I don’t think I’ve ever thrown up at a bus stop. I’ve once thrown up into my mouth on a bus, on the way back from an abortive University Christmas Party. I blame home-made wine and an empty stomach for what was a terrible ordeal, the song “Jakey’s gonna chunder” and a loss of consciousness for something like fourteen hours.
But I’ve never thrown up at a bus stop. I threw up on the legs of a bench outside my University department. But not a bus stop.
I came pretty close tonight, though.
I’d been in work, running a game for some lovely people from another escape room, and was done in plenty of time for my bus. Normally, I will stay inside until closer to the due time, but our offices have the ability to really channel the temperature of the surrounding air. So once I’d knocked off the blowers and shut the windows, it was warmer than a very warm thing wearing the warmest sweater.
So I went outside to enjoy a bit of a breeze and some fresh air.
I had twenty minutes to kill at the bus stop, happily reading my book.
And every single one of those twenty minutes was spent in the company of a woman who kept burping and then making gagging noises like she was going to throw up.
At one point, I thought she was drinking something through a straw and had got to the bottom of the beverage. But no, she was burping in such a way that it sounded like the dregs of a drink being hoovered up with a straw.
That’s not normal. Not even close to normal.
And the gipping noises were just the icing on the cake. Because they have the amazing ability to make other people feel sick as well. Like a yawn, throwing up can be contagious. Sometimes it’s the smell, but right there I was almost coming out in sympathy gips for the dry heaves.
At one point she went away from the bus stop, put a tissue over her mouth and made noises I would expect to hear from Peppa as she hacks up a furball.
And all this as I’m waiting to get home from work to enjoy my tea.