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Daily Archives: 01/02/2012

Buses – The Evil On The Streets

Interior of the London Transport Museum in 2004.

Oh god, they've got her surrounded!

If you like taking a bus then there’s something seriously the matter with you because buses are evil and wrong. Fact. Exhibit A, your honour, is the fact that Transport for London have decided to be utterly blatant about what team these four wheeled beasts play for and have painted each one a satanic red. Well, I say “Transport for London” painted them, I actually think that they weren’t created by man, that they were in fact created when Beelzebub had sex with a roller-skate and they then crawled out of some putrid fissure between Hell and Earth to roam free and bring misery and torment to mankind. Be warned, if your buses aren’t red, they’re in disguise. These mechanical atrocities have got cunning over time and evolved.

Let us look further at the many wrongs of the city bus and perhaps when I’m done, we could all club together and hire a team of Samurai style priests to perform exorcisms across the world and send these barbaric behemoths back from whence they came. Firstly, let us look at what you have to go through to get on one of these things.

The area surrounding a bus stop is like a hideous game of human chess with pieces scattered all over the pavement and no clear path to navigate your way through. Each piece is a grotesque sample scraped from the bottom of humanity’s barrel, with an over-representation of school girls dressed like strippers, gaggles of tracksuit-clad mothers pushing prams filled with shopping (and somewhere under there is a screaming brat shedding half mauled Quavers), confused old people, junior gangsters and intoxicated tramps. It’s like the Jerry Springer Show threw up on the street.

The signage at the bus stop clearly states that you can expect a bus every 3-5 minutes (how convenient) but that’s one of the biggest lies ever created, it’s bigger than Tooth Fairygate and you know how deep that runs. Anyway, there you are, waiting at the bus stop. Waiting. Waiting some more. Waiting a liiiiiiittle bit more. Check your watch and it’s now been 10 minutes and still no bus. Tension spreads through your body, rain drips down the back of your neck and you check the bus schedule again just to reassure yourself that the venomous mood is entirely justified… 25 minutes later and still no sodding bus. Death comes quicker to some people!!!

It’s around this point that you start to weigh up your options. You can stand there in the cold, getting more and more irate at a phantom bus that may never come or you can walk to your destination, which you would probably already have reached if you had just walked there in the first place. Give it another 2 minutes of looking expectantly up the road aaaand “Sod it, I’m walking!”

 At precisely half way between the bus stop you just deserted and the one further down the road is the exact moment that demonic heap of satanic windows on wheels will sail straight past you. Eeevil!

I dare you to run for a bus, I dare you. You won’t make it. The bus was born with an extra large rear view mirror so its minion driver can see you sprinting up the road, jettisoning shopping and children left and right as you make a final desperate dash for those doors – which he will then slam shut just as you draw close enough to smell victory. You can stare at him imploringly through the glass all you want but when he gazes back at you, there’s nothing but hollow pools of darkness where sympathetic eyes should be and the bus will lurch eerily away to seek its next victim. To say you have to “catch” a bus is no coincidence – you practically need to trap the blighters!

So, you’ve managed to board one of these red demons and now you have to get to a seat. Simple enough, right? Don’t be fooled. As with the closing door trick, these vile vehicular villains have another prank to pull. You need to navigate your way past the shrieking prams, under the smelly armpits, past the gang of menacing 12 year olds having a burger throwing match, up the stairs to the top deck into the one seat that isn’t soaked in urine, all before the bus driver can carefully cause the bus to jolt tooth-shakingly into motion, sending you face first into the groin of a tramp. Their accuracy in this practice is alarming and they especially like pulling this trick on doddery little old ladies who can barely walk, let alone balance on a bucking bronco style omnibus!

“Why do they do this?” you may be wondering. That’s a silly question. They do it because they’re evil and they like spreading misery and terror. Why else?

Now you’re on the damn thing and it’s moving (violently), you need to think about getting off, mainly because you have somewhere to be and also because you’re now splattered in burger relish, tramp wee and have a granny crying face down in your lap. If you’re familiar with the route then you have a great advantage as you can prime yourself for a rapid departure. For those who usually take civilised forms of transportation (trains, taxis, private jets), you just have to guess, as there is no way of knowing where the heck you are.

Trains have a nice little map of limited stops, planes just go to one place and turf everyone out and taxis, well, they take you where they’re told (unless it’s south of the river) but buses? There’s no map, there are no handy announcements and the driver is anything but helpful. If you dare venture near his filthy lair at the front of the bus to solicit information, he’ll issue a series of Latin sounding curses that will cause your first born child to be afflicted with Simon Cowell’s smug face.

In order to get off the bus, you must guess which stop might be even vaguely in the same region as your intended destination and press the bell of doom, which lets the driver know that he has another game of door slamming fun ahead of him, if he chooses to stop the bus at all. From the very second you touch that bell, you are in a race against the clock. You have to make your way back down the moving stairs, stagger through the menacing fast food flingers, jump the pile of fallen pensioners, hurdle the screaming brat-filled prams and make it out through the open doors before the driver has a chance to slam them shut and make you a slave to the bus forever.

My advice to you here is tuck and roll. Don’t even bother to wait for the vehicle to stop moving, just leap toward the sanctuary of the pavement and be grateful if you only break a few limbs; you had a lucky escape and should think twice before tangling with a bus again.

If that doesn’t convince you that buses are evil, look to history and the warning signs are there that ever since they appeared on the face of this planet, these double-decker demons have been stalking us. Why else do we have age old phrases such as “you could get hit by a bus tomorrow” or “my mother always told me to wear clean underwear in case I get hit by a bus”. See? If you’re not fighting to get on or off one, they’re out there trying to mow you down!

There is no way something so vile and cruel could ever have been created anywhere but deep within the fetid bowels of Hell. Don’t be taken in by their “cheap” fares or bold claims of helping to reduce CO2 emissions (not as green as walking or staying at home, are they?!), buses are very evil and very wrong. Now, who’s got the number for the Samurai Priest rental service?

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