Next Stop, Deutsche Bank.

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If recent posts are doing a poor job sequestering my love for all things infantile, fine. This is my pram, these are my toys, and I’ll throw them how I choose.

In a world where little boys sit in glass-wrapped offices and rest their Helmut Lang elbows on mahogany desks, I’m calling bullshit. Why?

Because I am a lady who rides the bus. And when some clown freezes the Jubilee Line because retrieving his smartphone from the tracks seemed a “better idea between trains”, Canary Wharf also rides the bus.

The bus is an interesting place. Seat margins replace profits, Tartine et Chocolat gives Tom Ford the middle finger, and there is no UberSelect. It’s called “I put my coat there first”. For all the billions these heavyweights net in their high-rises, I’ve yet to see one of these fuckers come up with a counter-argument for the twelve year-old who was “sitting there first”.

And that is because the bus is the rail replacement service to childhood.

Everyone pushes to get on.

Everyone wants to sit by the window/at the back/on the convex bit that’s cool because it’s above the wheel.

No-one argues with the driver.

Shoving? He’ll call you on it. Press the bell when the sign clearly says someone already did? He’ll call you on it. And just like at school, if you’re the victim of bullying, eyes on the road, didn’t see a damn thing.

Food gets more interesting here, too. Fast food joints on the street won’t even register on your radar. But when that nurse pulls out a congealed tray of cold noodles? Noodles are the greatest thing CREATED EVER.

The older get priority seating.

They should get priority boarding, but no-one gives a shit.

Nobody should be littering. Everyone still does.

Someone always misses their stop. There is one acceptable reaction to this. Man the fuck up, and shrug it off.

If you’re on your way to an interview and on a bus, you’re probably not going to make it. To the interview, and you know, in life, generally. Still, retain what Google told you. Look like you’ve got it together. Sound like you’ve got it together.  Make eye contact.

Except on the bus.

If you happen to be on the phone (which I believe these gargantuan office transactions at some point require), make sure everyone can hear you. No, louder. We like having our own little world hijacked by why you will or won’t be turning up to dinner, broken down into microscopic detail, then blasted through a megaphone. Make sure to repeat yourself. They might not have heard you the first time.

Make sure to begin your call with “hi, it’s me”.

No. Better. Leave it in a voicemail.

My popularity-guaranteed life coach services are available seven days a week. Except when I’m on the phone.

If the 80’s are in again, does that mean cringing is acceptable?

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I’ve decided to write a book on bravery in the chicken pen.

Mr Cluck Doesn’t Give A Fuck.

If you feel it infringes on animal rights, you’ll probably want additional ammo with which to load your hate gun.

Which I can take.

And you can suck.

I’ve already written cages and cages.

Little Girls In Pretty Boxes

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Camden Council wants to reward me for recycling, a law which is already punishable with a penalty fine. For recycling all my cardboard and paper, they’re going to give me vouchers. For local cafes. That sell coffee. In paper cups with cardboard sleeves.

Particularly like that their little scheme involves sending “bin spies” which is cool because I’ve never been to Russia.

Royally gutted finding out the whole recycling process actually consumes more energy than is efficient or good for the planet. The one thing that made me feel really good. And tangibly, not distant, yeah, someone, somewhere down the line now finds their twice-daily 20k hike for water 0.4% less taxing but I’ll only remember I even agreed to it when I check my bank statement.

Actually good.

I don’t donate money to Africa. I haven’t inspected the quality personally, but I get the feeling Sierra Leone’s warlords have enough platinum plating on their M16s to be getting on with. I like to think my vaping adds moisture to flowering plants and also, it helps educate children on how trains used to work. I can’t measure my carbon footprint because carbon isn’t visible and I often just wear socks.

So I’d recycle, which made me feel good (N.B. Camden Council, still do).  And I don’t do things by half.

Tins are for amateurs. The real pros can spend a solid five minutes evaluating which parts of the soup container are really truly recyclable and which are purely there to fuck with your head because yes, it’s plastic but not that kind of plastic. Thought you were gonna hoodwink me, there? THINK AGAIN, MY FRIEND!

