Having popped out to the local high street on the bus to carry out a simple mundane task at the bank I was happy to be heading home for lunch with not a care in the world.
I boarded the bus and being observant, and also a little careful these days, I noted my fellow passengers, a couple of middle aged ladies having a natter, an elderly Asian woman in the Priority seats, a young woman sat by the exit doors and a young boy towards the back of the bus, I made my way past all but the boy and sat in the seat across the aisle from him, I then noticed a backpack on the seat in front of me ! (See the unattended baggage routine) ! Then it became obvious that the young boy had actually been sat where I was and was now looking at something / someone outside on the opposite side of the bus, he noticed I was sat there and retrieved his bag, no need for the emergency services to be called then . . . . Or so I thought . . . little did I know what lay just ahead less than a mile up the road !
Two stops from where I boarded the bus a woman got on and hadn't used her pass card, the bus driver drew her attention to this and got a bit of a crabby answer, coz she "Have to sit down first" ?? she sat down halfway down the bus and immediately got back up and went all the way back to the front of the bus to "Tap in", she then returned down the bus, but this time she only went as far as the first seat, and literally dropped into the seat next to the elderly lady, she then proceeded to bend the old dears ear a bit, at the next stop the elderly lady got off, leaving this woman alone now on the bus.
Normal service is resumed . . . Oh no it isn't !
The young boy went to the luggage rack at the front of the bus and retrieved a couple of suitcases which he then took back to the doors where it became apparent that he was with the young woman sat there as he handed off the cases to her whilst he retrieved another and they readied themselves to leave the bus.
At this point it all went a bit "Twilight Zone" the woman who had made a process of getting on and tapping in and sitting down then jumped up and demanded that the young woman give the young boy his "Parcels" back as they didn't belong to her, the only inference being of course the suitcases he had given to her, fairly obviously the young woman held on to the suitcases and boy did things take a weird turn then, Mrs Angry then started getting very agitated about the boys "Baskets" that the young woman had "Stolen" from him !
The bus pulled into a stop and amidst this scene the young boy got off the bus with two of the suitcases and started to walk away Mrs Angry then jumped off the bus and began chasing / following him down the road as he did his best to ignore her, the young woman was still on the bus in the doorway and yelling at him to come back, which he did, at this point I had got out of my seat and went to the front of the bus by the doors, as the boy returned to the bus I asked the driver to shut the doors, but he wasn't quick enough and I was now face to face with Mrs Angry !
I had put myself between her and the young boy as he was quite bemused by what was happening, and the young woman was getting quite distressed as it was now apparent that the young man was in fact her son,
Mrs Angry was now ranting in my face about how I should get out of her way with my stinky breath and let her take her son off the bus with her, I was fully aware that I was now dealing with someone with some problems and decided to treat her calmly but firmly, I told her that it wasn't her son and she had made a mistake, I got more abuse and threats of physical harm if I didn't get out of her way, when I refused again she then started yelling about how she was a member of the Metropolitan Police and would arrest me ! I asked for her warrant card (knowing she didn't have one) and I continued to stand my ground, during this process the young woman and I had managed a few words and she knew I wasn't going anywhere until this woman had gone.
By this time I had overheard the bus driver in contact with his depot and arranging for the police to attend, Mrs Angry had obviously heard too as she then started shouting for the police to be called to help her stop "Mandy" (NOT the lady's name BTW), from stealing her son and his money ! That's a new bit, and as this saga went on there were to be quite a few more of these additions. Then the threats began in earnest, and myself and "Mandy" were then treated to a range of verbal threats ranging from slicing off "Mandy's" head to stabbing both her and I
There was an attempt made by Mrs Angry to circumvent me by going to the doors at the back of the bus, but those were now being closed by the driver having been left open to allow other passengers to get off and avoid what was now becoming a serious situation, and not just for us, but also Mrs Angry, who was now even more agitated and yelling loudly.
The driver shut the front doors as well trapping Mrs Angry outside the bus, Phew, the bus had to stay put as the police were on their way and I advised the young woman to stay put too as leaving the bus could result in escalating the situation, Mrs Angry was now haranguing any passer-by with tales of "Kidnap" by "Mandy" then she started in with tales of how "Mandy" had killed Mrs Angry's baby only that morning chopping it into bits and burying it behind the church she owned.
Whilst this was whole scenario had some of those dark humour moments, it was also becoming more and more obvious that there was some tragedy in Mrs Angry's life that had caused her to become unhinged in such a dramatic way, she was sitting down in the bus shelter, then jumping up to harangue us inside the bus and almost every person that passed by !
In a weird but kind of normal moment, the Young woman's father who had been kept abreast of their progress homeward now appeared as he was wondering where they had got to, he was concerned about them missing out on the lunch he had bought for them
Thankfully the Police arrived and it was obvious to them what was occurring so one of them went to chat with Mrs Angry, where yet more additions were yelled about thefts of the young boys money by "Mandy" who in the next sentence became "Maria the Chinese whore" who had stolen the baby she had only just had at 12 O'clock today, it was now very clear that the poor woman was in dire need of help and the police were having quite a time of it in calming her down, among the accusations tossed around by this woman was that the bus driver was an imposter and was in fact Dr Gupta the Psychiatrist and was spying on her !
During this part of the drama "Mandy's" Father was now accused of being involved in yet another of her Murder scenarios this time involving her 5 year old child, accompanied by much berating of the police for not arresting all of us for our heinous crimes.
All of us on the bus had to give details of course and we found out that the young woman had only just returned from holiday, hence the suitcases which had been the trigger for Mrs Angry's behaviour.
It took a while for the police to break through Mrs Angry's distorted version of reality and they finally persuaded her to get into a van with them by assuring her that they would return to the bus once she was in their vehicle and would talk to her son for her, as they led her away she peered through the bus windows and said “see you soon son” in a rather wounded and mournful way,
After all of this was over the police informed all of us that should Mrs Angry not be deemed to be suffering from mental problems the incident would become a criminal one for some of the threats of violence, however it was obvious that it won't become a criminal incident, and the officer told us that they were in fact taking her to be sectioned for her own good and at some point they would be able to ascertain who, where etc. and hopefully she would receive the help she so obviously needs.
We all left the bus, with the young woman, her son and father heading off to their by now cold lunch, and me to my now seriously delayed lunch.
I hope that the poor woman gets the help she needs and her life is stabilised again, the one thing I am grateful for is that nobody decided to YouTube the incident as Mrs Angry's life is already a mess without the ignominy of her behaviour being touted on video for the amusement of YT Trolls