PALMER ON PROZAC rants about..........



Don't people hack the hell right out of you?

If there is anyone in the audience who can honestly say that they love people and could merrily spend the rest of their life trapped in a lift with them, speak up now. Then we'll have you shot. Not for being a life-and-soul-of-the-party type, or even a laugh-a-minute, bubbly character. No. You should be shot for being a liar (Things are harsh in Sore Eyesland).

There are times when I could happily take a Kalashnikov to those around me and damn the consequences when the judge says I'll serve the rest of my jail term (for that kind of offence these days = about 3 or 4 years!) in solitude.

It usually starts first thing in the morning, doctor. When I step outside my home and begin the thrill-a-minute adventure that is the trip to the bus stop.

People invariably come out at that time of the morning just to walk a dog, cat, salamander - whatever. I once saw someone with a pet gazelle!

I know it sounds paranoid but I get convinced that there are hidden entities around just waiting for me to step outside and then they cue, Trueman Show-like, a host of extras whose sole job it is to piss me right off.

And they do.

How, for instance, can one person take up the whole pavement (sidewalk)? These psychic individuals are right in my line of walking, then, when I shift over to pass them on the inside, they uncannily move in step with me to yet again block the way.

When the pavement is far too wide for them to accomplish this they are given animals (by the Trueman Entity) with extra long leads to completely block the way and you have to risk life and limb stepping out on to the road.

You could have an area the size of your average aircraft runway and these people would inherit enough animals to populate several arks - and still have a few unknown to science as contingencies in case I somehow hop over the marmoset and rugby tackle the yak chewing its cud near the pavement/road verge that always grows that weird coloured kind of grass that cats and dogs avoid!

When not being stalked by bovine ruminants my other hobby is...

If you survive the urban equivalent of the Krypton Factor, you then have to get the public transport assault course dusted off.

This consists of rehearsing the mantra, "I'm not sure, I haven't got my watch/sundial/crystal ball/Internet connection up and running at this very second." Because a pound to a pinch of horse's do-do you'll be asked all sorts of inane questions by the befuddled old gits waiting in front of you. And their cousins, supplied by the same company, who manage to sneak up behind you. The ones in front invariably ask what time the bus is due, juxtaposed, usually at the exact same moment, by their inbred counterparts behind asking has the bus gone!

I spend an awful lot of time in bus queues resisting the urge to smash out of the way and trample to a gooey mess on the asphalt the old man/woman in a tweed cap/scarf who waits until the bus is one micron from the stop before putting their hands out to stop it.

Once the bus has subjected its inhabitants to about 1000 g forces and compressed them into a living soup on the back of every seat, in an attempt to avoid the outstretched limb of one old dodderer, the aforesaid old dodderer then usually says something like, "Sorry, I didn't realise you went to Catheter Avenue, I don't want to go there. I want Colostomy Boulevard."

All this time I'm usually trying to release their grip on the open bus door, so I can get on, by hitting them with a handy piece of welding hammer I conveniently found under some trouser lint in my back pocket.

That's if everything goes smoothly. There are also times when it's possible the old person in front of you, carefully selected by Trueman Enterprises to be at least twenty years older than whoever they want to victimise that day (ie me), hasn't got the right change/currency/clothes/power of speech.

They usually stand there like a lobotomised goldfish with Alzheimer's, holding out a hand with a fifty pound note in it to the driver and muttering something that's about twenty kilohertz below the average human hearing threshold.

Then, when I finally get on the bus, the only seat available is next to a guy who could freak for England. He's usually mumbling to himself; or playing with himself; or mumbling AND playing with himself; sometimes he's playing with someone else. And still mumbling. And has a huge bag full of his belongings, out of which he continually pulls magazines that are years old, ornaments that have so many pieces hacked off them it's difficult to tell what they ever were, and a diary or notebook - in which he writes constantly while furtively looking around.

His other habits, when not participating in the above, consist of rummaging through his pockets, which have an even wilder and eclectic selection of 'goodies' in them and showing them off to any poor sod who happens to catch his eye. This isn't as difficult as you may think, as these type of people usually have the backbone of an octopus and appear able to morph into every last crevice of the bus without leaving their seat.

On top of all this the guy stinks. Not your usual sweaty, unwashed for decades, underarms-stained-black type of smell, either. These guys could strip the heat-resistant tiles off a space shuttle - while it's in orbit.

Why they're ever allowed on the bus in the first place is beyond me. Maybe it's the Trueman entity again. Maybe it's their way of ensuring that all adenoids within a twenty mile radius are well and truly flushed, scourged and purged of all mucus. A comforting thought!

Then, just when you think it's all over, there's the 'alighting'.

On some of the buses I used to use, there was a sign that said something like, 'Please refrain from alighting whilst the bus is in motion.'. When I was little I used to ponder about this and wonder why anyone would try to get off while the bus was moving. I know, now, why that sign was there. It's times like the above that I truly feel like throwing myself from a moving bus.

But if I don't manage that particularly appealing start to the day, I just stand and wait at the exit door. Usually behind one of the old farts that pissed me off earlier. While I stand there, swaying and rapt in ecstasy at the thought of helping the old fart to '...alight whilst the bus is in motion', I muse about things like: how many old farts could you crowbar into the average bus in the vicinity of a cliff?

When the bus comes to a halt the old git in front alights. Then stops dead as they suddenly have an irresistible urge to arrange all the loose change in their pockets so that the heads and tails alternate; or count the number of consonants on their bus pass. I then, headbutt them in the back of their cranium, loosening several teeth and releasing a flow that would put a Russian shot-putter to shame. The person behind me headbutts me - you get the picture. The old tit then wanders off, oblivious to the trauma to his occipital lobe, leaving a bloody, congealed mess on the pavement next to the bus stop.

The same situation I experienced getting to where I am now then starts again, only in reverse! And it's only 8.30 in the morning!

I dodge, dart, rugby-tackle. I weave, serpentine, slam-dunk. I do everything in my power to make it to my appointment on time. Beings from the domain of planet-Trueman launch themselves at me from nowhere. They appear from dimensions only slightly out of alignment from ours in an instant to throw themselves, lemming-like, in front of me. Their breath whistles past my ear; haunting remnants of their unearthly tongue slide their sibilants into my cochlea: "Have you got some change for...."; "Spare a copper for..."; Is this the way to startawar..." And more....

Then, when I eventually get where I'm going, the people ask me THE question: "Had a nice journey?"

After that, doctor, it's all a blur, but I may have cut myself shaving...........


PALMER ON PROZAC is a freelance writer from Stockport, England. He is also the main author of this Web Site. You can see more of his observations and Rants on THE SITE FOR SORE EYES soon. His views and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the owners of this Site. When not smiting people of a wintry and seasoned disposition, he likes to talk. To the therapist.

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