Dec 16, 2019: Olds

Nothing fills you with more fear than realising you’re on a bus that is about to cross the threshold into the dreaded 9.30am territory. The one and only time that pensioners are allowed – and MUST – travel each day lest they have their bus passes revoked.

And for all their complaining, tutting and muttering about people being rude and whatever else, there is nothing ruder than a pensioner who is told their bus pass is not yet valid because it’s not 9.30. They go down one of two roots – they will either kick off a bit to see where that gets them or pretend that they can’t hear or understand what the driver is saying, despite being able to hear – and talk – at great length at the bus stop mere moments ago.

There was a gentleman this morning who stood at the bus stop and kept checking his watch as the bus arrived. He knew full well he couldn’t use his pass before half past nine> So at twenty past nine he became almost mute, just nodding and looking bewildered to see how far that got him. It got him on the bus, for nothing, earlier than it should have. And yet if a yoof had snuck on without a ticket there would have been uproar.

And you could say that they should be allowed to because their old and blah blah blah but just because you’re old doesn’t mean you get to exercise your rudeness gene at any given moment. Blocking doorways, muttering as people try to get past you, or my personal favourite – sitting on the bench in Sainsbury’s with your trolley blocking access to the exit door but not making any fricking effort to move it.

Today the reached a new high by congregating – stood up – at the front of the bus because there were no seats available in the first half of the bus. I was towards the back and enjoying the luxury of a plethora of empty seats but rather than mooch down the bus, the oldies just hung about near the front, swinging round rails like grey-haired ragdolls. Arguably a more physically demanding endeavour than then journey of four or five seats distance.

Yes, maybe some of the people at the front should have got up and moved. But equally, there were plenty of seats available for each and every wrinkly bottom on that bus.