Father Jack On A Bus

You know what I like to find on a bus, on a Sunday evening?

I like to find myself sitting opposite a drunk man. And not just any drunk man, a drunk Irish man. Saying stereotypical Irish things. As a joke. I think. Maybe. But I’m not sure. Although he didn’t say “feck”. So maybe he wasn’t even really Irish.

I was happily reading my book on my Kindle and pretty much minding my own business and he just looked up from his drunken stupor and went “Is your phone big enough?”

I don’t know if you’ve tried to explain a Kindle to a drunken Irish man before, but it’s not that easy.

I gave up. I started with it not being a phone. I went on from there. A little bit. But there’s only so many times you can reply to “Wha?” before you have to change tack.

I just told him it was a book.

It seemed the easiest thing to do. And it did then shift his attention from me to the black man sitting behind him who – judging from the conversation – he had never met before but was quite happy to tell everyone on the bus what a lovely man he was – something he continued long after the guy had got off the bus – and also that he wished he was his son.

It’s not often you end up on a bus ride where it’s like an episode of Surprise Surprise! and people are discovering sons they didn’t know they had or wanted until they happened to sit next to them on the bus.

When I got off the bus, the stereotypically drunk Irish guy had slipped into some sort of alcohol-based slumber/coma. I’m not sure where he was getting off, or should have got off, as where I get off the bus is practically the end of the circular route. There’s not really anywhere else he could have got off that we hadn’t already gone past.

I know for a fact he must have got off somewhere because I was on the exact same physical bus today and he wasn’t still on it. Which was a shame, really, as there’s something romantic about the idea of him riding a circular route between two points in Huddersfield that really evokes the old days of people riding in boxcars.

Sort of.