Monday 12 October 2009

Tales From The 62 Bus - Number 4 - The Tooth, The Whole Tooth and Nothing But The Tooth

Since I am currently away on holiday enjoying myself, here's another tale from the 62 bus.

It was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon, so I decided to go into the city centre to buy a new pair of sandals. Yes, I know - the World Shoe Mountain currently resides in my spare bedroom, but, well, you never can tell when that rumoured Slingback Shortage is going to occur, so, abiding by that old Girl Guide motto 'Be Prepared', off I trotted. (For the purposes of this tale, it's actually irrelevant that I was thrown out of the Girl Guides due to my reliance on my own personal motto 'Be a Pain in The Arse'.)

So there I was, sitting on the bus, gazing out of the window and listening to my ipod (The Clash if anyone cares). About half way into town, I noticed someone sitting down next to me. When I say 'I noticed' what I actually mean was 'I couldn't help noticing because he sat on my knee and breathed stale beer fumes all over me'. Oh good, that most annoying of Bus Pests, the Glasgow drunk. He apologised profusely. I mostly couldn't hear what he was saying due to the music so I I just smiled and turned away. Then he spoke to me again and I just nodded and smiled and looked out the window. So he tapped me on the shoulder and spoke again. I pointedly took out the earpiece from the ear on the Bus Pest side and said "Sorry?"

"Oh! Are ye listening tae music hen?"


"Whit are ye listening tae?"

"Just a mixture." (My patented method of getting rid of The Bus Pest is be brief, be polite, don't give them too much information, they'll only ask more questions).

"Is it some of that meatrocker music?" (OK, so my patented method needs a little work). "Ah'm an Elvis man maself. Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra... Ah'm no much o' a singer mind." I breathed a sigh of relief - thankful for small mercies - at least I wasn't going to be treated to a rendition of My Way. "Although, I dae a pretty guid Ma Way, if I dae say so maself." I cast about feverishly for a hole of swallow-me-up size, but luckily he decided not to sing.

In one way, I would have loved to have seen him sing. He had apparently recently been to the false Teeth Shop but was obviously in a hurry on teeth shopping day. I knew this because a) he had the most perfect set of top teeth (apart from the fact that they moved independently from his gums) and b) he had 2 yellow bottom teeth (and I don't mean he had two yellow bottom teeth in an otherwise perfect set. I mean he had only 2 bottom teeth, and they were bright yellow). Watching him speak was like watching a badly dubbed Hungarian film. When he finished speaking, his top teeth were still in motion - moving away from his gums, out over his bottom lip and, on a couple of really scary occasions they were sucked back into his mouth and disappeared towards his throat. I was mentally practising the Heimlich manouevre.

Instead he held out his hand "Ah'm Big Chick. Pleased tae meet ya hen. And you are?...."

"Donna", I said quietly.

"Did yez hear that?" he announced to the rest of the bus "The lassie's called Donna. Whit time is it Donna?"

"Ten past one."

"Ten past wan? Ten past wan in the MORNIN'?"

", afternoon" What, did he think Glasgow had sneakily moved locations while he was down the pub and was now situated in the land of the midnight sun? At that point, a woman got on the bus and he said to her "Dae ye want ma seat pal?" She shook her head and moved on, despite the pleading look I gave her. Big Chick leaned over to me and whispered (and, when I say 'whispered' what I actually mean is 'boomed loudly') "She's just jealous 'cos ah'm sittin' with you instaed o' her." Yes, I should imagine the whole bus was positively emerald green with jealousy at my good fortune by now. At least, those who weren't sniggering with glee at my predicament and increasingly red face.

"Where are ye fae' Donna?"

"Here. I live here."

Again, the annoucement of this titillating piece of information to the rest of the bus "Did yez all hear? Donna lives in Glasgae."

Someone up the back of the bus laughed. My Bus Pest turned round, taking his jacket off "Hey youse up the back - haud yer wheesht. Dae yis want tae fight me?" Luckily no one took him up on this. I say luckily because he then turned back to me and said "Ah'm a bouncer." Oh. Really. Since 'Big' Chick was less than 4 feet 6 inches tall and more than 104 years old, I found this a tad difficult to believe.

"Ah'm gettin' aff at the Sandyford." I breathed a sigh of relief. The Sandyford was a pub a couple of stops further up. "Are ye coming in? Ah'll see you right." I didn't know whether he meant for a drink, a fight or a lumber*, but frankly, I didn't want to ask.

"Errr, no, thanks all the same but I have to go into town."

"Okay hen, well you come in and see me on Monday. I'll be in the Sandyford fae' aboot 10 in the morning. It's a great wee boozer. It opens at 8am, so if ye get up and ye feel like a wee drink, ye can just stoat along."

Great. Hold me back.

Big Chick heaved himself out of the seat and walked to the front of the bus, turning round at the front to give me a last beery wave "Bye Donna hen. Ah'll have a wee pie and a pint waitin' fer ye on Monday mornin'."

Mmmmmm, can't wait.


  1. Great stuff Donna. Those teeth reminded me of happy days at work. ;o)

  2. Thanks, Donna! Glad to know I'm not the only one who's had to deal with Bus Pests...

  3. Pie and a pint, eh? Hmmm.

    Is that offer transferable? I could be hungry and thirsty in Scotland some time.


  4. You're welcome Norm!

    Margot - I believe they are an ever-increasing breed.

    Gerard - I think the offer would be open to all-comers - although girls might get preference :o)

  5. So, not being aficionados of the patter, could you tell us what "a lumber" is?

  6. In the tradition of male questions, what kind of pie?

  7. Brilliant - almost like a blog version of "Chewin the Fat!".

    And Tim - I'm pretty sure a description of "lumber" would cross the "not safe for work" boundary - suffice to say it tends not to have a lot to do with timber products (at least one hopes not)

  8. Tim - as Semi-Dweller correctly hints at, it's nothing to do with tree trunks - to get a lumber is the act of going to some social occasion engagement, meeting someone of the opposite sex and exchanging polite conversation and then taking him or her home and getting intimate with them. It's the whole experience, all in that one little word :o)

    Rob - unspecified meat. And when I say unspecified, I mean that you don't want to know what it is. You get them at football matches drowned in bovril - hard pastry with suspicious grey/brown filling (on odd occasions horribly recognisable as the tip of a pig's ear).

    Semi-Dweller - thank you - glad you enjoyed it :o)

  9. awww bless, he was just lonely, Donna and you should be proud of yourself and the public service you offered. you should sit with a placard - if you're drunk sit next to me and tell me your lifestory. Glasgow would give you the keys to the city

  10. Another wonderful story Donna - the bit about his top teeth is nothing less than poetry (in motion). I laughed so hard my uvula actually touched the tip of my nose for a brief second.
    I need to have it examined. :/

    I fully agree with mr. Malone; you're most kind. :)

  11. Mick - aye riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight - I get enough of them anyway, I'm not going to advertise myself :o)

    Nicolai - LOL - that sounds painful!