Photo by Alex Sturrock
Our UK intern Jack smells funny. It’s not because he doesn’t shower or anything, it’s because he rides one of the dirtiest buses in the whole of London every day, sharing his journey to work with gangs of 14-year-old school kids from Hackney. Ah, the lovely 76 bus. There are ankle-deep piles of junk food boxes stuffed with rotting, half-finished value meals. There are old cans of drink and greasy chip wrappers. When you have to spend an hour in that environment every day, the smell of it permeates your clothes. The half-eaten junk food gets stuck to the soles of poor Jack’s Converse. In order for him to face his problems and somehow come to terms with his smell, we got him to collect as much litter from the bus as he could in a week. This is the cornucopia of deliciousness that he came up with.
Barely-eaten doner kebab. There was enough food here to feed three starving, Dickensian orphans.
Box of fastidiously chewed fried chicken wings with something resembling tomato ketchup.
Two other boxes of various chicken bones. Some days walking along the top deck of this bus is like walking on a carpet of fried chicken.
A Jamaican pattie that somebody stamped on and kicked along the length of the top deck of the bus. Jack only worked that out when he stood up and found the fucker was stuck to his foot.
A fish cake. They’re a deep-fried mix of instant potato and fish that smells like rotten vagina. This had also been stamped on, leaving a leaving a slippery fish cake trail for about four feet down the top deck of the bus.
Endless cartons of Ribena, Volvic Strawberry water, Ginger beer, Jamaican Supermalt drink, Red Stripe, and one can of banana flavoured Nurishment drink, the colour of which resembles the bile that finally comes out of your stomach at the end of a five-hour hangover puking section. This was spilled over half of the back seat on the bus, meaning nobody could sit there.
A half-chewed saveloy sausage, most probably spat out on the floor by a disgusting fat pig who cheats on his wife with crack whores or rent boys. Saveloy sausages are deep pink in color, wrapped in a plasticky, condom-ish skin, and stuffed with spongy meat that tastes like salt and little else.
A third of a bun-less burger with bite marks, covered in plastic cheese and that cheap ketchup again.
Boxes of half-eaten fries, doused in cheap ketchup and this weird thing that Britain has called “burger sauce,” which is like an orangey mayonnaise with absolutely no discernible flavour whatsoever. One of these had three stubbed-out cigarettes jammed into the mayonnaise.
The worst thing Jack found was a whole white carrier bag full of cabbage, curry, Chinese food, remnants of kebabs, fries, and that thinly sliced tasteless salad they put in your kebab that has zero nutritional value. It was like somebody had the same idea as Jack and decided to try and clean up the bus by taking the litter away. It looks like in the end they got so grossed out by the stench and germs that they just fucking left it there. We can’t say we blame them.