A.J. Walker


'I've Had Three Daughters'

On Friday night after a short visit to the city centre I caught the bus back to Fazak on the No.19. It was another wet day and buses had seemed on short supply on the way to and from town and the bus was packed.

I ended up quite near the front (helpfully in the seats highlighted as for people who have mobility issues - and I’ve definitely be suffering a lot in recent weeks (still feel guilty about using them but usually I’m the least mobile of those who do)).

For the first half of the journey it was fine, other than having to stop at each and every bus stop thanks to the day’s paucity of buses. But it took a rapid downward turn when a lad got on from a stop on Everton Road. There were no seats and he stood near the front of the bus along with others already stood there at which point a crinkly woman of indeterminate age started having a go at him standing there as a foreigner. She spat out filth and nonsense whilst the guy stayed calm throughout. As her shouting got louder the bus driver told her to shut up. She got heckled from multiple people at the back of the bus and even meek ole me told her to be quiet. She didn’t. She got more voluble and claimed she was in her rights and, most bizarrely, that she kept exclaiming that ‘she had three daughters’. I mean does that make you become a racist once you’ve past two daughters and get to the dreaded third? Is it a biological thing? I don’t remember being taught about that.

The guys and gals at the back of the bus got ever more agitated at the horrible woman. One shouted that she 15 years old and wasn’t a racist and what was the fact that the woman had three kids to do with anything. It was a mighty fine point.

Throughout this the bus driver repeatedly told the woman to shut up and threatened to throw her off. I suspect he would have if the bus hadn’t been as packed as it was—it would have cost a lot of people a lot of time I guess. The rows got louder and got semi physical for a while with friends of the girls having to hold them back as the foul racist finally got off the bus near Walton Hall Park.

It was definitely an eventful evening journey home (I have headphones and Spotify; I don’t need entertainment of any sort to be laid on for me). And while I had to listen to a horrible racist (apparently a mother of three, which counts for a defence or reason in some parallel world) it was good to see a whole bus against her and not one person (as far as I saw anyway) side with her.

Hope her daughters are all okay and not tarred or scarred by their upbringing. Kudos to the 15 year old ladies from Kirkby, you were fab.

Perhaps next time though I’ll wait in hope for the 17 rather than catch the 19.