“Which is your favourite one I liked the one of the far right there what’s his name I think it’s Brosnan something? I never really watched any of the ones with the guy in the middle who was the longest Bond haha I don’t mean in THAT way who was there the longest I mean Roger Moore was probably there for like a decade and everyone always says Sean Connery was the best Bond but he was only there a few years I never really watched the recent one – Patty! Patty! I was just saying we never really watched the newer ones did you watch them…”
The blonde American beside me was not getting on my nerves. No, ‘getting on my nerves’ was her status about five stops back. She had sped rapidly past that, through ‘grating as fuck’ and beyond ‘on my last wick’, and was now grinding my gears to such an extent that I genuinely was convinced by this stage that my teeth were going to be ground down to stubs by the time I escaped this inane, crushingly tedious chatterbox and her horrifyingly bland possé. And then it happened.
“SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP, JUST SHUT UP YOU FUCKING BRAINLESS BITCH!”
There was a moment of silence. The man was out of breath, panting, spent, aghast at his own extraordinary breach of social etiquette but, you could tell, euphoric at this release he had idulged in. He was standing at the front of the bus, top deck, one hand clinging to the yellow rail across the front window, the other pointing directly at the stunned tourist beside me. He was shaking furiously, clearly unsure of what to do next. Just then, the pretty student-type in front of me plucked her in-ear headphones out, turned slightly to the right, and gave a relieved smile and sigh, seemingly both at once.
“Thank you so much, I have waited for so long to do this… YOU FUCKING IDIOTIC MORONS, WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING? HOW UNBELIEVABLY WITHOUT SELF-AWARENESS DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO TALK SO LOUDLY, ACT SO DICKISHLY, AND JUST GENERALLY BEHAVE LIKE THE WORLD’S CUNTS?! I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT-”
She was interrupted by a man further back – I was still rooted to the spot, facing forward, so I didn’t see him – joining in with evident glee:
“Oh my God it’s finally HAPPENING! I can’t believe it, this is something I’ve fantasised about for years – GET THE FUCK OUTTA OUR COUNTRY YOU ‘TARDS! YOU IGNORANT, UNCULTURED, SLIMY, SELF-IMPORTANT, SELF-OBSESSED, JUST…JUST…JUST…FUCK OFF!”
One by one, the erstwhile impassive commuters lambasted the baffled group of visitors, who were becoming more and more frightened of the baying mob-like mentality which had gripped the upper saloon’s passengers. Presently, it became too much for the ashen-faced Americans, and they rose to make their way downstairs. The raging crowd cheered deleriously, breaking into a chant of ‘CHEERIO, CHEERIO, CHEERIO’ and theatrically waving at their departing victims.
I watched from my window seat as the trembling tourists exited the 25, and I could see how shaken they were – at least one of the women was fighting back tears, and one of the men, with his arm around someone I could only assume was his wife, wore the dumbfounded thousand-yard stare of a war veteran. And I laughed. I had no sympathy.
If you’re in someone else’s country, show some respect. If not, a verbal lashing is the least you should expect.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…☭