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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

We were sitting on the number 73 bus – the bus of champions – heading to Kings Cross to get a train to Nottingham. We were going to Nottingham because one of us was on the way to a Summer School Open University course, having spent more than the cost of a 2 week holiday in the South of France on the opportunity to spend a week trussed up in a lab coat doing experiments on leaves, glucose substrates and rat testicles (more of which later). The other of us was on the way to picking up the biggest bag of cricket equipment I have ever seen in my life. Both of these things were required to happen in Nottingham. Thus, we were Nottingham bound.

I had made a good effort at packing everything I owned in to a wheely suitcase, and it was standing in front of us on the bus, in the area kept aside for prams and bus bombers.

The number 73 bus – the bus for the discerning passenger – goes round a lot of corners, and the drivers usually take special care to brake as hard and as suddenly as possible as often as possible, in order to keep the passengers happily awake and alert. Therefore, I had occasion to keep lunging forward to stop my bag from falling forward on to the floor with a big bang, which would of course have caused most of the mildly-hysterical Londoners around us to jump in alarm and then spend the remainder of the journey shooting looks in our direction. I’m not a fan of the dirty look, so I kept a watchful eye on the bag.

A lady who was all round and fat from having a baby in her tummy got on the bus about 10 minutes after we did, and in front of her she was pushing a buggy with a toddler in it, such is the way with these round fat ladies. Said toddler was sat like a pudgy king on this throne, glaring around at the people on the bus as if trying to condemn us all to death because he was displeased. I’ve never seen a baby look more disapproving or cross. He looked like a medieval ruler unamused by a jester’s bladder-on-a-stick routine, the kind of ruler happier to throw jesters to crocodiles or lions than to crack a smile.

I remembered all that I’ve learnt so far of child psychology, so I tried to coax a smile out of the toddler king by smiling at him. He stared back at me as if I was completely deranged. He threw a look like our cat does just before she vomits. I sat back, defeated. There was nothing to be done to soothe his rage.

The moment I sat back, the bus jerked to a sudden stop for no reason at all, and my bag flew forward. The handle came *thisclose* to smacking the toddler king right in the face. I leapt forward before the fat-with-baby lady could threaten to sue me and removed the bag from the baby’s face.

The baby spent the rest of the journey giving the most astonishing variety of filthy looks, occasionally leaning forward in order to emphasise just how pissed off he was, at me and He Who Only… It was the most entertaining thing I’ve ever seen in my life.


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