Thursday, February 13, 2003

Yesterday I had a rare weekday off all on my own, so I treated myself to a marathon charity shop/Kingbee Records/Barbakan deli haul in Chorlton. I had a parcel to pick up too, which involved a bus trip into Whalley Range to the depot. I always hate waiting for the bus back, since the area is a little on the notorious side, but I really hit the jackpot this time!

A 30-something drunk wandered up to me and started with the classic "Duntah know ya? Duntya remember me? Ishh Daaaave!" The conversation then went something like this: (forgive my inaccurate Manc interpretation!)

Dave: D'ya like cider?

Me: No.

Dave: Cause me 'n m'mate John, we's got a flat just down'th road, and we was gonna drink som' cider tonight...and you're a pretty girl an' all...

Me: (sarcastic) No thanks. (thinking "Do I *look* like the kind of girl who would hang out in some scummy bedsit with two drunks I'd just met???")

Dave: Why, r'ya with someone right now?

Me: (incredulous and insulted) That's really none of your business. I don't really feel like talking.

He carries on trying to get me to talk and cider-philosophising on how we need to "talk to get anywhere in life, love." I carry on finding the tarmac vastly fascinating and casting desperate looks down the road for my bus. Finally, it arrives - but to my horror, he gets on as well.

I sat next to a girl even though there were free two-seaters so he couldn't get next to me. After a few more attempts at conversation, he got angry and started muttering "Posh Whalley Range Moss Side lady..." I had to stop myself from laughing, but it was also getting really, really tiresome. I also started thinking I'd have to get off at a different stop in case he followed me off the bus, but luckily he suddenly gave up and got off well before my stop.

I thought about it all some more that afternoon. On one hand, I am not without empathy for someone who appears to be troubled, have a drinking problem and is possibly scraping by on basic benefits. On the other hand, the fact that he thought he had a chance with me made my stomach turn, and it made me feel like a snob. On yet another hand, he persisted in bothering me even after I asked to be left alone. I didn't want to be mean, but I didn't think I had a choice.

I don't know. It was very strange.


Anonymous Scot said...

What namely you're saying is a terrible blunder.
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Anonymous Quentin said...

There's no doubt, the dude is absolutely just.
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1:41 am  

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