So you should be. Photo by Tim Ellis
It wasn’t my health or environment that made me swap my daily commute from Moseley on the No. 50 bus for a bike ride. The abuse, crack smoke, constant smell of Macdonalds fries and occasional smell of urine never helped matters, but the thing that really turned me off was the tinny sounds of crap garage blasting out of gobby teenagers’ mobile phones. I could never fathom why they found their favourite music was best enjoyed when it sounded like it was played on a secondhand cassette machine in the bath, gave up trying to and bought a cheap boneshaker off Ebay instead.
One day a particularly loud broadcast interrupted a toryboy’s enjoyment of his Telegraph and he saw fit to tell him, “I don’t want to listen to your shit,” as if that would come as some sort of surprise. Upon being answered with incoherent mumbling, he searched around the top deck for moral support, met my eyes and asked me if I wanted to listen to this rubbish. I told him what I wanted was to marry him. Beeper could have been Our Song.
Battling the wind, rain and racedrivers and on my crap bike was always worth not having to hear grime grating on my brain after a hard days’ work.
But last Thursday I found myself in a hurry so I hopped back on. They’ve got plasma tellies now, so you can see what the kids are smoking before you go upstairs.
Downstairs a couple chatted over their twin buggy. One seat held their baby and in the other sat two small dogs. Perhaps it was the Special Brew that deafened them to the horrified silence on board.
Now every day I put my £1.50 bus fare into a glass jar. I’m saving up for a new bike.