Today, when all the media is focused, laser-like, on the opening of the Olympic Games, I was interested to read about a young man who chewed a bus seat in Devon. He was caught on CCTV biting a chunk out of the leather seat (clearly not a vegetarian), and washing it down with a bottle of what looks suspiciously like the widely-known, tooth-rotting, Olympic soft drink. Was he, I could not help but wonder, a visiting American who mistakenly thought the seats were made of beef jerky?
I think my favourite part of the story was the spokeswoman for the bus company who said he had ‘...only eaten a small part of the seat. It’s not the case that he ate the whole seat’. That’s a relief; imagine the effect on the digestion of eating an entire bus seat—all that foam...
I have seen quite a lot of things on the bus, but have yet to see anyone even so much as sample a seat. Perhaps this is because seats on most Lothian Buses are covered in a sort of sinister velour-like fabric—it makes my teeth feel fuzzy just thinking about it. I can’t help but feel sorry for anyone who is so bored on a journey that they are reduced to eating the soft furnishings. Did his mother never issue the classic remonstration: ‘don’t eat that, you don’t know where it’s been?’
In other news I learned that, rather than chewing on bus seats, in Afghanistan there is a thriving company uniting the country through the medium of ice cream: from strawberry swirls to orange ice lollies and chocolate-almond covered Nescafe version of a Magnum, the Herat Ice Cream Company delivers where others fear to go. Apparently even the Taliban go a bundle for a saffron flavoured ice cream sandwich or a vanilla, sour cherry and pistachio ice cream. We can only hope no one ever tells them about Mr Whippy.