1. The drunk clubber
Sixty-eight percent of all night bus passengers fall into this category. Sure, they’re loud, obnoxious and often on the verge of tears, but thatís all part of the night-rider spirit. The worst offenders are those still partying. They’ve been chucked out of the club too early for their liking and have decided to rename the ‘night bus’ the ‘Venga Bus’ – so they pump up their phone volume to 11 and flail their sweaty bodies around in the wheelchair space. Avoid eye contact. Otherwise you will be forced into a chant of something by Calvin Harris.
2. The multi-vommer
First comes the retch, then the sound of liquid hitting floor. Soon the stench floats throughout the deck like a toxic balloon. People move seats, bags are put on laps, and those standing play a game of ‘try not to step in the slow-moving stream of yellow puke’ as if it were vodka-infused molten lava. After all, they wouldnít want to stain their new Reebok classics.
3. The 20-chicken-nuggets-eater
Or anyone with a bag of stinky Maccy D’s. But once midnight hits, and those neon menus flip over, one item always looks more tempting than all the others. You’ll hear the conversations. ‘You didn’t get any barbecue? You fucking moron. Thatís the best bit!’ ‘Nah, mate, it’s all about the curry sauce. Curry sauce and ketchup. Together. It’s what the Dutch do.’
4. The nosy expert
It’s late, you’re knackered and most of your energy is being syphoned into your liver. What little vivacity you have left is being used to keep your eyes open and nod along to your mateís thoughts on ‘House of Cards’. The last thing you want is someone joining in with your conversation. ‘D’you honeshtly think it’sh better than “The Wesht Wing”?’ interjects a slurred voice. Indulging them will just lead to an invitation to a mythical house party. So either you argue with vigour and hope they’ll shut down or you sarcastically explain what private conversation means. Either way, you look like a prick and will become the subject of someone’s outraged tweet.
5. The classical musician
You might not notice them at first, but they’re there. Top deck, window seat, invisible to others – like Bruce Willis in ‘The Sixth Sense’. Then you spot the viola case and the all-black attire. They’ve already had a two-hour rain journey back from a corporate do in an Oxfordshire manor house, where they had to play Barber’s ‘Adagio for Strings’ 400 times: now they’re stuck on a bus full of rowdy drunks. Look at them, the smug, selfish, sober bastards, spoiling everyone else’s fun with their interest in getting home to bed and lack of interest in Charli XCX and what Shanice’s ex has just texted her. Oi, mate! Get a life!
By Ben Williams, who thinks the N12 is the very finest bus in London.
Take a look at the top five lies Londoners tell themselves.