Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Even yobs can have manners

My morning lift routine is in disarray at the moment.

D is on honeymoon and A has been spending nights in Northampton or working in London. So, for the time being, I catch a train to Wellingborough where I’m picked up by a colleague who lives there and driven the rest of the way to Northampton.

Instead of the usual one hour and twenty minutes, my door-to-door journey takes me about an hour longer. No, not very pleasant but there’s one advantage to the current situation – I get to buy a newspaper and actually get to read most of it.

I was a bit late this morning so I rushed into the newsagent, slapped down my 70p, grabbed a paper and rushed out again.

I almost collided into a guy riding past on his bicycle.

He shouldn’t have been driving on the pavement, of course. But that bit of road in Hockley has been cordoned off with large metal barriers – it’s being hacked up and will soon be pedestrianised.

He wobbled ever so slightly while trying to avoid me and carried on up the hill. I was sleepy enough for the event not to have ruffled me much but it woke me up enough to be quite surprised when he shouted out an apology.

‘Sorry, mate,’ he said, giving me a wave.

‘Alright,’ I said.

Not only did his apology surprise me, it actually made me feel good. He really didn’t look the sort to apologise for almost knocking me over. Probably in his mid twenties, he was unshaven, looked like he’d had a rough night and wore military-like camouflage. Nothing unusual – pretty standard, in fact, for Nottingham’s streets. The pink bike was a bit of a surprise.

A few seconds later, some ten metres ahead of me, he jumped off his bicycle, threw it to one side and started swearing loudly. Had he not apologised earlier, I may have thought his aggression was directed at me.

He started attacking the metal barriers with great gusto.

During the night, the barriers had fallen over, probably pushed over by various drunken revellers. Some of them had fallen on the pavement so that there wasn’t that much room left to walk (or ride) past them. Not much room but definitely enough room. This obviously incensed him so he decided to have a go at removing them from the pavement. It didn’t stop there. Once he’d removed those that lay on the pavement, swearing and shouting all the while, he kicked the rest over so that all of them fell over into the hacked up road. There was no way that residents at the nearby Comfort Inn could not have been woken up by all that shouting and the sound of crashing metal.

I carried on walking to the station.

9 Comments:

Anonymous nyasha said...

coming across polite people on the street is indeed a rare sight these days.
was he cute? ;) you didn't stop to ask for his number? *wink*
any news on Amsterdam?

7:03 pm  
Blogger angel said...

har har... metal barrier induced schizophrenia!

9:11 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

whoa... sounds like a 'sittuation' waiting to happen. Good thing you got the sorry and not the beating!

Maybe take another route to work tomorrow... hehe..

11:20 pm  
Blogger Rob7534 said...

I love reading about these small snipets of your life, and your observations! Although a pic of the biker kicking and screaming at the road blocks would be nice.

7:10 am  
Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Metal barriers can do that to you. Not that I have any experience in this area... just saying. :)
Lucky for you he was still in a good mood, when your paths crossed.

8:54 am  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

nyasha : he wasn’t ugly but he wasn’t particularly cute either. Amsterdam applications have been made but as to whether I even get an interview, who knows?

angel : he was the right sort of age for the onset of schizophrenia.

xmichra : I took the same route today. No cyclist but the barriers were lying all over the pavement again.

Rob7534 : A pic would be nice but being seen to take one may have turned the beating on me!

ChittyChittyBangBang! : You’re right about metal barriers, actually any barriers, being a bit like a red flag to a bull.

9:00 am  
Blogger DougZAR said...

Yikes! Two hours and twenty minutes to get to work??? What time do you rise in the morning? 4:30 am? Rather you than me, mate!

9:17 am  
Blogger Alan said...

Unexpected politeness is always nice. I got some once from a group of lads in a pub where I worked. They said thanks, put all the furniture back they had moved and brought their empties to the bar !

10:26 am  
Blogger Mischief said...

Dude - I nabbed the idea for a zoomcloud off your site and just wanted to say thanks. Just passing through!

mischief

6:40 pm  

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