Thursday, 5 January 2012

Christ On A Bus.




I have a problem. I'm not saying I'm right all the time but I do know when people are wrong and it is one of the most uncomfortable feelings you can experience when everyone around you is on the side of the bad guy. I'm fairly convinced that my brilliant skills at complaining will get me compensation from stupid National Express but I'm not so sure about the only other complaint I've currently logged. I think I'm really going to enjoy properly complaining in 2012 even though this particular case has left me with serious doubts. Not just about the customer service industry in the UK but also doubting in my fellow man. Actually, I don't have a fellow man. I'm nothing like those bunch of bastards. I don't tweet pictures of my dinner or consider The Apprentice gripping or support a team or say the word vajazzle and then laugh like a goat trying to regurgitate it's own skeleton. I pretty much hate my unfellow man and never more so than when I'm on public transport and neverer morer soer than when I was on a bus just before Christmas. I don't say this lightly, my dear friends, but it was the worst journey that I have ever been on. Remember: that's ME saying that.

I was travelling from Surrey Quays to Ladywell Village, the desperately-needy named eye of the Lewisham storm. The bus pulled up and I paid my fare but as I took my ticket I was gripped by an unsettling feeling. I thought to myself, "Was the bus driver singing just then?"

The bus started moving and I quickly convinced myself that I had to be mistaken. I mean, he's a bus driver. Why would he sing? Shouting for help, yes, but not singing. It was barely seconds into the journey when I realised that, terrifyingly, my first assumption was correct. The bastard was singing. The bastard bastard bus driver was singing like it was a normal thing to do. There is nothing normal about singing. Anyone who sings at any time clearly has severe mental problems and may even be violently deranged. I mean, look at Little Mix. There's no way they're not arsonists and animal pornographers. There's just no way. But I left it for a few minutes. Surely he'd shut up soon and we could all go back to pretending that everything is tip-top and peachy. But it didn't stop. It went on and on and fucking on. And just to make it worse, he was singing GOSPEL.

Panic was setting in as the song got into it's fifth or sixth minute. The bus driver constantly bellowing out "It's all about you. It's aaaallll about you. Jesus". Looking around the bus didn't do me any good either. Pretty much everyone on the bus could hear his very loud voice and how did they react? They laughed. Old women laughing. Teenage boys laughing. Mums with babies in prams just standing there laughing. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LAUGHING AT? Do you not realise who's in charge of this bus? Don't you know that Jesus's buddy is in charge here? CAN'T YOU SEE THAT THIS MAN THINKS WE WON'T ALL BE TRULY HAPPY AND ENLIGHTENED UNTIL WE'RE DEAD AND TRANSPORT FOR LONDON HAVE PUT HIM IN CHARGE OF A THREE TONNE VEHICLE?? He can't wait to die because then he'll see some gates made of pearls and naked children playing harps. He's going to have a lovely time if he kills us all. But they just kept laughing. My head started to set fire to itself as the bus driver started his second song.

I don't know if you remember my Christmas blog of a couple of years ago when I couldn't go to the toilet because the toilet attendant kept singing the same thing over and over again? Well, this was similar. Except this time the lunatic singing is the captain of the massive metal death trap I've found myself in. But like last time, I can remember every word of the song he sang. It was this:

(LOUD VOICE) He'll do it again.
(QUIETER SQUEAKY VOICE) He'll do it again.
(LOUD VOICE) And he'll do it again.
(QUIETER SQUEAKY VOICE) He'll do it again.
(LOUD VOICE) He'll do it again, our lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

Well done for spotting the two different types of singing he used in that never ending loop of a song. Yes, that's right. He did his own backing vocals.

I'd had enough and just snapped. I walked over to the cab and said "Can you stop singing, please?" He said he couldn't because we should all be singing and raising our voices to God. I completely agree with him IF this was a church bus but it wasn't. It was a normal every day bus full of piss and graffiti and it was beyond saving. Plus, I really don't feel comfortable that this man is driving while singing insanity to a fictional ghost. I argued with him saying that his singing was making me and other people on the bus uncomfortable, maybe using the bus you're driving to advertise your faith isn't a good idea and also it's just a terrible noise. But he kept insisting that he had to sing to show his love for our father. I told him I would ring my father if he wanted to praise him, he didn't have to make a disturbing racket on public transport. And that's when the rest of the bus joined in.

"Leave him alone". "Sit down, mate". "Fucking shut up. He's only singing".

Yep, people on the bus were defending the driver who sings his way to Jesus and our doom. I argued back with these people but it was useless. I was shouted down by practically everyone. My favourite was a woman who shouted "At least he's trying to do something". WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? "It's Christmas", she explained. "What have you done for Christmas?"

So, that's a Christmas tradition now. All drivers on public transport, just like in the days of yore, traditionally sing their faces off while making our journey's just that bit more uncomfortable. I couldn't take it so got off the bus two stops early to jeers and sarcastic GOODBYEs from the passengers. How could they turn on me like that? The bus driver is in charge so they take his side? Do what he says? I just wanted to save these people and was persecuted for it. I felt like going to bed for three days.

I complained, of course. I called Transport For London and, to be very fair, had a really good laugh about it with the woman I spoke to. Was I being a party pooper getting angry at a man singing at Christmas time? Am I justified in feeling vulnerable being on a bus driven by someone who really gets lost in a book? Sigh....this complaining thing is going to be tough but one thing is for sure; expect help from your fellow man and you'll be damned.

If you want to hear a little snippit of the bus driver singing, and trust me, you definitely don't, then go to this link: http://soundcloud.com/michaellegge/why-do-i-ever-take-public

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3 comments:

Anna Fruen said...

While I realise that religion being expressed in a public place is a tricky matter for some, if everyone else was ok with it, maybe the easier solution in future would be to bring an iPod?

raymond biffen said...

Yes Michael, why should the bus driver concentrate on his driving? London roads are wide, leafy, almost completely deserted and the ideal place to shove some demented religion down your trapped audience of a throat.

You should wear an iPod at all times and perhaps strap 42" TVs to each eye, then you will never notice anything to complain about.

The iPod is the valium for the masses, except you can't get them on prescription.

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