On the Bus

  • By Robin Barker
  • 20 Mar, 2017

A rich blonde pony-tail and a swinging chestnut bob float into my orbit as two gorgeous young things settle down in front of me and swap desperate tales of domestic woe.

‘So, you’re back living at home?’

‘Yeah, bad really bad but it’s only until May then I’m off overseas.’

‘It’s hopeless living at home…’

‘Yeah, well, it’s their house now. I mean it’s not my house anymore.’

‘I know what you mean. No freedom to have things the way you want them in your room or round the place.’

‘No. And if you cook a meal you have to clean it up right away. You can’t leave any mess around for a few days and fix it when you feel like it.’

‘Doesn’t that just give you the shits?’

Pony-tail and bob quiver in hilarious outrage.

‘Honest my parents are sooo annoying. Do you know my mother came into my room this morning at nine o’clock and woke me up. Like, she came right in and woke. me. up’.

‘That’s exactly what I mean, why do they do that?’

‘Well, they’d cooked bacon and eggs - you know their typically healthy breakfast - and she, like, wanted to know if I wanted any. So anyway, I stayed in bed until twelve o’clock. To, you know, make the point. They were horrified, I could tell. But that’s the problem of living at home, they still want to run your life.’

‘Yeah, mine are always asking me what time I’ll be back. I mean, like, what’s that all about?’

‘There’s a few advantages though, there’s always food in the fridge.’

Wild billowing laughter.

‘Always food in the fridge…and don’t forget the washing machine. Having a decent washing machine is great.’

‘Ab. so. lute. ly. And the car. I can use the car but only when they’re not using it, and that’s always when I want it. Still, sometimes it works out and that does come in handy.’

‘And, no rent. I mean if I had to pay rent I wouldn’t be able to do anything. I’d have nothing left by the time I paid rent, bought food. Nothing. I couldn’t go out…’.

They rock with laughter. Their exuberance is infectious. Even as I’m thinking ‘poor parents’, I have great difficulty holding back sympathetic bursts of laughter at their plight.

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