Terror at 68mph

I’m not quite sure what the point of a bank holiday is. I know it’s a holiday for banks, but considering how slack they’ve been with working practices over the last few years I’m surprised any of them need a holiday (yes, I do satire as well folks). In principle they sound like a great idea – every so often you get a day off to acknowledge some national occasion. I bet if the people of the past had realised their actions would be commemorated by an extra long weekend, they would have tried harder to create more of them. St. Patrick would have hosted more Irish-themed nights, roping Guinness in for promotional work, and I bet Jesus would have strung out the Easter weekend for a least a couple more days, probably roping Guinness in for promotional work. The problem is: I never seem to make the most of my bank holidays. This week, for example, I spent it on a coach.

Now, I don’t mind coach travel, in many ways I enjoy it – I’ve been known to hop onboard a SAGA trip to Torquay just for the company. It’s hardly club 18-30, but they have all the boiled sweets you could wish for. However my jolly holly trip was spoilt by one person – let’s call him Barry. Barry is one of those people who talks very loudly on public transport and I had the misfortune to sit opposite him. Talking loudly can be OK, if you’re a verbose, eloquent and insightful person or simply at a public speaking event without an adequate PA system. Barry was neither of these things. He talked utter drivel. And because of my location to him, I had no option but to take in his many words of wisdom. Like a woodpecker smacking his head against a tree of noise.

Barry was sat next to a girl, whom I can only assume, he was trying to impress. The first rule of coach travel is; don’t try hit on the person sat next to you. I tried it once – it was on an overnight drive to London. I got tired and decided to snuggle in to the person next to me. It was fine until we got to Milton Keynes and he had a go at me. To be fair, I was distracting him from driving. The thing is; this girl was drinking in every line of Barry’s utter nonsense. He was discussing films. Now, film is a subject I absolutely love talking about, I can talk for hours, and most of what I say is complete nonsense, but at least I have the good grace not to broadcast it to the rest of the Megabus.

For nearly three hours I had to listen to him giving razor-sharp critiques of popular films; Captain America – gay, apparently. I’m not sure that’s the British Board of Film Classification’s official definition. Quentin Tarantino’s World War Two film Inglorious B*****ds – “they all speak German in it, actually” and the magical psychological thriller The Prestige – “…lots of weird stuff happens and loads of people die”. You see, it was comments like this that made me feel that Barry Norman’s talents were somewhat wasted on film analysis. Surely he’d be better suited to dealing with Middle Eastern politics or the global economic situation. Sadly he will remain undiscovered, reciting gems like “3D movies are just cinema men hurting my eyes”.

The thing that made this even worse was that Barry brought all his mates with him. They were sat at the back of the bus and proceeded to shout out every so often – it was like Question Time, but next to a chemical toilet. As they were getting off the coach, I noticed they were discussing tomorrow’s university course (students, naturally) and they mentioned how they had to organise a film shoot. My heart sank: Barry Norman and his mates were film production students – the movie makers of the future.

It was at this point that I decided I will never go to the cinema again. Or take a coach trip. Or have a bank holiday.


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