Things I have learned while on the bus with the unhinged
|Every single bus driver had taken one look at them and then sailed past their stop. It was going to be a long walk home. |
1. The very drunk person is not hot on bus etiquette and won't understand that you don't want to be slept on, burped on or have his beer breath rearranging your hairstyle in a weird subversion of the 'you're worth it' adverts. There's no point protesting. He can't properly hear you, see you, or understand you. The words, 'Do you mind?' he will hear as 'Are you mine?' or 'Have one of mine' or 'I feel undermined' and these could lead to either an acceptance of your proposal of marriage, a confusion about where the cigarette is that you were offering, or the strangest therapy session you have ever undergone. All could result in unwanted complications. It's best to pretend you are a bed. This is what he thinks you are. Join in.
2. A very bad combination is this: 1) an extremely drunk person trying to make his way to the back of the bus; 2) a bus driver who thinks he is Michael Schumacher/Schumaker/Schoumacker/what the hell and who pulls away from the bus stop far too quickly; 3) you. Drunk people aren't good at using the normal helpful structures on the bus when it lurches off, such as the poles or the backs of seats. They prefer to use people's heads. It's not pleasant, but just tell yourself you're helping to support the needy. It might help to ease your conscience for crossing the road fourteen times in town on Saturday to avoid the Save the Children charity workers.
3. It's an incredibly bad sign when a bus driver lets the unhinged on the bus without paying and doesn't argue with them about the fare. You can bet your bottom dollar (American reference ... I'm an inclusive blogger, me) that he knows just how crazy that guy is because he's been on the bus before. So, when the guy sits behind you, it's hard not to feel like you would if you were watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the second time, only you couldn't quite remember when the bad bits were in time to hide your eyes. You know it would be a silly thing to turn round in order to check exactly where the crazy guy is. But, equally, if you just sit still and stare straight ahead, he may be getting - who knows? - really, really angry about the way your hair parts unevenly at the back, or convinced that your collar is a rabid dog.
Look on the bright side, though,. It's not all bad, being on buses with drunks and crazy guys. It could be a toddler eating candy floss sitting next to you, or a baby with a nappy full enough to rival a commune's cesspit, or a mum whose family of seven, all named after footballers, film stars and other celebrities, is running up and down the aisles while she screams, 'KEIRA, BLOODY COME BACK 'ERE, YOU LITTLE SWINE' into your ears while you're trying to read Sense and Sensibility.
I hope that puts things into perspective for you.