Sunday, 2 January 2011

False Teeth Lack Bite On The Buses

I've resisted the temptation to write 'Happy Christmas', 'Seasons Greetings' or 'Good Winterval', depending on your want, as it would be seen as an unnecessary and divisive departure from the curmugeonly persona you have become used to over the past six months, since this blog's inception. Besides, you will have had your fill of people slapping you on the back and wishing you compliments of the season.

New Year? Well that's a little different. My Scottish blood considers this to be one of life's essentials and quite permissible to wish someone a Happy New Year (if you haven't seen them yet that year) up until the 1st July. Passengers on the bus tend to look bewildered and hesitate before usually laughing and returning the greeting.

So, a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all. A new broom sweeps clean, but the old broom knows the corners and all that. I like the word 'prosperous' even though it is not often used in bus drivers' vocabulary. It has a Chinese ring to it, similar to their New Year's greetings Gong Xi Fa Cai or Kung Hei Fat Choy, if you prefer it in Cantonese rather than Mandarin.

Talking about prosperity, there was an interesting article in the Times on New Year's Eve entitled: Lost and found: kittens, cash and teeth. It was about 'the staggering array of strange belongings left on buses in the last year,' as reported by National Express. They included a box of kittens, a decorated Christmas tree, £4000 cash, false limbs, the same tuba left five times on different buses, a jar of panda bear wee wee and some false teeth still attached to a Zimmer frame.

The teeth don't surprise me. It is a peculiarly British habit to take your teeth out on any form of public transport and leave them on the seat. I remember the old London Transport and British Rail Lost Property Offices had shelves full of lost teeth, thousands of them.

Of the other items, are people really that careless or are they too prosperous to worry? Maybe the doom and gloom recession will not be coming in 2011. Not on National Express it won't. They will do fine as it's possible to travel long distances with them for £1. This downturn might even be the making of them.

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