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Saturday, 8 January 2011

Been a while since I ranted.

Public transport is going to be the death of me.
I mean that quite literally.
One day I am going to step on a bus and somewhere in my brain a small voice will say “this is fuckin pointless” and turn the lights off forever by triggering a stress induced aneurysm.
I have no doubt that the driver will look at my prone body and snort in disgust before shouting aggressively at the next person in line that he doesn't have all day.
My gravestone will simply and eloquently say “it happened on the bus” and no one will question the specifics surrounding my demise.
At the most it may elicit a comment about how it is surprising that it doesn't happen more often.
Well the people who have experienced travelling by public bus will maybe say that.
Others, like drivers, may wonder what the score is as they have no appreciation of just how bad travelling on public transport is.
The truth is that they are best not knowing. Why subject yourself to it if you don't have to.
Travelling on public transport is genuinely a living nightmare.
You're at the mercy of every mad, bad and dangerous nutter known to mankind, every bible thumping freak who feels the need to spread the word of the lord, all the elderly incontinent cat ladies who reside in a twenty mile radius, and I suspect a good chunk of the people who find themselves on sex registers.
They are all regulars on every single route, and every single one of them wants to strike up a conversation with you.
Car drivers are probably under the misapprehension that we all live in a rather civilized society, but they're just shielded, and therefore ignorant, of those who splash about in the shallow end of the gene pool.
Often enough the antisocial aspects of travelling in this way can be amusing in hindsight, but it's rarely that funny when you are having to lift your feet to avoid the rivulets of pish that are slowly edging their way forward from the prone, barely conscious, drunk who seems to be practising lines from a play about a bigoted tourettes sufferer from his seat at the back of the bus.
Even when you don't have to quietly try and ignore that sort of thing it's still the worst possible way that you can get from A to B.
This morning was nearly the day that I gave up the will to live.
First I checked the times of the bus through the internet, but it doesn't correspond with the time on the printed timetable.
So I left a bit early and froze my bollocks off wading through the snow to the station, which is surprising because although I'm not that tall the snow wasn't that deep.
Must have been the sub zero temperatures I suppose.
When I arrived I found that the timetable at the terminus provided me with a third departure time to consider.
None of information on display matters though, because when the bus did arrive it seemed to have managed to have avoided every single time stated on any of the timetables available.
I think that in the morning the drivers all line up in their canteen and take a number from a hat and that's their bus route for the day.
Then they're given a couple of darts and the first number they hit on the board is the hour the leave, and the second the minute.
That might sound a bit mental, but hang about the Kilmarnock bus station for a few days and I'm sure that most people would start to come around to thinking that just about anything is possible.
It's the number four that I normally get, but this morning it was the treble four.
There's not a double four. Don't ask me why.
Maybe the double four on the dart board is like a bonus and if a driver hits that then they get the day off and they don't want to confuse the issue by introducing a double four (Forty four to most people) into the hat.
The plus side to getting the random treble four is that it gets me to my work a bit quicker than the number four.
It's not that I'm keen to get there, but anything that cuts down the amount of time that I'm held hostage by Stagecoach isn't something I'm going to complain about.
I could however complain about the amount of times that a bus has driven past me at the end of a long shift, or how one of the bus drivers once challenged me to a fight after mistakenly thinking I had verbally abused him.
I could also complain about the cost of the journey to work, but as they have a monopoly going on there's not much point.
In general I suppose I could have a bit of a moan about the bus drivers that Stagecoach employ.
The advert for the position must say “Hate the public and can barely conceal your loathing for them? If so we have the job for you. Apply within. Absolute cunts welcome. In fact we love employing cunts.”
Occasionally you will get a cheery and pleasant driver, but similar to how in the seventies there would be a token black face in every sitcom to avoid allegations of racism. Stagecoach employ token nice guys to body swerve allegations of favouring employing cunts and no one else.
I've mentioned this to friends and they have said in the drivers defence that it must be a difficult job dealing with all the arseholes day in and day out.
A fair comment, but when I'm first in the line for the first bus in the morning and I have the exact change is there any need to look at me, and speak to me, in a manner that would indicate that they consider me to be worthy of the disdain usual reserved for the kiddy fiddlers held in B wing.
I could understand it if they were at the end of a long and difficult shift, but first thing in the morning? C'mon.
The thing that few people will tell you is that if there is an alternative option to travelling on public transport you should jump at it.
Ignore the governments claims that it's environmentally friendly, because if you did decide to ride on the bus, then saving the planet would no longer feel like a priority.
If this is the best we can do then we are all going to hell anyway and the quicker we get there the better. Only don't get the bus as the detour to purgatory adds another 10 years to the journey.

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