Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Air Of Financial Insecurity Along The Bus Route

Every year has its own catch phrases, which you hear repeated time after time. they could be: 'I'm loving this', 'flexible rostering', 'wake up and smell the coffee', 'blue sky thinking', 'I hear what you are saying,' and so on, and so on. You usually hear them from the mouths of politicians before they filter down to the general public. Often it is some form of American management speak or some form of corporate lingo which has been discovered on some training course.

This year seems to be different though. It seems to be more human. Whether it is because of the financial difficulties or not, I don't know.

On the buses, people have started saying: 'I can't take it (money) with me, so I'll ...' I seem to hear it every day.

'I can't take it with me,' said a lady, 'so I've splashed out on a new bath towel mat.'

'Oh my God, yer what?' yelled a student. 'All that money and she goes and spends it on a cruddy old bath mat.'

'Spot on,' said a voice from the back, using the second most used phrase of the year, and the one which seems to have replaced 'Champion' and 'Cushti'.

There does seem to be an air of financial fear around at the moment. All along the bus route there are shops shouting SALE with varying flags and banners, mostly in scarlet or shocking pink. Even the shop which permanently had CLOSING DOWN SALE had shown heightened urgency by CLOSING DOWN NEXT THURSDAY. That was two weeks ago and the shop is still open, but it is the thought that counts.

As I was looking at the shop windows, there was an audible clearing of the throat close to my left ear. That was a sign that a passenger was getting nervous I was going to drive past their stop. I sped up a fraction. enough to hear the pleasing result of hurried stomping down the aisle and some high pitched remarks like a novice cowboy on a bolted mustang:

'Whoa ... whooaah ... WHOOOAAAAHHH.'

I stopped at the bus stop and the passenger straightened his baseball cap and tracksuit.

'Spot on, mate,' he said as he vanished into the Cumbrian rain.

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