Friday, April 01, 2005

All the News That's Fit to Make Up


I guess today is the last day the the Routemaster, the big old red hop-on, hop-off, risk death in doing so bus, is serving the 19 bus route from Finsbury Park. Far be it from me or indeed anyone on the internet to make up news without first having checked it, but on my route into work I was photographed an unusual number of times by the herds of nerds who lined the streets as I cycled by. Initially, I just thought they'd mistaken me for Dr Green off ER, but then I realised they were actually shooting the large piece of mid-twentieth century technology chugging away behind me (NB this photo is not the bus that followed me, it is merely illustrative of what a bus looks like).

(I've now checked, and yes, my suspicions were correct, and you can read in perhaps more detail than you'd like here.)

It is a sad day indeed for people who mourn the passing of things that aren't there anymore that used to be. I'll miss the way I could jump off at the bakery if the traffic was right, saving valuable pastry-seconds. I'll miss the way you could leap on it when it was actually moving quite fast and feel that you'd acheived something heroic. I'll miss the fact that the seats weren't wide enough for the arses of people now, and trying to squeeze in next to a fatty was something to be avoided. I'll miss that it struggled with even the slightest incline. I'll miss the conductors, who ranged from surly through to avuncular, and especially the one who would spend his whole day singing at the top of his voice. Never more shall we hear the phrase, 'Any more fares?' condensed to a guttural 'Armf!' I'll miss the arguments people would have with the conductor ('How can you be full? You've just let four people off?').

Ooh, I've just nostalged.

Listening to the radio this morning, aware that it's April Fool's Day, I was trying to work out what the joke story traditionally inserted into the real news stories was. It's some sick individual indeed on the Today programme who considers the upcoming death of the Pope to be suitable to put in as a joke. Although perhaps they might not choose to lead with the joke story, and spend five minutes interviewing Cardinal "Insert Every Irish Name Under the Sun Here" Cormac Murphy O’Connor. Perhaps it was the article about the manned trip to Pluto that George Bush is launching.

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