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This is a question Buses

We've got a local bus driver who likes to pull away slowly just to see how far old ladies with shopping trollies will chase him down the road. By popular demand - tell us your thrilling bus anecdotes.

Thanks to glued eel for the suggestion

(, Thu 25 Jun 2009, 13:14)
Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Lothian buses, route 26:
Is the route of the devil. It has the longest range of any bus in Edinburgh, and has a 4 hour+ round-trip time. One end of the line is toward the Northwest of the city, and the other is to the Southeast, at a place called Seton sands. It was there that I was aiming for.

From where I lived at the time (Heriot-Watt university campus - the most Westerly point of any bus route except the airport) it was about a 2 1/2 hour drive at the best of times.

What I didn't realize was that there are, in fact, two different routes that this bus can take. One is the direct (though slow due to a vastly excessive number of stops) route. The second route, however, is like something even Escher couldn't dream up. It curls around every single tiny little sodding village in the East of Scotland, appearing to pull closer and closer to Seton. You can confirm this because there's a big, obvious landmark in the form of Cockenzie power station.

I don't know how it does it but every single time you could swear that you're within touching distance of the end of the line, the bus lurches down another dirt track leading in the opposite direction. You stay on, though, because you're convinced that if he's gone to all this trouble, he must surely end up there sooner or later.

He doesn't.

He comes within about 300 yards, then turns around and heads back to the centre of town again.

By the time you realize you should get off, it's too late. You're trapped.

Four hours I spent on the that bus with a three year old screaming in my ear and my leg feeling like it would melt from the heat of the sun through the window.

Never again. I'm getting a car this year.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 14:08, 8 replies)
Oxford Bus Drivers
Travelling in Oxford is generally a pain in the arse, you've got a town not designed for cars, it's filled with moronic tourists who think everywhere is pedestrianised, cycling students who have disavowed the look before you turn mantra, oh and the buses.

Now, I've experienced buses in a lot of different places around the UK, and a fair few places around the world, but the mixture of stupidity, cuntishness and/or misery, has never been so pronounced in the buses and their drivers in Oxford.

On any given day you can expect any of these: lateness in departure and arrival (primarily caused by the local council over populating the local chav council estate, blackbird leys, with more buses than any other line), flat out frontal rape level ticket fees, smooth-as-a-marble-on-a-cheese-grater journey, chavs on their way to/from court, pink shirt with popped collar wankers, over-privileged little princesses talking about the latest fashionable band on their ipod, the heaters on in summer, drivers stopping continuously for crafty fag breaks every loop of the route with passengers still aboard, tiny emo shitbags attempting to be menacing, goths doing the same, drunken foreigners arguing about even paying at all, people off their tits at 9am. I could go on and on and, indeed, on. But it's starting to anger me even more with every single word typed.

I'm really glad that the weathers good and I can cycle to work, so now all I have to worry about are the buses trying to kill me, the pedestrians trying to kill themselves and the posties just trying to kill everybody.

Apologies for length and eye bleeding lack of full stops.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:55, 4 replies)
Helpful bus driver
On my way into Edinburgh from my pit on the outskirts one day, I commented that a certain roadside pub looked quite attractive. The driver looked at me in horror, and told me to wait a moment.

100 yards further on, there was a riot van parked in a residential carpark.

"See that van?" he said. "That's not there by accident".

He was right. Every time I've passed that pub since, various vans and cars have been parked in the same spot. Even at 9am on a Sunday morning.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:54, 1 reply)
Always be polite to the locals.
It may well have been the best time of my entire life. I'd been staying in a beach hut with a rather fruity Austrian girl, spending my way through the last of my holiday money before heading back to Mexico City and the flight home. I'd been out there for three months, bumming around, working a bit but the idyll was coming to an end and so I decided to use the last of my time lolling in a hammock in Playa del Carmen.
Whislt in Mexico I'd run into a lot of Americans, and it had rapidly become clear to me just how much the Mexicans hated them; whilst not wishing to disparage the entire US population, I'm afraid that they were seen as fat sex tourists fit only to be scammed by the locals. This was not a happy state of affairs. The speed with which attitudes of the locals I spoke to changed when I said "Engles" when asked "Americano?" was telling in itself.

In the huts next to mine were a group of just the sort of American the Mexicans hated, and watching them through the week I began to understand why; they were just rude. All the time. To anyone even faintly Hispanic. They played football and volleyball with the local beach kids, and cheated and fouled when they started to lose (which they did, every time). They hit on the waitresses. They didn't tip. They belittled the cleaning and bar staff. They were even rude to the night watchman making sure their stuff wasn't nicked (a stupid thing to do, I always thought. I bought him drinks and gave him cigarettes instead, and he invited me to meet his family).

