Monday, 8 February 2010

Hail To The Bus Driver Man.

What the fuck has happened to bus drivers? Do you remember the good old days when, if the bus actually stopped for you, you would get on, ask for a ticket and the driver would fling his own shit at you? Has the time of bus drivers opening and closing doors on our heads while wanking into a flask now become a bygone era? Will we never see another bus driver screaming "FUCK OFF" when we press the "I want to get off, please" button ever again? Times are a-changin'.

I can't believe what happened this week. And it happened TWICE.

On Friday night I was gigging in Cambridge. Ben Norris gave me a lift back to Catford which meant a short bus journey to my house. I jumped on the bus and immediately realised I had no change (they love the correct change, bus drivers. It's like a sex drug to them). I apologised to the bus driver and turned to get off but the driver just let me on. FOR FREE.

Fucking hell. I couldn't believe it. Bus drivers are notoriously miserable. If it was any other REAL bus driver I would have been skull-raped. I sat down in complete shock. I was shaken and startled. By kindness.

To quote Tennessee Williams, "Never rely on the kindness of strangers, they is well shit" (I'm pretty sure that's the line) and I never have. To be fair, strangers have never relied on my kindness either. Except one. And she's in a big coma. So, you can imagine my surprise when nature's own embodiment of misery (the bus driver) offered a hand in a time of need. Still, it's a one off. Never happen again.

And it didn't. Until the next night. This time I was going from Lewisham station to my house. I queued up for a taxi by a sign that said Taxi Queue. I guess I wasn't thinking straight because OBVIOUSLY the taxi queue was on the other side of the road where there isn't a sign that says Taxi Queue. I'm a fucking idiot. Oh, well. I'll jump on a bus. I did. And the exact same thing happened. I realised I had no change then apologised to the driver for wasting his time. "That's OK", he said with a (I swear to God) smile. "Sit down".


It was fine when it happened once but is this the norm now? People being nice to one another? I am confused and frightened.

In my pathetic attempt at writing new material, I've been coming up with ideas of how we can be nicer to one another. This seems to be coming true for bus drivers. I suppose if a bleak bastard like me is trying to be nice then a bus driver can be too. Just seems so phenomenally unlikely. Not as unlikely as another thing that has been happening to me this past week. Something terrifying, horrible and, above all, embarrassing.

So, that's tomorrow's blog sorted then.


tinevictoria said...

I once got on a bus without the correct change. The bus driver signed a special slip which instructed me to put two pounds into an envelope and post it to the bus people together with said slip. He actually went out of his way to let me, nameless, correct change-less commuter, onto his bus. It was very kind and a bit unnerving.

Spence/TP said...

Come to Arizona, where I witnessed a screaming match between the driver and a passenger over how far you need to extend your arm to signal a bus to stop. On the return trip I boarded the bus with a throwaway "how's it going?" only to get the response "keep moving", as if "fine" was too much to muster. I'm getting a car this year.

bus from lcct said...

Hail to bus driver man. Useful post