Monday, February 06, 2006

It was the day after Friday night at Picasso's in Wolverhampton. The club was crap. Boy George played and everyone moaned because he couldn't actually mix records. Beat-matching was pretty standard up until Boy George and Wolverhampton just didn't get it.

I had been shopping in Wolverhampton and got on the bus to go home. A big crowd of Wolves supporters crowded over the bus station, blocking traffic and shouting. One of them, a fairly sober looking gentleman, knocked on the window to get my attention, and kindly spat on the window in front of me.

One of the Wolves supporters got on the bus. I knew him, Richard, we went to school together. Richard had the reputation of being tough, fairly comical but also as hard as nails in any fight, which he seemed to pick frequently. Rumour had it that his father was an ex-boxer.

"Alright, Si?" he had never given me any trouble as I very much kept myself to myself.

"Alright, Rich", I said. Anything said to Richard had to be generally placating. "Enjoy Picasso's last night?"

"Yeah, I was off my head." He was right. I saw him and his mates stumbling around the club, looking doe-eyed and sweating profusely, smiling from ear to ear.

"Yeah, me too." It was the standard conversation. "Boy George was shite wasn't he?". We agreed, luckily.

He showed me the contents of his pocket. It was half a brick. He had intended on using it on someone after the football match. He smiled. I smiled back placatory.

The bus set off and Richard, obviously still a bit spent from the night before, fell asleep.

It came up to where I knew his bus stop was. Richard was fast asleep, his shaven head leaning against the window of the bus, drooling.

I leant over. "Rich" I said. No response. His bus stop getting closer: "Rich" I said, louder. Still no response.

I didn't want to startle him because of his volatile nature but if I didn't wake him up he wouldn't be too pleased that I had let him miss his stop. The vision of half a brick in his pocket made me twice as nervous.

The bus was slowing down for his stop.

"Rich!" I shouted and shook his arm.

"What!" he jumped upright and stared, wild-eyed, at me.

"It's your stop." I said, terrified.

"Oh, thanks" he said and got off.


Anonymous John King said...

Man, there's far too many of these people about. Most have well paid, responsible jobs too!

It's an anecdote that gave me a knowing smile and took me back to times past. Cheers!

2:33 AM  

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