Thursday, March 10, 2011


Today's blog has two strands. Like if London was copied and pasted somewhere just alongside it wiping out Buckinghamshire or Essex or something. Probably something. The reason for this is because I would like to tell you all about Derren Brown's new show that I went to see last night but I'm not allowed. Its so awesome and mind fuckery that even revealing the slightest thing would ruin it for you and your face, so let it just be known that you should go and see it. I didn't take a tin foil hat with me yesterday due to a lack of time to prepare, so there is also a chance that if I try and remember it he's already put a mind block on me and my brain would fizzle out anyway. Instead of using literature to weave the ins and outs of the mind man's trickery, and yes I'm proud of that small collection of words I just put together, here is Strand 1:


I have spent well over 20 minutes - and by that I mean about 23 minutes - recording a new answerphone message. I was pleased with the last one as it was recorded in a spur of the moment brain dump and caused many a nice response. Working along the lines of telling people to leave me a message or not leave me a message and leave me in a constant state of enigma and paranoia as to who called and why, it struck a chord with many a folk. By that, I mean by the first call they sniggered and by the second, third and consecutive rings (everyone calls the T more than once to hear my dulcet tones. Fo sheezy) they were immensely bored, felt it went on too long and stopped leaving me messages going entirely against the point of my message. This had clearly got on some people's nerves more than others and today Brett sent me an email with his own suggestions of voicemails I could record just so I wouldn't have that one anymore. So, to rile the message Nazi, I spent some time trying to record a long tale about the discovery of the 'beep' in my best old wise man film voice (think John Hurt, Ian McKellen etc) over the Tron Soundtrack. It now goes on for ever and I am immensely proud. Brett likes it, but give him a week and it will grate. Martyne left me a message saying 'you are a numpty'. More will fall. Or I'll just change it in a week's time. I feel all of this is a perfectly reasonable way to waste a large portion of my afternoon when I should be working.

And now, Strand 2:


There is general consent that getting the night bus is a stressful event in one's life. Many a time I have been unfortunate to be sitting next to vomiting, shouting weird people all crawling their way onto the only means to drag their damaged selves home after a solid night of enjoyment. Then there are the eventide preachers who want you to know that God is coming, has been, once popped by or generally has lost all care. Sometimes you might be really lucky and just get the dangerous types who fight each other or someone else until the bus stops, and kicks everyone off so now you have the fortune of being left on the side of the street with said dangerous people which is far worse than the confines of a bus.

And now, after nodding your head along to all the stereotypes that I've just portrayed of the nightime transport crew like it was a McIntyre style observation, discard them all again as I am about to blow your judgemental minds. Here's a bit of a secret, so hush hush now. Despite my oh so glamorous lifestyle of living in a house filled with mould and Tom, eating out of service stations and playing in clubs where the backroom is toilet behind the stage, I do often get nightbuses. I know, I know. It must be a shock for all you 'normals' that I don't get chauffeur driven around by a man named 'Alfred' or have my own helicopter, but that's because I like to keep it real, and stay down with the kids and other phrases that are nothing but patronising to teenagers. Generally, I like them. Yes indeedy. I like the nightbus and last night was a prime example of exactly why they be the metal steed of the dark.

After a superb evening of mind messing and a much fun train ride home where myself and my friend and Derren ticket giver Corrie, ate enough cheese puffs to make a horse sick, I found myself at London Bridge many minutes after the last tube had gone. Waiting at a bus stop in the cold to be delivered an hour away to Muswell Hill by the wondrous 43, I saw a woman carrying a huge double bass struggling to look at the bus times. I decided that despite the possibility of seeming creepy at 1am by a bus stop that I would help her out, give her the information needed and then have a chat because I my phone battery had died and I was bored. Conversation struck up in seconds and it turned out she is one of the premiere female double bass players in the country, rocking her giant string instrument across the land with various groups. Amazing. It occurred to me that anyone with a less exciting job would probably not be waiting at a night bus stop at London Bridge at 1am in the morning on a Wednesday. Myself excluded of course. Much brilliant banter ensued including the notion of her using her double bass as a giant guitar like a reverse ukulele, and the idea of a real life Winzip so she wouldn't have to carry around an instrument that was the same size as her everywhere she went. Conversation made time fly and the bus finally arrived.

Niceties on a night bus you say? Well that wasn't all. During the journey it became apparent our driver was a hero of a high moral degree. Firstly berating a man to the joy of the other passengers because he had been rude as he got on the bus, the driver hit a peak when a man stumbled out of the doors, into a wall, smacked his head on some steps and fell over. Driver dude started to pull away, then quickly stopped and began to race out of his own bus to see if the man was ok. I said I would check so he wouldn't have to leave his till etc unattended and hopped off to find a very drunk man with a very sore head who assured me he was fine. I told the driver and he made some quips about him waking up tomorrow with 'two heads' which I think was an insinuation of the size of the bump he'd get rather than some sort of terrible freak genetic accident. Then we chuckled one of those chuckles you might see in a heartwarming drama about the North, and he drove us home.

I was tempted to stay on board till Barnet to see what else might happen, but I like to think that as I hopped off at my stop he went on to stop someone being mugged and rescued a kitten from a tree. All hail the night bus driver! May he continue to work anti-social hours for the benefit of society for ever more.

No comments:

Post a Comment