So, this happened to me a week ago today. I'm late blogging it because just because. As you know, I occasionally get into slight altercations on public transport. Well, this is one of those blogs.
I had been going through stuff for my Work-In-Progress shows with Stella Duffy and on the way back on the bus I met a little girl. I didn't arrange to meet the little girl, I'm not a big weirdo, I just happened to make her acquaintance while on the bus. I sat just across from her and started reading as soon as I sat down. Now, I never really think of the bus as the perfect place to do some work, even if you're a bus driver, but I had to look over notes that Stella made before I forgot what they meant. I suffer from Memento and have to write things down quickly or they will be gone from my head forever. I don't do the tattoo thing though. You'd have thought that Memento, the lead character in Memento, would have made his first tattoo "Just get a notepad and write these things down" but I suppose that's what happens when you suffer from Memento like I do. You just don't know what to think all the time. So there I am reading and writing and trying to figure a few things out when the music starts. There's always music on public transport. Fucking awful music.
The little girl was, as is always the way, playing loud music out of her phone without wearing earphones. Just letting it all blast out so that we could all revel in her shit taste in music. At least when I was her age I liked David Bowie. I mean, I liked the music to Why Don't You? better but I definitely think I liked Bowie. Either way, I wouldn't have listened to THAT music when I was a little girl on a bus.
She was 10 years old, I'd say, and was happily singing along to the crap that was coming out of her phone. You're probably thinking that I should just let it go. She's only a little girl. She doesn't know any better. Just get over it. Well, you'll be glad to know that I just sat there saying nothing to her (for as long as I could) but it wasn't because she's a little girl and I should just get over it. No. It was worse than that.
The little girl just looked weird. Really weird. I was so close to turning to her and politely asking her to turn her music off but I took one look at her beach ball eyes and concrete hair and thought maybe she's got enough on her plate. She's too weird to be told off. Good for her. She'll get away with anything for the rest of her life.
But the music was too much and it was only one song. She played it over and over and over again. It was one of those songs that you know quite well but don't know what it's called or who made it because...well...it's fucking terrible. Like Delta Goodrem. Something like that. All screaming passion about absolutely nothing at all. Over and over and over again. I'm trying to figure out what notes mean what and all I can hear is that it's a lonely, lonely bed without ya, babe, over and over and over and over and over and over again. I can't take it. It's time to look into the eyes of The Medusa and say "I know you're only a little Gorgon but your music is fat balls in a pie".
I turned to the little girl and looked her spiralling collage of a face and said "Excuse me. Would you mind switching your music off for me, please? I'm trying to read and it's a bit distracting. Thank you".
Polite, firm and not too patronising. She's only 10 but no need to talk down to her. She stared at me (I think, it's hard to tell with her) for about 5 awkward seconds. Oh, dear. This isn't going well. I kept my smile on my face for as long as I could while waiting for her to respond. Come on, you mad looking 10 year old cunt. Say something.
She turned to a woman who was sitting quite far from her, not beside her, and said "Mum?"
Now, I would have gone to Mum first in a situation like this. No point me freaking out children when I can get their parents to do it. But I couldn't tell who Mum was. No one around this little girl looked like her. Obviously when this little girl was made they broke the mold. Or perhaps it was just before she was made. All I'm saying is...er...she must take after her Dad. Look, I just couldn't tell who Mum was OK?
The woman ignored her little girl, just staring out the bus window instead. "Mum?", the girl repeated. If this woman was this girl's Mum she was obviously not that into the roll. She just sat there staring out the window like she couldn't hear her own daughter. She couldn't hear her own daughter say "Mum?" or her own daughter's shit music coming out of her earphoneless phone. "MUM?", the girl said quite loudly.
Mum then looked up at the little girl and gave a look as if to say "What?".
The girl said nothing but looked over at me again and then back over at Mum. Mum gave the "What?" look again.
Is this really how these two fuckers communicate? I mean, at least point, for Christ's sake!
The girl looked over at me. Mum just looked confused. She didn't know that a man had asked her daughter to switch her music off and the way they were communicating she might never know. Then, all of a sudden, Mum realised that she needed to actually use words with her daughter. That really might help. "What is it?", she said.
"This man wants something", said the girl.
Mum took her earphones off and said "What?"
Aah! That's why the little girl isn't using her earphones. Mum has them. Mum is sitting far away from her daughter and listening to music through earphones while staring out the window. Brilliant. What an absolutely charming woman. The girl repeated her sentence and Mum looked over to me. "I just asked her if she could switch her music off, if that's OK? Very distracting. Thanks".
Mum rolled her eyes and put her earphones back in.
Well, I guess it's you and me, Kid. I felt really sorry for this little girl but if someone else doesn't point out that it's rude to play loud music then she'll never learn. I asked her again to switch it off but she just called for her Mum again. Mum had no interest. I looked at the girl with a "Please, switch that off" look on my face.
"NO!", she screamed.
Right. Fine. Ignore them. Just try to look through my stuff while cunts get away with it again. "Pair of cunts", I said as I went back to my notes. I'm not that happy with that because Mum will never know that I called her 50% of a pair of cunts and only the little girl heard it. But on the other hand, best get her used to hearing it.
Mum and little girl got off one stop before me. As they passed I told Mum that I thought she was extremely rude. "Fuck off", she said. Nice.
"I think Britain is great", says Eddie Izzard in his Labour video. Take the bus, Eddie, and get back to us.