The 29 Poem

THE 29

When you step into the 29 through the far back doors where the driver can’t see, try to stay out of the way of the mother with the pram and the baby.

Because as the daily mail says, even babies on the 29 have been known to knife people.

When you step into the 29, do not assume everyone is staring at you because you forgot to swipe your oyster card. People are watching you to see if you’re one of those suckers who always flashes their card.

And when the mother lets her baby out of the pram, and he starts running around wrapping his little arms around the other passengers, do not wonder if this is a wise thing to with a baby on a bus at 2AM.

In fact, do not question what a baby is doing on a bus at 2AM in the first place.

Rather, hug him back. Watch as everyone from the drug-fucked leopard print hipster to the grumpy Turkish man in leather break open and smile at one another.

It is a well known fact that everyone will end up on the 29 at some point in their life.

When a belligerent guy in the back row yells at you for Rizlas, hand them to him.

When he opens the windows and sparks a spliff, ask him for a hit.

Because you’re on the 29. And its free.

When the Spanish Mohawk queen standing next to you suddenly punches the man in front for pinching her mate’s bum, take a side and start yelling.

There is no space for moderates on this bus.

It is a little known rule on the 29 that there has to be a member of every continent represented on the bus at all times or it will explode.

When a tall man with dreadlocks comes up to you pointing and singing, sing back.

Get into an argument with him about the actual lyrics.

When you look at your watch on the 29, you will always be 20 minutes late.

When you realise the terrible smell is coming from the unconscious man in the seat behind you, accept that there is a high likelihood that he is, in fact, rotting.

Accept that you don’t actually smell that much better.

Accept that you cannot stop him from rotting.

You can, however, thank the woman who offers you her perfume from her handbag to try and remedy the situation.

It is a little known fact about the 29 that if you ride it every day for 100 years you will end up spending approximately 4 years of your life on the 29.

When you open a bar of chocolate on the 29, offer some to the man next to you. Maybe he’s having a bad day. Maybe he’s on his way to jump off a bridge and this could be one thing that gets him to change his mind.

Maybe it will be the last piece of chocolate he’ll ever eat.

Maybe it will be the last piece of chocolate you will ever eat.

Maybe this bus will crash and you will finally find out the name of the cute girl with the bull terrier and shaved head.

And 100 years from now, long after London has crumbled to the ground, the buildings have corroded away and the lions on Trafalgar square have finally upped and left for warmer climates, the 29 will still be running.

The baby running around today will still be here, with white hair, wearing  a torn suit jacket and mumbling, smelling of K-cider, but he will still be going around hugging everyone who gets on.

And then you will wake up in the back row at 4AM and ask yourself, what the hell did I do with those four years of my life.

And you will still be more than 20 minutes late.

So when the guy way in the back opens his window and sparks a spliff, take a hit.

Because its the 29, and the meaning of life exists between the far back doors where the driver can’t see.

and it is free.


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