Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Day I Became an Alien

Imagine the picture: I'm hanging at the bus stop with my crew: Jo, Mo, Flo* and Allan**. We are the Free Bus Pass Gang; twice a week we gather at 9.35am to wait for the 657 bus to take us into town. (It used to be the 620, but Uno, the bus company, recently changed it to the 657 and now it comes 8 minutes later. No, don't ask, because we don't know either.)


The crew are OK about the fact that I write letters to the local paper; they all know I am the Chair of a community action group, that is trying to stop the local town council from selling our urban green space to a developer. Thus I fire off a lot of what I like to think of as wry, witty, urbanely Swiftian epistles, which always get published in our local paper.


This is because the editor knows my stuff will generate rude responses from people with humorectomies and irony bypasses, who live in the posh bits of town, and see no reason why our urban green space shouldn't be covered in tarmac and Tesco School of Architecture housing because, hey, it isn't their urban green space. Over the years I've  developed quite a following, and am apparently referred to colloquially, and locally as 'that redhead who writes those letters'.

But the crew also know that there is a darker, more perplexing side to what I do, known as 'The Writing', words usually uttered in the same cautious tone of voice that one might use for other words, like 'shark' or 'cockroach'. Thus it is that Jo eventually plucks up courage and asks, 'How's The Writing going then, Carol?'

And that's when it happens. Without even thinking, I sigh deeply, roll my eyes and say: 'Last week, I lost all my toolbar widgets! And Google spammed my blog and I had to go into a chat room and talk to a Techie, and then I had to download Chrome to sort it out.'

There follows a long silence, that hangs around in the air in the way that bricks don't. The crew study the ground carefully. Then Flo murmurs, 'Didn't understand a word of that, sorry.' And Allan agrees. And Jo and Mo step away from me, as if I might infect them with whatever I've got. And then, thankfully, the bus arrives. We scramble on board, showing our passes to the cheerful Polish driver.

Nobody sits next to me, all the way into town.



* Names changed to protect identity.
** This is his real name.

23 comments:

  1. Ha! that made me smile. I know that feeling. Love this post and adore your header. Just signed up to follow your blog because it is very entertaining!

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  2. Yes I know how you feel! If I talk about someone on twitter my friends think I'm mad. They never read my blog either!

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    1. My nearest and dearest don't read mine, unless dragged kicking and screaming! It is really a different world - especially for 'oldies' like me. But such fun!

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  3. This made me laugh out loud which made the cat wake up and look at me in much the same way you described your friends' reactions. But seriously, I know exactly how you feel.

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  4. LOL, Carol, this is ringing lots of bells (even though I don't have a free bus pass for another few years). The Writing is made to sound like The Shining, full of dark slitherings. I must be an alien too, because I understood your reply!

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  5. I loved this, especially your reference to The Writing!

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  6. If only our family and friends read our blogs they might just get us!

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  7. Next time you need to sit at the back of the bus and throw fruit at them. Then they will talk to you, but possibly not in a nice way... Worth it though to see their faces and get a nice snap to post on here.

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    1. You are funny!! I never thought of that!!

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  8. What fun! And oh that question, 'So how's the writing going?' We all hear it from time to time, but what a great reply. (Much better than my usual, 'mumble, mumble.'

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  9. My parents read my blog but that's about it. Luckily, my family is very supportive. They ask about me writing all the time.

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  10. Haha! I think you answered the question appropriately. I hate it when people ask me how the writing is going. I might employ your approach to put them off!

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  11. I love the sound of your Free Bus Pass Gang. Can I join you? I too have to alter my response to The Writing Question depending on who I'm with at the time so I do sympathise.

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  12. I loved this! It's so clever. I don't mind if someone asks me what I do, but I hate the 'how's the writing going' question. I need to try a response like yours! Nice to meet you at Talli's blog :)

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  13. Hi Carol as promised I am trying to join your page but it seems not to be happy with my WordPress.com membership...incompatible? Anyway, I have joined the email subscription part so that worked OK. Looking forward to reading your posts. I am at http://wp.me/2dg55
    Not sure if you will be able to visit/follow for the same reasons I am having trying to follow you. Let me know.
    Lovely to meet you here and on Facebook. Jx

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  14. Carol, I have Wordpress.com and sometimes it does not like blog. I have not been able to follow but have subscribed to email posts. Great to meet you here and on Facebook and I hope we get to chat a lot. Love your page. Much success. Do pop and see me sometime soon on http://wp.me/2dg55
    and let me know if you can post/comment and that this works too. Jx

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  15. I'd sit next to you, Carol.

    Love this post, and if that Citroen in the photo up top is yours then I will have to quickly come to your house and steal it. Or if it's not yours, do you happen to know the address of the home at which it can usually be found parked?

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  16. To "'that redhead who writes those letters'.

    HAHAH, just found this! Funny stuff ms Carol! I never realized you were funny before we met! How'd that happen? ;D

    Hap

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  17. Love your post. Found you on Suzie's Blog Party. Now I will follow you because this is funny, funny, funny(and because you are a writing redhead - me too!!!). Nobody asks me how my writing is going - because they are afraid I might answer them. Only my Dad has the courage to ask - and he is a writer too.

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  18. Glad you're fighting the good fight, even if you speak a language nobody else understands. I can explain the mystery of the bus coming later, though: The route number's and the extra weight generated by the higher number slows it down.

    Gosh, I thought everyone knew that.

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