Angels with Dirty Faces (and noTeeth)

I headed home early today as I had a headache so bad it felt like my brain was trying to climb out of my skull to escape it. As I was unlocking my bike I heard a friendly, if slightly slurred voice ask if I was all right. Turning, I saw one of Vauxhall’s local drunk guys looking at me with toothless concern. ‘Cheer up gel,’ he said, and then added, ‘I love you but there’s nothing anyone can do about it.’ ‘Mmm,’ I said, ‘thanks…’ and got on my bike and pedalled away in bemusement.

But that wasn’t the end of it. I had to wait for the lights at Vauxhall Cross and so did he, so we had further conversation – or he did, and I confined myself to nodding and smiling and hammering repeatedly on the pedestrian crossing button in the hope that it might change quicker that way. ‘You mind how you go gel, wait for that green man,’ he advised me when a gap appeared. And then when gridlock had finally brought the cars to a stop he relented. ‘when it’s blocked, it’s blocked. You might as well cross, gel. And mind how you go…’ and we went our separate ways.

Is this just me? Or does everyone have tramps, drunks and assorted dossers appointing themselves their guardian angel from time to time? They tell me how to cross the road, they warn me about my bike, one even once stood up in Port Authority bus station in New York and told two people who were starting a fight in front of me that there was a lady present and they should mind their language. That was almost exactly half my lifetime ago, and yet I still don’t seem to have lost whatever it is about me that marks me out for attention. I don’t exactly mind. I just want to know what it is about me that makes them feel sorry for me, when really it should be the other way round.

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16 responses to “Angels with Dirty Faces (and noTeeth)

  1. Aw. Cute. Maybe it’s the flashing LED display on your cycling vest, coupled with the flourescent yellow jacket that makes you so eye-catching?

  2. There’s a regular homeless man that’s ‘befriended’ all us Megabus drivers down by Victoria. Keeps on helping but get’s in the way. Excpet can’t have meaningless conversations with him at he’s Eastern European, his vocabulary consists of Cigarette, Change, Coffee, OK Boss, No Problem and Very Good. But he does try and chat bless him. Although he’s harmless he’s very annoying.

    Of course Westminster Council are coping with their homeless problem. Indeed they are…

  3. frazzled aunt – you may be right. Although the strange attraction predates the flashing vest … I suppose it’s good to know I’ve still got that ‘something’ … whatever that something is.

    Nik – I guess he likes to feel useful. Perhaps you could give him an English-whatever phrase book so he can expand his repertoire? Of course that would just encourage him…

  4. Whatever that “something” is, I haven’t got it. There are no socioeconomic circles in which “stuck-up bitch” is considered a term of endearment, are there?

  5. Er you could try ‘a certain aloof charm’ and see if that sounds nicer. Or ‘reserved’ ?

  6. Well, Disgruntled, you obviously bring out the paternal instincts in dirty old men. You are eating enough, aren’t you? And You’d better wrap up warm: it’s been chilly these last couple of weeks.

  7. Dammit Steve, I just tried to leave a really witty comment on your blog and Norton decided Haloscan was a virus and blocked it…

  8. I haven’t been outside for weeks. I have been too busy staring in the back pages of the Momaya book trying to identify you.

  9. Sorry, that was me, by the way. And I hope you enjoyed the book …

  10. at least you don’t have to pay for it, like i do …

  11. I have to pay for it too.

    Oh wait… we might be talking about entirely different things… um…

    Disgruntled – did you try to leave a comment on my post about incompetent recruitment agencies? I have another post to put up about banks an’ all. Bastards.

  12. Steve – yes, and then Norton announced that Haloscan had launched an attack on my site (have you got some sort of very aggressive anti-drivel filter in your comment box?) and refused to let anything else from haloscan through. Gah. Oh well, it probably wasn’t worth the effort.

    Rivergirlie – I can’t think what you mean…

  13. Disgruntled – Hmm, how very curious. I haven’t got any anti-drivel filter on Haloscan coz then even I wouldn’t be able to comment on my own dross. But I’ve never liked Norton – it’s like an over-protective, smothering parent.

  14. Hmm. I did have Zone Alarm but it decided after a while that I would be safer if nothing on my computer had access to the internet. Which was probably true, but annoying

    I’ve tried again – same result. Norton is accusing Haloscan of trying the ‘HTTP MSIE Generic Browser Exploit2’.

  15. Ah, it would appear that you are not the only Norton user to be experiencing this problem trying to post Haloscan comments. Seems to have suddenly popped up in the last day or two.

    If you haven’t already, try adding Haloscan to your trusted zone in Norton (under Firewall configuration?). That seems to have worked for other people.

  16. Give me an old cool bicycle, and I’ll ride around the city for days.

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