One of the side effects of becoming a father is that I have had to re-learn a whole bunch of little ditties to keep my spawn entertained. One of my daughters favourites is “The Wheels On The Bus”. Compressed, it goes something like this.
The wheels on the bus go round and round.
The driver on the bus goes beep beep beep.
The people on the bus go up and down.
The baby on the bus goes wah wah wah!
The wipers on the bus goes swish swish swish.
The wheels on the bus go round and round again.
Well, I had an experience today that makes me think that this song needs a little bit of work to reflect the society that we live in. Firstly, lets combine number one and number three, and make a few minor adjustments.
The people waiting for the bus look right to left, as the wheels on the bus go round and round right past the bus stop.
I was standing at one of the city bus stops this evening waiting for the express bus. As the bus approached I raised by finger (politely) suggesting that yes, I do want to be picked up. The bus slowed and put on its indicator and I stepped forward – as did several other passengers, then when the bus was no more than five meters away it pulled back out onto the road and whizzed around the corner.
Now, I can understand that at this time of day someone raising their finger can be hard to spot – but when you start pulling in and people step out to catch the bus what excuse is there for driving off?!?!
On with my ditty engineering project. My second modification would be to merge the second and fourth lines.
The driver on the bus goes wah wah wah!
When the bus drove past I whipped out the SmartPhone and surfed to the ACTION Buses web-site to look up the schedule to see when I should next attempt to board a bus in motion. As the site was still coming up (ACTION Buses is not mobile device friendly – interesting for a company that specialises in public transport) a bus to Woden pulled up. Not being sure when the next bus to Gilmore would be I boarded it knowing that I would at least be able to go to the interchange and catch a bus from there.
Interchange – there’s an interesting word. For someone like me who doesn’t catch the bus that often (in recent months I have caught more planes than buses) I am unfamiliar the secret code that bus drivers use. When I boarded the bus I asked for an “interchange” ticket – because that is where I wanted to go.
At this point the driver began to rant and rave about me not calling the ticket by its correct name. I can only assume that the word “interchange” reminded him of a traumatic event in his childhood. As I was a little shocked by the recent turn of events I failed to correctly insert the ticket into the “ticket checker” – for this the bus driver once again had a bit of a rant – but not before starting driving (ticket checker hardware is a subject for a post that will shortly follow).
I managed to find a seat and decided to write this little tirade. Along the way the bus driver managed to assault another passenger – this time I didn’t catch the reason – but the passenger was almost reduced to bowing in front of the driver.
At this point I thought that perhaps the driver was generally difficult to deal with, but was surprised when he politely said hello and good-bye to what I can only assume must be regular passengers.
The bus driver did redeem himself to me slightly as I got off the bus in Woden – he pointed in the direction to the platform for the bus I needed to catch (believe me – this is helpful at Woden), however my wife had called me while I was on the bus and offered to pick me up at Woden instead of waiting for another hour for me to get home. To be honest I might not have bothered if I had had a more enjoyable journey – but I was fuming at this time.