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Warren's Rants #1

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Warren Bell | 19:38 UK time, Monday, 8 December 2008

People Who Are Annoying On Buses

Now I'm not one for branding myself a loser, so I definitely don't subscribe to the notion (attributed to Margaret Thatcher) that anyone still taking the bus beyond the age of 26 can consider themselves a failure. I think it's ok to take the bus, whatever your age or status. I am not, however, an eco-warrior who insists that everyone should take public transport. In fact, I think there are a few people who certainly should not.

I don't mind travelling on the bus, but there should be a shared understanding that it both widens and shrinks your personal space. Physically, it shrinks it. Audibly, it widens it. On the whole, people tend to accept these truths. Some do not.

Like this woman on the bus the other day. Alerts all of us bus-dwellers to her presence by arguing with the driver about the fare before she even properly gets on, marches down the bus with bedraggled boyfriend strolling sheepishly behind and, with seats at a premium, they sit on isle seats across from each other. I mention the boyfriend because he offered a beautiful counterpoint of how a reasonable person behaves on a bus throughout. After taking no part in the loud and pointless exchange with the driver, he sat down in his seat, tucking himself into the available space while taking care not to enter the orbit of the person he sat beside. She, in contrast, kept her rucksack on her back, turning sideways as she sat down to smack the person next to her on the arm, then thrust her legs out into the isle to block the route of everyone else getting on and off the bus. Naturally, with job done on the invasion of physical space front, she immediately opened a second front on all of our ears. Fascinating details of what this girl would be doing once she got off the bus were available for all to enjoy for the duration of the journey, even if you had the presence of mind to stick a pair of headphones on and crank the volume. Why are the people with the most disinteresting conversations always the ones bestowed with the most piercing voices? Of course, the boyfriend managed to participate in this conversation without us all having a rigid timetable of his movements over the next number of hours because HE ONLY SPOKE AS LOUDLY AS HE NEEDED TO IN THAT SITUATION.

You'll be pleased to know that I struck a minor blow for natural justice (or, possibly, mild vigilantism) by kicking deliberately failing to avoid her outstretched foot as I alighted the vehicle. That ought to teach her. Unite, reasonable people, UNITE!


  • Comment number 1.

    Jesus, it's ATL's Victor Meldrew.

  • Comment number 2.

    Beautiful Warren, beautiful. I would pity you if you ever had to take the 'Night Rider' from Belfast to Carrick of a Saturday evening in the late 1990's. It was a heady brew of fear and...well probably special brew..

  • Comment number 3.

    Garyalexw, you've hit the nail on the head. Mentally, I've been an elderly curmudgeon since the age of about 13.

    Pablo, you remind me the many night buses back to Carryduff. They were frightening places indeed. Whatever facial expression instantly conveys that you would very much like to be beaten up immediately, I seemed to be permanently pulling it on that bus. I suppose the incident referred to in my post is progress, of sorts.


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