Groundhog Day-Saver

Whatever did lead people to believe that York is dull? For a meagre £2.10 you can sit an a bus all day long. Wouldn’t it be fun to abuse such an offer, and stay on a bus for a comically long time? Why, yes it would thought ! For about five seconds. But he did it anyway. This is what happened…

08.40 I wake up, full of the spirit of adventure, ready to start as planned at 9am.

08.41 I fall asleep.

09.26 I wake up, full of the spirit of adventure, ready to start as planned at 10am.

10.04 First setback; I don’t fancy any of the sandwiches at Costcutter. All but two varieties have salad in, and all of the varieties are Costcutter sandwiches. My lunch will consist of chewing gum and Dr. Pepper.

10.26 I wait at the bus-stop at Derwent. There is a small child asking his gran if he can take ‘a crashed umbewella’ out of the bin. No, says his gran. Why, asks forlorn child. Because we don’t want a crashed umbrella, she replies. The power of logic.

10.49 The bus turns up! Let the sitting around commence.

10.58 I’m almost out of the city centre and I’ve only spoken to one person I know. I will soon be very much alone. I console myself with the fact that it’s a hot day and all the girls outside aren’t wearing very much.

11.03 A baby near the front screams, and I actually think it’s a seagull.

11.05 A man walks past, dressed, presumably unintentionally, as Crocodile Dundee. The weather, I decide, has only positive effects on people’s clothing.

11.10 A moment to warm any heart; for the first time today, my bus driver waves to a fellow bus driver. I am bestowed with a glorious sense of community.

11.10 It happens again. I am less impressed this time.

11.25 The bus driver has stopped to smoke a pipe. How cool is that. We’re in Acomb.

11.30 We drive past a building site. There are numerous topless builders. They’re all male. I turn away.

11.35 I spot an old woman being wheeled about in a wheelchair. She is grinning. I suspect that this is because she actually doesn’t need the chair at all, but has duped someone into pushing her round.

11.38 The first townies get on the bus. One girl is wearing a burberry visor. This garment almost causes the world to end.

11.40 An old woman is wheeled past. She is not grinning. The person pushing her must have uncovered her trickery.

11.41 A bus driver flashes his lights at my driver! Hands off, big shot, he’s mine!

11.47 A postman on a bicycle eyes my bus suspiciously. He’s not convinced these mechanical horses will catch on.

11.48 An old woman scoots past on a motorised wheelchair. She is grinning. I think she stole it.

12.02 The woman behind me informs the recipient of her phonecall that she is ‘so f***ing sweaty’. She may be working for a chatline.

12.19 After a twenty minute break outside Heslington church, we set off again. I am so hot I am beginning to rot.

12.23 At the University end of the bus route, everyone on the bus is very young. In Acomb, everyone on the bus is very old. Are they the same people?

12.43 I am cheered up by an Irish Red Setter loping past.

12.46 I don’t remember any of these surroundings…

12.47 … actually, that park looks familiar. Except this time round there are more crows. If I keep visiting, there should be gradually more and more crows.

13.02 While the bus driver smokes his pipe again, an old man gets off the bus and talks to an old woman sitting on a nearby bench. He comes back smiling. Get in there!

13.05 Fatigue has set in. I realise this when I see a van belonging to a firm called ‘Morrison’, think ‘Van Morrison!’ and laugh audibly. Cover up laughter with coughs.

13.06 Back at the building site for the fourth time.

13.08 A dog is looking hungrily at a pushchair. On the other side of the road…

13.09 … an old lady on a motorised wheelchair is riding by. I hope, somewhat disturbingly, that she is being chased by a hungry dog.

13.09 She isn’t. I am disappointed.

13.18 A small child throws a water bomb at the bus. If this had been a slightly taller bus, it may have toppled. I shall inform the police.

13.39 A twenty minute lull in writing, because two townies are sitting behind me. I don’t know if they can read, but I’m not risking it. A man took a photo of the bus. I don’t know why.

13.51 We arrive back at Heslington. Pathetically, I get out of the bus after just two laps. I am feeling slightly crazy and more ill, due to a lack of food, excessive heat, and listening to a Boards of Canada album. This may not be a good excuse, but sitting on a bus isn’t a good pastime either.

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