Sunday, July 04, 2004

"The wheels on the bus..." 

Monica Bennett likes taking the bus. I'm not so keen, though like her I've had many life-affirming experiences on buses which I might not have had while driving. On really bad days the insane bus driver who'd start improvisationally singing the numbers from 1-20, in increasingly climactic notes - "17!" - was a real kickstart to the day. The guy who told me I looked intelligent and then offered me a spliff when I was 12 was also appreciated. Being beaten up twice on the bus was less fun, and one experience (my best friend's, not mine) is particularly worth mentioning on the 'mixed blessing' side:

A man was smoking on the bus, as many do on the top floor (illegally). This was pretty annoying, as the windows don't open very well, and another man came along and told him to put the cigarette out. He didn't, looking tough with a don't-fuck-with-me mouth. This other guy then took out a gun and said calmly 'I said, put out the cigarette'. This time the first man obeyed, looking a little less tough. The man with the gun then put the gun away and came up to my friend, beginning to chat her up. What do you say to turn down a guy with a gun?

So yes, I have a certain fondness for public transport, but the general rudeness of people on buses, added to experiences like this, has fuelled my love of solitude. I'd rather walk or take a car. Saving the environment can wait until they make public transort a bit safer.

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