Bus Journey Dialogue

(Upper deck of a bus travelling from Manchester to Bury. I was sat two seats in front of a man journeying alone, having a telephone conversation while wearing the largest headphones you ever saw. I suspect he was belatedly trying to crack the Enigma code. From his accent I decided that he wasn’t a local.)

Man: “I can’t wait to see you. I’ve just got on the bus now. It’s red hot, and I’m dying for a piss. Manchester bus station charges you to go in the toilet, what’s that all about? What . . . who is that? Tell him I’ve got sharp teeth to bite his ears off. He will look fetching without ears.”

(I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping on other people’s conversations, inspirational though they may be, but he was speaking very loud, and that statement about his teeth got my attention.)

Man: “Erm . . . I’m not sure where I am . . . we are passing a bridge . . . I have been on the bus for about ten minutes. There is some numpty on a motorbike spraying a car full of mud. Is Manchester a rough place?”

(I looked out of the window to see someone on one of those off-road scrambler motorcycles, spinning around and around on a grass patch beside the road, purposely spraying mud all over the bonnet and windscreen of a car that was stuck helplessly at a traffic light on red.)

Man: “Idiot. I shouldn’t be long. Do us a bacon butty, I’ve had nowt since I left. Do you have lots of chocolate in your house? Yeah? I’ll have a dirty Crunchie when I get there.”

(I suspected that this could be a euphemism.)

Man: “Will you come and meet me? Or are you gonna direct me over the phone? I’m not sure . . . there is a posh house . . . and some trees . . . some more houses . . .trees . . .”

(I came to the conclusion that giving descriptions to ascertain his whereabouts was not his strong point. I turned to him.)

Me: “You are just coming into Middleton bus station.”

Him: “Oh-I’m arriving now! A very kind gentleman just told me. What? Oh- that is who you have paid to kill me, is it? Remember my sharp teeth.”

(The bus pulled into the station and he got up, giving me a thankful nod despite being weighed down by those colossal headphones, as he went down the stairs. I hope, if he made his rendezvous, that he enjoyed his dirty Crunchie. If you know what I mean.)




12 thoughts on “Bus Journey Dialogue

  1. Long time no read! (On my behalf!)
    It is great that this conversation has been immortalised. In my creative writing module we have been asked to keep an observational journal to capture such moments! It never did occur to me that I would be expected to master the art of eavesdropping at university!


    • Hey PJ! I have been wondering recently how you have been going on. As Mary says, above, there are inspirational figures crossing our path all of the time. Some are maybe TOO unbelievable to use!


  2. You listen to the best conversations! At least he referred to you as a kind gentleman, though he seems to think you were hired to murder him. 🙂 I’d like to follow that guy around.
    Um what’s a bacon butty?


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