Warning, the following blog post contains strong language (in case you hadn’t gathered that by the title.)
Before I start ranting: just a little note to let you know that the 106th Young’uns podcast will definitely be available from the beginning of next week.
And now: my rant.
I set off from my house for work at the usual time. My most loyal readers will be aware of what time that is.
I’m not going to tell the rest of you; you’ll have to trail through my entire blog to find out. That’ll teach you for being a part-time reader.
There is a double set of traffic lights that I have to cross before I get to the bus stop. Today, I reached the traffic lights and went to press the button, but it had been taped over with a big cardboard sign.
For blind people, signs are a bit useless and can actually pose more of a hindrance than a help to us. I’m thinking in particular of those big, self standing signs that say “caution! wet floor!” Firstly, such a sign is completely redundant for someone who can’t see it. But in addition to that, the signs often tend to get in the way of a blind person’s path. I have been walking along a corridor, unaware that there is anything in my way, and then collided with one of these “caution! wet floor!” signs. Once or twice, I have crashed into the sign and have been sent skidding along the wet floor at a much greater speed than I would ever have done if the sign hadn’t have been there. I have skidded across the wet floor with my shoe laces caught on the sign and then ended up face down in a puddle of whatever wet stuff the sign was trying to warn me about.
This particular sign, taped on the traffic light box, may have been explaining that the lights were automated or were not working at all because of the roadworks that were in progress on that road. I was aware of the road works because it had taken me two minutes to cross the road just before the traffic lights which normally would take me a few seconds to cross, meaning I was running a bit late. There was also a lot of loud drilling going on which suggested that there was either a new alfresco dentist who had just set up by the road side, or that there was roadworks. Those are the only two plausible options I can think of, and I challenge you to think of a better one. No, you can’t, can you? Keep reading and leave the advanced detective work to me.
At the bottom of most traffic light boxes there is a little stick that protrudes down. This spins round when the green man appears to alert blind people that it is safe to cross. But that was also blocked by the cardboard sign, so I’d have to determine when it was safe to cross using my own initiative. This was made even more difficult by the loud drilling sound. After a while I decided to chance it and crossed.
Did I make it across the road alive? Well yes, of course I did; I’m writing this blog post after the fact, so what a silly question that was. I couldn’t write this blog post if I was dead; unless I’d decided at the roadside to write this blog post first, then send it to a friend who could publish it in the event that I was killed crossing the road. But surely I’d write something a bit more interesting than this nonsense if I knew it was going to be my last post? Thank goodness I survived, otherwise this blog post would be an embarrassing and very disappointing swan song, hardly in keeping with the amazing legacy I had helped develop up until this point with my previous blog posts. People would be so disappointed. “To think, that he would leave us with such a banal and mundane blog post
as his final parting words to us. This, the same man who once regularly thrilled us with his amusing anecdotes from the 36 bus; this, the man who sang about smelly pirates with hairy knees alongside Vick Reeves; the same man who enthralled us with a detailed exposition of his satnav! … And he leaves us like this?!”
With an enterobang?! where the whole sorry thing started?!
My god, that was some tangent. I’m sorry. I’m not dead. The blog continues.
So, I managed to cross the road without
coming to any harm whatsoever. Glad we established that.
As I reached the other side of the road, I saw my bus overtake me and pull into the bus stop. I started to run, but it had been raining all night and the ground was wet which caused me to slip and skid out of control along the path. What were the council thinking? You’d have thought they’d have had the common sense to put up a wet floor sign! My skidding eventually stopped when I collided into a bush which soaked me and gave me a few complimentary stings too. I quickly regained composure and sprinted the few remaining metres to the bus stop. Fortunately the bus was still at the stop. I was just about to step on the bus, which still had its door open, when the bus pulled away.
I was so close. Surely the bus driver could see my frantic attempts to reach the bus stop? All that effort: dicing with death by crossing a road without the ability to see or hear if there were any cars coming; the frantic sprinting; the skidding, the soaking and the stinging. Despite all my efforts I had missed the bus and would now have to travel miles out of my way and I’d be about an hour late. I was furious that the bus driver hadn’t waited that extra second. There is no doubt that he would have seen me.
I’m not proud of what I did next. I’d like to think I was innately conscientious enough to at least subconsciously check to see that there weren’t any children around before doing what I did, but I was too enraged to care. My immediate reaction to this frustrating situation was to lift my head up to the sky and then shout, at some considerable volume, “fuck! fuck the bus driver! Fuck all bus drivers! Fuck you all!”
Writing about this now makes me feel and sound pathetic, but at the time I was so annoyed at the bus driver and aggrieved by the soaking and stinging I’d received on my frantic sprint, that this outburst seemed justified and reasonable. I don’t know why I chose to tarnish all bus drivers with the same brush just because of this one particular bus driver, but that is just what impulsively burst from my mouth in my state of fury.