I know your lids like the back of my expert goddamn hands. I see your semi-permeable membranes of witchery and I will not be fooled. And though there are so very many other things I could be doing with my five minutes, I’m happy to be your green bin bitch because not only did I get soup, I got dopamine for being such a good girl.

I think they also offer vouchers for independent stores. Who probably sell soup.

This will never end.

Oh. Right.

I couldn’t find a picture of a recycling bin that wasn’t either weeping with McDonald’s overflow or so achingly patronising, it made Lucky’s cumulative 40k water trek seem comparatively dignified, so here’s a picture of mummy and baby elephant. They have a forthright march because they’re off to the sustainably sourced dump.

 

Well, The A41 Has Two Lanes Closed And There’s No Tube. Guess We Could Take The Replacement Bus Service?

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Why is there no remotely approaching cool equivalent of American sub-culture in this country? What, we don’t eat enough Yakult?

Not that I don’t harbour a genuine adoration for the Britpop era that shaped whatever it was I was doing in my teens, but while our ears were all taken care of, I’m not gonna count unshaven dented lager can and acid-wash as an excuse for not washing at all as culture injection. You had it good, America. Black denim and chrome to the bone, devils that made it all the way to Georgia, fuck it. You didn’t stay in Compton, you made it out.

Ok, so your restaurant culture is a joke. If the origin of the word “entree” really is so subtle, your conclusion could only be that it’s definitely the second course, then you’re dumb fucks and so are your “appetizers”. (Perhaps I’m being harsh. This is after all the country that when it comes to horse riding, has to specify which part of the horse it’s riding). But you have mac and cheese at your KFC and even though no-one in their right mind goes to a fried chicken shop for pasta, it sounds nice.

Kid Rock heads out West. So he slightly by-passes the rodeo because if you’re Kid Rock, “West” is the Playboy Mansion, but we head west, we’re in Bristol. There’s a castle there and probably a river, but I bet the KFC’s shit.

You have honkytonks that serve moonshine. We have old man pub that smells of carpet and serves black crap in a pint. And we like it?

You have proper biker culture. All out. Prison gang, tattoo-branding, fuck the helmets, you want loose cannon? Bitch, guns are legal, here. Yeah, the open road, hair in the wind, sun looks good on chrome, doesn’t it? Yes. For the two whole days per annum we get of that. But it’s all cool, man. We can group out and fuck shit up all the way from Midsomer Norton to Chewton Mendip. Stop for a tea break and a slice of Victoria Sponge and then, fuck it, it’ll be dark by then. Best pack umbrellas and get the bus back.

And this is why I need a pick-up truck.

I don’t run for charity or challenge myself with ice, but if you’re feeling generous, a Dodge Ram or Ford F450 will do just fine. Just leave it in front of the door.

I’d come to you, but I still have a bit of a tan from the summer and well, that clown “running your country” might not let me in.

Minority Report

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Those idiosyncrasies that make people…people? I think we used to call them flaws. Then there was a limbo period where nobody quite knew what to do, photoshop hasn’t been invented yet, so you’d either spend what money you had covering them up or rock up all guns blazing with the unabashed look at all the shits I don’t give that is sitting unshaven in bars in the middle of the afternoon looking up at a world you do not belong to through the bottom of a highball glass with not enough ice.

Fortunately, the years of austerity have ended. Mostly, through the good graces that are the auspices of “acceptance” movements where LGBTQ is king and also, fuck you LGBTQ. Where is LGBTQStraight? Yeah, bitches, I’m all out there with my gender pride.

I am so fucking brave. All my friends tell me so. Look at me, living in this cruel world that doesn’t accept. Discriminates. Segregates. Ostracizes. I should be a beacon of hope, a shining example to all the women out there who aren’t lesbian, aren’t gay. Bi. Trans. Queer, poly, pan, curious and whatever fucked up kind of kink is now just “kink”. Nope. Just heterosexual females with two ovaries, two breasts and really truly genuinely zero interest in spending an evening fooling around with girls in some rainbow-splattered torture chamber that doubles up as an Amazon shipping point for sustainably sourced ball gags.

There should be laws out there to protect us.