Teens on busses. I try my hardest to avoid East London busses between three and four in the afternoon because this seems to be when screaming teens seem to be at their most hormonal. They pile on busses in clusters of about eight and give everyone on the bus tinnitus. But when boys get on a few stops down the line they get even louder. I try and imagine the soft voice of David Attenborough explaining to me it's all part of the natural mating process but it's flooded by a high tempo argument about who's phones better than who's.
It makes me wonder what we used to argue about when we were that age, a time where there was no such thing as an “aye” phone. Someone defaced my Guess Who game. And someone else accused me of stealing her tights. Then someone fell out with me because a boy she fancied asked me out and even though I said no she still picked on me for the rest of my life.
I was always an easy target because I was rubbish at arguing back. The words would get jumbled up as I tried to say them which gave them even more to play with. As a cry for help I soldered scissors together in woodwork class but no one noticed, read extracts from my stories about drugs, prostitution and suicide in English class but no one even listened, and then I bunked off for nearly six weeks and still no one noticed, except the dinner lady because I still owed her for a doughnut.
Around aged ten when we all started smoking, which we did wearing hideously eighties make up, I was still in nappies at night-time (nervous child) which was very weird.. fags check, make up check, nappy... sounds like something from a beauty pageant contest... it wasn't. I wore a brace that went all the way around my head, pressing against my chubby cheeks, a tight perm, and big Sue Pollard glasses covering my whole face.
Back to the teens on the busses, talking about how “mash up” they're gonna get later. Oh the glamour of getting so intoxicated they'll be spending the following day over a bowl, trying to remember who said what to who and who's no longer speaking to who. Crawling to the pound shop for a pregnancy test to do in the bogs of Macky Dee's. “I'm gonna get way more mashed that you” surely they may as well be saying “My sick bowl's well better than yours”
Will there ever be a time, when we'll hear kids on busses say things in reverse like “I'm gonna get proper balanced this weekend.. I'm gonna eat a well balanced diet and get a well early night”