I got talking to a man at the bus stop this evening. Usually, I avoid such terrible things by listening to my iPod, but it broke the other day. If you’re wondering how it broke I’ll tell you right now. If you don’t want to know, skip forward a bit.

Well, I put it in my back pocket and sat on a hard bench. Why? My jeans were too tight and if I’d put it in my front pocket it would have looked like I had a bad case of iPod shaped penis.

Luckily my limited social skills are one level above weather talkers, and so, I asked him what he did for a living.

“I steal tips” he said.

“In what way?” I asked.

“Well, you know when you go to a restaurant and leave a tip on the table? I pretty much steal it.”

“How do you do that then?” I asked.

“I basically sit in a restaurant all day and grab the money off nearby tables as soon as the coast is clear.”

“Surely you can’t make that much from it? You’d have to be buying food all day.”

“Not really” he said “I just buy a bowl of chips now and then when I start attracting attention. Ideally I go to somewhere that does free refills on drinks. They’re better anyway, because usually waitresses in refill places do more work, so they’re more likely to get tips.”

“But the money can’t be that good?”

“The money is incredible” he told me “I’m insanely rich.”

“Hmmm. Then why are you catching the bus?” I asked.

“It’s the flashiest way to travel” he said.

“No it isn’t!” I yelled at him.

“It is when you do it the way I do. When I get on this bus people will know I have so much more money than them and they’ll be incredibly jealous.”

A moment later and we both got on the 82A, which goes to Norwich hospital. I flashed my bus pass and moved to the back seats.

“I’d like you to take me to Newcastle” the tip stealer said to the driver.

“I’m going to the hospital, mate. You’ll need to get 41 to the city centre then catch the shuttle if you want to go to Newcastle. Every hour they run.”

“I must insist that you take me straight to Newcastle. Here’s £10,000.”

“Um, ok” the driver said “I’m gonna get in trouble for this, but I can always say you had a gun. What about the other passengers?”

“Leave them to me. Right! Everyone not going to Newcastle please exit the vehicle and collect your £1000 compensation on the way.”

“But we need to go to the hospital” a man cried “We’re sick”

But his cries went unnoticed. Everyone was making their way towards the man handing out the £50 notes.

Trevor, Norwich.

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