Thursday, 10 June 2010
Evidence that signs on buses are an endless source of amusement ... to the easily amused
Okay, so the days of PING are over. But there is still fun to be had. Did I write all of the signs I saw on the bus today in my diary as I rode home (in very wobbly writing)? Yes, I did.
Does this say something about my immature and puerile sense of humour? Yes, it does.
Do I care? Nope.
Here's the sign at the front of the G1 bus about the bus's capacity, exactly as it's set out.
Seating 26 up to 29
Standing 16 up to 12
1 wheelchair for 5 standees
I have some questions.
1. Standing ... 16 up to 12? Can someone explain?
2. What is a standee when it's at home? Who's getting paid fifty grand a year to make up silly words to put on bus signs just to sound official? I hope the summer flowers in their extensive landscaped garden wilt.
3. Whatever a standee is, why would five of them want get into a wheelchair anyway? We've got papers to read when we get on the bus, people to text, books to flick through ... we're not looking to play party games.
Again - exactly as it's set out -
when the bus is moving you must not stand forward of this point or distract the driver without good reason or ....
leave luggage in any gangway
I have questions about this one, too.
1. Why the lower case throughout? Have they done a survey which revealed that '80% of British bus passengers would prefer to be patronised with infant school presentation'? It's almost like the PING thing - I'm wondering whether they've missed the beginning of the sentence off and it started with 'We would like you to know that ....' But there's no full stop either. This is a sentence which just HANGS IN MID-AIR LIKE A SOUL IN LIMBO.
2. Why the 'or ...' and then the new line? What's this Big Pause before they mention the luggage thing? Is it a threat (leaving luggage in the gangway is the WORST possible offence and means thirty years in jail)? Is it a 'we can't remember what we wanted to say at this point ... oh yes, that was it!'? Or is it a little game we're being invited to play called Guess the Offence (we know you're probably very bored so see if you can guess what's coming next)?
3. What do they mean - any gangway? There's not a great choice in terms of gangway. There's THE gangway and then there's .... nope ... that's it. There's just the one. Is this a general application, such as in, 'Look, sunshine, if you're likely to misbehave on this bus and leave your dirty great sports bag where it will kill people, then you're likely to do this on other buses. Take note.'
4. Has no one told them that, on leaving Junior School, you should stop using 'or' more than once in a sentence? You should have progressed to complex sentences by now. It's like those Junior School diary entries kids write on Mondays entitled 'Wot I did at the weakend' ... which entertain teachers worldwide. 'We went to the park AND we bort an eyescream AND it was a luvely day AND we had a nice time AND then we got hoame AND then Mummy through the cat at Daddy AND Daddy corled Mummy a barsterd AND then we got putt to bed.'
Directly underneath the previous sign is one saying, cheerily, 'EVERYTHING OK?' and there are some numbers you can ring if you have any comments or complaints. (Just don't get me started, my friends.) Well, no, 'not everything's OK', obviously, because your signs are rubbish and you think you have more than one gangway and you call people standees and use Big Pauses just to confuse people.
Underneath the 'Everything OK?' message are two little faces. One is a smiley face ('Yes, everything's fine and dandy') which has a wavy line on its head signifying bouncy, happy hair. The other one is a grumpy face ('I'd rather eat my own ear wax than come on this bus again') and this one's hair is all flat and hanging down one side of its face. So, presumably, if you are happy with your bus service, your hair will be all springy and fun, and if you're not, suddenly it will go all lank and rats-taily. I guess at least if you're not in touch with your feelings it's a helpful way of finding out whether you're enjoying your bus journey or not.
This one says, 'Passengers must not stand rearwards of this notice.'
1. Oh, we're 'passengers' now, are we, and not 'standees' when we're doing something we shouldn't?
2. And what the hell is 'rearwards of'. Do you mean ... could you mean ... is it possible that you mean ... BEHIND?
3. And, how come THIS one gets a capital P and a full stop, eh, eh, eh? Listen, honeybun sign-writer person whoever you are. At least, show some consistency.
I noticed, as I left the bus, that there were at least forty-five other signs I hadn't written down. Either deselect yourself off my followers list right now, or get ready for Bus Signs Part III, Part IV ... possibly up to Part MCMXIII (whatever that means, but it's bound to be a big number).