartwarming and hilarious in equal measure.
Solidarity brothers & sisters…☭