Friday, February 02, 2007


I finished work slightly later than normal today. I like to catch the earlier bus if at all possible, the following being the reason why.

The bus is always pretty full by the time it gets to my stop so I headed to the back, not my favourite spot but this time it didn't look too bad. A lady reading her paper, a young woman playing with her phone and a Goth. I settled into my seat, I could hear the metallic thumping of the music pulsing through the earphones of the Goth seated in front of me. I stared out of the window and watched the city sites go by. We had gone a short distance when a rather grumpy voice chirped up;

"Is that your music, turn it down," a grey haired lady who was sitting two seats in front of the Goth demanded peering over her shoulder at me.

"I'm sorry it isn't me." I replied. She spotted the young woman behind me, who had earphones in.

"You, you," she said gesticulating wildly, "yes you, turn your music down,"

The young woman flushed red and turned down her music, but the noise continued. The grey haired woman determined to get to the bottom of this spun around in her seat again, she had her sights firmly fixed on the Goth.

"Will you please turn that awful racket down now,"

The Goth finally twigged that he was the cause of the disturbance and without any argument he apologised swiftly and taking out his earphones he turned his music off. The grey haired lady nodded her gratitude and returned to her paper.

We travelled a few more stops and an elderly black gentleman got on, he found his way to the back of the bus and took the vacant seat next to the Goth. A few stops more and I was bracing myself for the 'onslaught', the school bus stop! The bus pulled up, and 'they' piled on. A group of girls made their way to the back of the bus. Most of them looked to be fourteen or fifteen but there were two or three who where obviously younger, twelve maybe thirteen. One of the twelve to thirteen year olds, a particularly angelic looking girl with flowing blond hair and rosy cheeks over porcelain skin, I have had the misfortune to meet several times before on the bus.

Before she had even reached her seat she had started! A stream of profanities preceded her to the rear of the bus. She plonked herself into her seat on the opposite side of the aisle to the Goth and the elderly black gentleman. She did not hold back, even when her friends, who had also congregated at the back of bus, attempted to curb her language. The elderly black gentleman, as is his right, politely asked her to refrain from using such offensive language. She merely offered him a sneer much to the amusement of her 'posse'.

He turned to the Goth, "I am not sure what they teach them in school these days," he reflected sadly, and a little shocked.

"Certainly not manners Sir," replied the Goth.

I looked across at the blond haired 'cherub' spewing profanities as if they would go out of fashion, language so natural to her that she did not realise it's effect on those around her. The grey haired lady making her way to an alternative seat at the front of the bus, intimidated by this child, when only minutes earlier she had felt easy enough to challenge a young man dressed as a Goth. The elderly black man, on asking the bus driver if he could do something was faced with a blank admission that he, (the bus driver), would prefer not to confront the girl! I might add that he was also met with laughter from the huddle of adoring cherubettes at the back of the bus.

At that moment I took a long look at the blond haired cherub. Where did she learn such language, was it her peers? I think not, they appeared to some extent to be as shocked by her behaviour as the rest of us. Her family? I noted that the area she got off the bus was not the most affluent. The bus pulled up at her stop she and her posse disembarked as did the polite young Goth. If his parents could instill in him such attributes as politeness, good manners and respect for other people, then why could her parents not do the same.

I wonder if his parents are proud of their son, if they appreciate what they have achieved? I know that I for one would like to thank them, and all of the parents out there who still strive to instill the value of respect, courtesy and manners into their children.

I would like to clarify a point here, I am not a prude, I am not a 'snob', please remember that I work with the morally challenged everyday. I am used to this language, although I choose not to use it myself, I am subject to it everyday. But I have to say that the language used here was highly offensive, to hear it, and also witness the behaviour, (she was drinking alcopops at 3.15 in the afternoon, on her way home from school), as it was being used by a child, yes she is a child, disturbs me. I can't help wondering if one day she will be walking through my door!!

'Novelty' Writing Update
2nd Feb word count = 1133
3rd Feb word count = 1019

12 at confession:

Mamma said...

Just can't judge a book by its cover can you?

Stinking child.

Attila The Mom said...

How nasty.

What in the world is an alcopop?

St Jude said...

Mamma: you are so right.

Attila: an alcopop is an alcoholic drink 'disguised' as a soft drink, they are not supposed to be sold to children but they can get hold of them quite freely if they have a mind to do.

Yorkshire Pudding said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
St Jude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beki said...

Having spent many a happy hours with Goths I've nearly always found them extremely polite and then a little while ago there was a study saying parents shouldn't be worried if their children had a goth phase. Supposedly goths have great awareness for others, interest in learning and often go on to high flying careers!

The 'cherub' I think you'll be seeing again in your work role!

St Jude said...

Beki: I've found that very few Goths pass through our doors, so there maybe something in what you have said.

The Poodle's Friend said...

You're back! And have been for quite a while now, I notice! Well, I've been missing in action myself for quite some time now, so I apologise for not dropping by earlier!
As always, your stories are supremely entertaining. I shall never look at a Goth in the same way again.
'Blonde cherub' may walk through your doors in a pregnant state, some day.

Kate said...

I have always found Goths to be polite, it's the horrors in the sportswear you have to watch out for. BTW, you can read about the survey Beki mentioned here:

Maybe, you should make an advanced appointment for the cherub, it does sound as though she will be a future 'customer'.

andy said...

Hi, I'm interested to know if you thought of asking the girl to stop the swearing? If no one challenges them how will they understand the effect on those around them? It's just too easy to not get involved.

Stinkypaw said...

The odds are that she will pay you a visit before long.

Sad to see and I'm sure to hear.

St Jude said...

Andy: welcome. Trust me this particular cherub has been challenged not only by me but several other people. She does not care about the effect that her behaviour has on other people. I am not a fraid to challenge her, I work with murderers and violent people everyday. But you just can't get through to some.

Stinkypaw: Sadly I think she will be.

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