As soon as I had made this loud outburst I immediately knew that I’d overreacted. I turned to see whether there was anyone else around, hoping that there wasn’t. I didn’t see anyone, but about thirty seconds later a man came up to me and asked me if I was OK. I wasn’t sure whether he had heard my cursing or not. I said that I was fine and explained about my ordeal. He sympathised with my plight and told me that he certainly would have waited for me if he was the bus driver. He then informed me that he in fact was a bus driver. He would be driving the next bus and was waiting for it to arrive at this stop. It transpired that he’d be the driver of the bus I was about to get on.
I started to feel a little bit uncomfortable. Had this bus driver heard my “fuck all bus drivers” comment, and then came over to me and initiated conversation as a result. Perhaps he was trying to prove that not all bus drivers were bastards, disserving of being “fucked”. Or maybe he was setting the groundwork for some sweet revenge: he would lull me into a false sense of security by being all matey and sympathetic with me, only for his bus to arrive and for him to dash on it, quickly close the door and speed off down the street, laughing evilly as I stand on the road side having been tricked by yet another cruel bastard of a bus driver.
Or maybe he heard me shout “fuck all bus drivers!” and thought that this proclamation was a sexual pledge. Perhaps when he heard my declaration, he thought: “o, that’s interesting. This man obviously finds bus drivers so incredibly sexually alluring that he has an overpowering urge to fuck us all. It’s obviously a very overpowering urge because he’s more than happy to shout out his desire in public, despite the fact that there might be children around to hear. Hmm. I suppose I do quite fancy him, to be honest. But I’m not sure that I really want to be having sex with a man who has subsequently had sex with scores of other bus drivers before me. I’d feel dirty and used. If he’s going to try and have sex with me at some point in my life anyway, then I might as well get in their first while he’s still a bit fresh. Plus, there’s less chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease if I do it now, and at least I wouldn’t feel as disgusted by the act. I better go and introduce myself then.”
I’m sure you can understand why I was getting nervous.
The conversation was polite. He didn’t seem as if he was aroused in anyway. But maybe he was expecting me to make the first move. After all, it had been me who’d made the bold declaration. He might have been confused that I’d suddenly got all shy after my initial boldness. He might even be feeling rejected. Perhaps I should have sex with him, just in case. I wouldn’t want him thinking that I’d made a pledge to universally “fuck all bus drivers”, but had found this particular bus driver so sexually unappealing that I’d decided to make him an exception to this rule. How do I get myself into these situations?
Just as I was considering my next move, the bus pulled up. We both got on the bus. Then he said to me, “stay on the bottom and sit at the front and I’ll tell you when to get off”. O dear! Well that confirmed it. He’s deffinitely after sex!
There’ll be some of you out there reading this, not as streetwise as me, who’ll naively assume that this was an innocent comment. “The bus was a double Decker. If you sat at
the front of the bus on the bottom deck then the driver would be able to tell you when to get off at your stop. Surely that’s all it could mean David?” You poor, naive fool. It was obvious what this bus driver was insinuating. “stay on the bottom” is an obvious sexual reference; he is stating a sexual position and is obviously requesting that I am the giver in this situation. Then there’s his comment, “sit at the front”. ok, granted,these two statements seem to counteract each other. How can I stay on the bottom and sit at the front at the same time? “So surely that means that he was definitely simply suggesting that you sit on the bottom deck of the bus, at the front. Surely?” O you poor, innocent fool. I dread to think how many bus drivers you’ve let take advantage of you. He was obviously just so excited that he wasn’t thinking straight (in both senses of the word), and in his sexually aroused state he just blurted something out. That’s the only obvious explanation to his statement.
Plus, there’s that other statement: “and I’ll tell you when to get off”. Again, that’s an obvious sexual suggesttion. Even if I had felt sexually inclined towards this particular bus driver, he had ruined any chances of me and him having sex. It was clear that he was a selfish lover and evidently liked to be the dominating partner; telling me what he wanted, with no consideration of how I might feel about it. Also, i thought this was a bit presumptuous on his part. Since I’d been the one who made the bold statement “fuck all bus drivers”, surely I should be seen as the person in the position to call the shots here, to stipulate how, where and when I want my bus drivers. He’s got no right to assume that he’s suddenly running the show. He’s not the ring leader, I am (and yes, you could interpret that as another sexual pun, if that’ll make you happier).
So the driver ruined whatever small chance he might have had with me. And of course, I sat on the top, right at the back. And I’m talking about my position on the bus. Obviously. Seriously, I can’t believe the way your minds work sometimes.