Then there's the regulars, raisin like and white topped, with tartan and carpet patterned attire. Members of this flock will croon to one another, and take pleasure in running younglings over with their trolleys, a weapon of survival in the OAP community.
Akin to the above are the 'mothers' varying in ages from 13 to 30 the mothers dominate the bus,they squawk and squabble as an example to their spawn who follow suit and squawk along with them. The pushing and shoving of pram into pram, shopping bag into shopping bag is a prime example of urban survival of the strongest aka the fattest subject generally wins the battle.
This brings me to report my particular experience today. Not always but definitely on occasion you may while travelling on a bus experience the pleasure of breathing the same air as the older, disgustingly obese and dirty tramp like individual who graces our community. This is the person who for either medical or social reasons is so huge and dirty that they emit a foul stench from their person. Their clothes are often stained and spent 3 months outside of a washing machine, their hair is likewise caked in grease and debris, but it's the smell that draws ones attention, everyone on the bus knows when this person has arrived. God forbid they sit by you. Luckily I was too far back for this to be a possibility however the young man, rather good looking actually with his 'I should have been a member of the script' look and his 'I'm a student aspiring to be something awesome' bag. This poor fellow had the burden of being the chosen one of who must deal with the foul scented grunge.
A normal person brought up in polite society would have gritted their teeth, sat very still, tried not to touch any part of their body to the fat rolls of this creature, oh who are we kidding, you cannot not touch them, their entire person unfolds itself into the seat they practically drown you in fat flesh, but a normal person doesn't remark, they try and move casually at their earliest convenience to another seat and forget the horrid ordeal. Not this young man, not this guy.
I listened intently to the following exchange and along with the rest of the bus I tried to bite my tongue and not react to the funny side of such a rude exchange.
The grotesque woman clambered along the platform of the bus and I smelt it from as far back as I was and almost gagged. She heaved herself into the seat next to the young man and as previously mentioned she overflowed the space, the young man visibility tensed, he looked slightly discomforted that he hadn't noticed her approaching and therefore had no chance to escape. At first I thought he was going to settle and be silent as we all are in these circumstances, but then the woman shuffled and said rudely
"You could budge up mate, them seats am for the elderly you should give it up if you 'ad any respect" (To clarify, this woman was no way past 50, not exactly at her grave) I don't know if this chap had had a bad day but he blew up with words I didn't know anyone would have the nerve to say out loud particularly without planning.
"Excuse me? You're telling me I should move. You have slumped your rotting carcass into this seat when there are others available, your flab is pushing into me! clearly you're in no physical condition to even consider leaving your house but the fact that you have I would have thought you might consider washing yourself, what, what is that disgusting smell? You've either pissed yourself and not noticed or it's just a collection of rotten gone off muck that's collected under all that fat, but it's fucking disgusting, you reek! Everyone here is suffering because you reek! And you have the nerve to tell me I'm being disrespectful, you are disrespecting the fucking environment, it's people like you with a stink like that that's burning holes in the ozone."
With that the young man stood up, forced his way past the stinking shocked faced flab woman and strode to the front of the bus and glared at the woman before sitting down,
"There, the seats all yours. Bloody say I've got no manners."
The woman stared at the young man for a good while, not saying anything, I wondered if she'd died in that position from either the shock or whatever it was infecting her with that stench. But finally she blinked a few times and turned to sulk out of the window. I don't think she really took in what he said, or what it meant, and I seriously doubt it changed her lifestyle what so ever. But that young man was frankly a hero of honesty and when he got off 2 stops later I found myself wondering if was an aspiring reporter or something, I wanted to add him on Facebook and see if he did these sorts of outraged speech to strangers regularly or if this particular day caught him roughly. I just watched him stride down the road, shrugging his college bag up on his shoulder and disappeared probably more scarred by the episode with the fat stench than she was.