Thursday, June 22, 2006

An afternoon's worth of sights

The man in front of me regulates everything, even when he wasn't the first person in the queue. When anyone tried to go to the next self-service till to the left of us, he put his hand out: "The queue's back there mate." The people he confronts are quite apologetic (meaning very) and humbly go to the end of the line. I'm not sure how it's been determined that where we stand is the queue for the two self-service tills with long conveyors, but not for the other two tills without conveyors. I think this guy has just made this shit up, but I'm too scared to defy him.

He is now ringing up his things and it's my role, being the most senior in this queue, to handle any situations. I deftly manage two queue jumpers with similar authority. Then this girl appears. Somewhere between the age of 12 and 22, she's on one of those razor scooters, plugged into her iPod, with a basket hanging from the crook of her arm. I motion to her. She looks at me. Authority is waning. I motion again. She ignores me by forming her own queue. I am me, again.

I step in front of her to signal my disapprobation. Somehow, I don't think she gives a toss. And as I am bagging my things, her items come kareening down the conveyor. Off-brand Frosted Flakes, two packets of twisty pasta. How old is this bird?


The bus pulls into the stop, but before it got there, I see him. He's wearing a smart, but trendy pinstripe suit. His large briefcase has a shoulder strap and is sitting on the ground beside him. He looks off, wishing he could be far away. He looks exactly like Roy Keane, the recently retired, very scary footballer. Exactly. Could be twins. But as I am now looking at him, head on, he looks like Colin Firth. Or maybe Mark Viduka. Yeh, more like Mark Viduka, because of the hair, not at all floofy (as Colin Firth's would be) and it kinda looks like Ross's in the first season of Friends. But thicker.

I look at him again. Now Roy Viduka (or Colin Keane, whatever you fancy) looks like some very scary eastern European mobster. Not that I have knowingly met an eastern European mobster. But if I had, he would look like just.

And I laugh hysterically at the thought of the Roy Viduka mobster, as the bus moves on. Several people on the bus try not to look at me.


A man gets on the bus and makes his way to the first seat. Another guy is sitting by the window, legs akimbo, knee propped up on the wall in front of him. He makes a face as the first man moves to sit beside him, making him adjust his position, slightly. Now with room, the man does sit, and I notice his mouth is gaping open, as if in a smile, his teeth seem unable to be contained in his gob. He has very large ears and wears a suit coat, though it is quite warm outside. He sits in his seat poker straight, though slightly leaning forward, in contrast to the guy seated next the window who is slouched, elbow leaning on the slight window ledge next to the "Please make way for elderly and people with small children seats" sign attached the pane. His mouth is still open. He is seated in the aisle and has very large ears.

The man reminds me of what Peter Crouch would be like when he gets old, for, whenever I see Peter Crouch on telly, his mouth is open. And you're not sure if he has trouble breathing through his nose, or if he's smiling. And Peter Crouch will probably have enormous ears as well, as does this old man, along with the old man sitting in front of me and the old guy who went upstairs to sit on the upper level. What is the deal with old guys and huge ears? Again, cue my laughter. Again, cue their stares.


The bus pulls right beside a woman trying to get out of her car. She checks to see if she has enough clearance, then opens the door slowly and gingerly. She does not hit the bus, and she manages to get out. She is a large woman, larger than me, no muscle, but still probably somehow wears a 12 (I wear a 16; I console myself knowing that the sizes are two sizes bigger here than in the States). She's wearing a black trouser suit with a yellow top and sunglasses. She looks like the woman who used to give me jobs and take my time-sheet at Acorn: a woman, no matter what she was wearing, should not be wearing that. She looks like she should be called Nicola and holidays in Benidorm. As Nicola gets out of the car, I notice her enormous bosom and the inverse lack of chin. Sad, I think. She goes to the other side of the car. Nicola makes a face, a cross between happiness and disgust. She opens the car door. And pulls out a baby. I think it's a boy; he wears a white and blue top and baby blue baby trousers. He's adorable, his little baby hair going in all crazy directions. Nicola cuddles him sweetly, so sweetly it makes me smile. So sweetly I feel the little baby in my arms and smell he's sweet little baby smell. And I think, gosh. Which would be worst - no chin, but big tits, or a chin, and no tits? As I am a girl with the latter, I was thanking my lucky stars for my chin as the bus pulled away.


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