While Wrongly Writing, the second Sortabiography about writing the Dooven Books, takes shape amidst the re-recording of the first three Dooven Books, here's a little excerpt relating a memorable bus trip from it.
There were several seats free and the man who’d got on before him was scowling from a window in a manner suggesting he didn’t want to be disturbed—particularly by a soaking wet wanker. Thomas suspected there were some young women nearby, but didn’t dare look on account of being a soaking wet wanker.
When he sat on a seat in front, his wet trousers made socially unacceptable noises.
“That wasn’t me,” he said to everyone in his vicinity. “I mean it was me a bit, but more my trousers, rather than anything contained within them.” When no one responded, he wondered about saying it louder, before deciding on elaboration instead. “They’re wet, you see,” he said. “I mean they’re wet because of the rain, rather than anything I’ve done within them.” He pointed outside, which had got greyer and streakier. “It’s raining, and some of it got on my trousers.” He turned to the man sitting behind them. “You were there. Could you tell them?”
“What?” It was said with a sneer.
“Could you confirm that I’ve been out in the rain and my trousers have got squeaky?”
“No one cares, mate.” He looked from his window again.
Thomas glanced at a passenger who he’d suspected was a young woman to discover she was. She also had headphones on and was, therefore, unlikely to have heard his trousers. Across the aisle, another young woman had turned from him to face her window, which only aggravated his concerns.
He turned to the man again.
“Could you just tell her?”
“What is your problem?” It was said as though if there wasn’t one, there would be shortly.
“It’s just that I think she heard.”
“The sound from my trousers.”
The man stared with the sort of contempt that ran Parliament. “She doesn’t give a fuck, mate.”
“It was quite loud.”
“No one gives a fuck!”
Thomas glanced at her again, certain she was pretty, though couldn’t see her face. “But I can’t say it again,” he said. “I’ve already mentioned it twice.”
The man leant forwards. “She couldn’t give a fuck if you’d had it tattooed on your arse!”
He was chewing gum, his arms were folded and he considered Thomas for a time, before leaning access the aisle. “Hey, sweetheart, this wanker wants you to know that he’s just filled his pants with shit.”
She shifted to face the window completely.
“No!” hissed Thomas. “That’s not what I meant!”
“Oh? Well, sorry, mate. I just assumed that’s what the noise was.”
“No—I said it wasn’t from my bottom! I said it was from my wet trousers!”
“Isn’t that the same thing?”
Horrified, Thomas turned from him and shrank into his seat. Having never dealt with women before, he was convinced that have wet noises coming from his trousers would do little to help him start—and having a public announcement that he’d shat himself broadcast would help even less.
He was a man, supposedly. What’s more, he’d just moved out of home. A final public announcement could clarify most of this if it was one he’d be in charge of.
“Excuse me,” he said, addressing the bus’ entire contents, “but I feel it necessary to clarify that I have not filled my pants with excrement. The sound that you may or may not have heard when I sat down was a result of my trouser fabric having become wet from the rain outside and not from any inadvertent defecation on my part.”
Most passengers had turned to listen, and even the bus driver glanced in his mirror. Encouraged, Thomas decided to straighten other things out also. He pointed at the man in the seat behind.
“Even though this gentleman was good enough to inform me that the bus had arrived while I was busy thinking about my cat, he nevertheless failed to comply with a request to provide verbal evidence of my wet trousers—”
The man laughed.
“—having nothing to do with bodily functions and everything to do with local meteorological conditions.”
There was silence.
“Right—well—so long as that’s all clear: this man is unhelpful and I did not just fill my pants with shit.”
When he sat, his trousers uttered another socially unacceptable noise that him cringe and the man behind collapse in hysterics.
Yes, I have issues, but writing a novel about them is an excellent form of therapy.