12.30am: Outrun police easily - someone should tell the Met to arm their boys with amphetamine. Everyone feeling very pissed off by ruined night's raving and police brutality. Head glumly to nearest night-bus stop. Stand in rain with other miserable passengers, including woman splitting up with boyfriend, two drunk 16-year-olds and four American tourists clearly wondering what possessed them to visit London in November.
1.25am: Really raining now. Just as woman reveals interesting fact about how she's been sleeping with boyfriend's best friend, 16-year-old is selfishly sick in bus shelter so have to stand outside and miss further revelations.
1.45am: Three night-buses in a row arrive. All say "Out Of Service". "The thing is," Anna is saying, "Louise Woodward did it." Dylan is horrified. "No she didn't!" he protests. "She doesn't look like a murderer." I say maybe she's a manslaughterer, then. Notice Americans taking keen interest in conversation and lower voices.
2.10am: Packed night-bus lurches into bus-stop. Go upstairs, which is curiously empty except for six Liverpool fans. Feel compelled to sit on back seat and pass cigarette discreetly around. Americans at front talking in very loud voices, woman and soon-to-be-ex boyfriend behind them.
2.15am: "I can't believe you think she's done it!" says Dylan. "Were you, like, there?" He looks on verge of tears, but it has been a bad night. "Baby Mattie is dead," I say. "Someone killed him and it was probably Louise, even if she didn't mean to. The point is, she shouldn't come home to a hero's welcome." Dylan is adamant. "The mother did it! Or the brother. He's always biting people! Or OJ Simpson!" Anna has unkindly started singing "Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree".
2.20am: Liverpool fans have come to sit with us, which is really quite unnecessary as there is plenty of room on the top deck. "Thought I heard someone say our Louise was guilty," says Scouser 1, who appear to be wearing a yellow ribbon. "But I'm sure I misheard."
2.30am: Liverpool fans now sitting on top of us - one is tying Dylan to the row in front by his dreadlocks. Horrible familiarity of the bullied- on-the-back-seat scenario, suddenly worry about whether I've remembered my PE kit. "I didn't bloody imprison her," says Dylan. "Why don't you ask them?" To my horror, I see him pointing accusingly at the Americans. "Look, it's our stop," says Anna. Scousers make it clear that leaving the bus is not an option.
2.45am: Scousers address front of bus unintelligibly. Prominent phrases include "Yankee c**ts", "Our Louise" and something about getting into the World War Two too late and claiming the credit. Scouser 3 grabs shortest American bloke by the lapels of his fleece jacket. Hit buzzer to alert driver of imminent outbreak of World War Three but remember he is a night-bus driver, so genetically incapable of helping passengers in distress.
2.46am: Dumped boyfriend gets up and walks slowly to the front. "Listen mate," he says to Scouser 3, very calmly, "we all feel badly about Louise and I would agree with you 100 per cent that the justice system in America is on trial at the moment, but she's free now and even if she weren't it's hardly these guys fault." "I think I'm in love." whispers Anna. His act of bravery has similar effect on his ex, who is regarding him with renewed interest.
2.48am: "Sorry, pal." says Scouser 3, humbly. We're all on the edge of the back seat, staring. "Oh, Colin!" sighs the ex-girlfriend. New feeling of transatlantic harmony pervades bus as we arrive at Trafalgar Square. Scousers are offering to show Americans the sights of the Wirral, our hero and his girlfriend are snogging happily. "Makes you want to have feelings," says Anna.Reuse content