Some of you may be familiar with my rants on Twitter about my bus escapades. Pull up a seat and hear some more.
Some years ago, when the Government in its wisdom decided to make an annual bus/rail ticket tax deductible I signed up. No need for a second car, and the bus station wasn’t too far from work. And when we moved offices for the first time I was even closer to the station. Ah, those were the days. Now my journey is a lot messier. You see, we moved offices again last October and now I need 2 buses or, if the weather is good – which it normally isn’t – I’ll get off my regular bus and walk the 15 minutes or so to work.
But enough of that. My real concern here is what goes on aboard the bus. And sometimes it’s not very pleasant. For example, a fight broke out behind me one day. I looked behind and there was one of Ireland’s fine young men kicking the bejayzus out of another lad. All this at 6.45am. That certainly woke me up. The assailant eventually got off the bus and we all settled back into normality.
Then there’s the old guy who likes nothing more than sitting next to young females. No, I’m not talking about myself, thank you. He’s a little more feeble than myself and also deafer, so the poor girl has to repeat herself constantly. And I have to listen.
One of our drivers is somewhat lacking in patience and manners. He’s a master at beeping whenever fellow drivers stray near him. Which is all very well later in the day, but first thing in the morning? He has also been known to swear loudly at offending drivers, so loudly that all aboard can hear. Two nuns one day listened to his full repertoire of swear words. Not very nice, nor considerate. One memorable day he stopped his fully-laden double decker bus and got out to blast an unfortunate motorist silly enough to park at the bus stop. What’s a guy like him doing in a stressful job like that?
Another lovely driver was known for her gruff manner. She delighted in throwing her authority around and practically spitting venom at some passengers who she had taken a dislike to. She could be nice, in fairness, it’s just that I can’t remember what year that was. And she had a nasty little habit of sticking to rules, such as never picking up a passenger other than at a bus stop. Too bad if the rain was bucketing down, the bus was stuck at traffic lights by the station and you were knocking on the doors trying to get aboard. She would look straight ahead and ignore you. I always thought she delighted in that power of being able to keep the door shut.
Then we have what I call the sardine drivers, who pack every available space on the bus, and too bad on everyone trying to suck air into their lungs and get home without being crushed. Too often, especially in the evening rush, our double decker is full before it even leaves the station. So much so that we might have 5 or 6 people standing. No bother to our intrepid drivers – they simply pick everyone else up on the way, meaning those unlucky enough to be standing find themselves barely able to touch the ground with their toes. Strangely enough, other drivers speed past luckless passengers even though there is plenty of standing room. Go figure.
There’s more, but I’ll wait for another day. Who knows what awaits me on the bus tomorrow – if it arrives that is.