Anyway, the last day came and I boarded the bus. The bus from Playa to Mexico city took 24 hours, and went through a war zone. You see, this was the mid 1990's when Subcommandante Marcos and his Zapatistas were fighting against in Government in Chiapas. The only route for the bus was in disputed territory and there was a certain tension in the air. Young as I was, this was all a big adventure. Three or four rows behind me were my neighbours from the beach. I put my walkman on and hunkered down.
As we drove, approximately every ten or twenty miles or so the bus was stopped by a roadblock. Sometimes it was the army, and sometimes it was guys in jumpsuits with little black badges and red stars on them. The routine would be pretty much the same, every time. Several men with guns would get on the bus and very politely ask for papers and they'd go down the bus checking everyone. The nice things was they'd see my British passport, smile and me and carry on without even checking it. Every single time, however, the Americans got the third degree - who were they? Where were they going? What was their business in Mexico? Plainly this had little to do with security, and a lot to do with frustrated Mexicans taking a little bit of power and making the most of their opportunity to bully their neighbour a little. I doubt that the soldiers and marxists knew what this particular bunch of Americans had been like back in Playa, but if their behaviour was typical I can understand why they were doing it. Just blowing off steam - fairly harmless so long as nobody lost their temper. And that's just what happened.

I'm guessing it was just frustration at being cooped up in a hot bus for a full day, being hassled every twenty minutes or half hour by bored police, but one of them said the wrong thing (I think it was 'Fuck you!') and was bundled off the bus. Everyone went quiet, and I thought for a moment things were going to turn very nasty; which they did, but only for one person.
As we all watched through the bus window, the guy was stripped-searched in the middle of the street. I can honestly say you haven't lived until you've seen a 250lb man having a torch shone up his arse by the side of a dusty Mexican road.

For the rest of the trip, I had the quietest fellow passengers I've ever known.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:39, 1 reply)
I'm with Thatcher on this:

'Any man who finds himself using buses over the age of 30, can consider himself a failure.'

Can't add a story as haven't been near a bus since a teenager. But reading all your stories has confirmed my belief that I would rather crawl naked over broken glass - than get on one of those chav-filled, piss-smelling, diesel-belching, filthy shit-holes that pass for public transport in this country.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:20, 14 replies)
Peruvian buses
I spent a year out in Peru and loved it. It is a country that is very suited to me. It took me a while, however to get used to it.

In my first week I visited Nasca and the famous Nazca Lines. For various reasons I really didn't enjoy the trip and ended up having to escape the Town rather quickly. The last bus was at 10.30pm. It was 10.25 and we had 10mins distance to cover.

The taxi raced through the streets, tires screeching on each bend. Up ahead the light turns yellow, does he slow down, no he speeds up, ploughing through the junctions as the light turns red. We arrive at the bus stop to a big bus pulling off. We jump out screaming "espara" or wait, but it was too late, the bus was gone.

We went into the office to ask if there was a later bus, just in case. "Yes" she said "the ten thirty".

"But that just left!",

"No that was the 8.30"

Ah, right, of course. What was I thinking, this is Peru! If a bus leaves at 10.30 it doesn`t leave at 10.30. God I love this place: The procrastinator`s Heaven.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:13, 1 reply)
Back in the day…
As a lot of you know, but for those that don’t, Wednesday afternoons at English Universities are reserved for sporting activities for those inclined to that sort of things.

Although I have been known to kick a football about with a reasonable amount of skill, I was never likely to become a pro and, anyway, have inherited dodgy knees from my Dad so can’t play for too long without ending up in agony (hell, I can’t even drive a car long distances without being in pain).

So, instead of partaking, I took the chance to spend sometime with my unrequited crush by signing up as a CSV (that’s what I think they are called anyway, Community Services Volunteer) to do some classroom assistance – at the time I was planning to be a teacher, but the experience put me off.

Anyway, to get to the point, after a few Wednesdays of helping out in the (what was then called) special needs classes in a really rough school in Openshawe, I was asked to go and step in to a third or fourth year (or whatever the equivalent t is these days) Maths lesson.

OK, I thought, this is a bit scary, but I’m sure it will be fine.
And well it may have been had the teacher not taken the opportunity to nip out for a crafty fag/whiskey/wank/whatever while the class was supposed to be silently studying.

Well, really, what did he expect to happen when you leave a bottom level Maths class under the control of a nervous 19 year old?
All hell broke loose, play fights, paper fights, swearing, bullying.

I tried, I really did.

‘Um….excuse me, Mr Whateverhisname was will be back in a minute, so could you…’

‘Fuck off, cunt’


‘Yeah, well, what are you gonna do “sir”’

‘Um…please could you…’

‘Yeah, right make me’

And I snapped

‘Fuck you, you bunch of little bastards, I’ve got better things to do than be treated like this by you little fucking ungrateful pieces of shit, I’m fucking off’ (or some such expletive laden outburst) and I stormed out back to my lovely, appreciative special needs kids.

Come hometime, I’m waiting for the bus to pull away, when a group of the bastards jumped on and saw me.

Oh shit, thinks I…this is not going to be pleasant.

And they head my way.

And I think I am about to get the beating of my life, in front of the object of my affection, by a bunch of 15 year olds.

Instead, I hear ‘We’ve never made anyone swear like that before, that was great, you’re all right, smart!’

And they go and sit at the back.

(Sorry I didn’t actually get beaten to a pulp by a bunch of kids, that would have made a better story)
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 13:04, Reply)
Scouse Bus Drivers
Having lived in Liverpool for 8 years now, I know that Scousers get a lot of bad press, most of it undeserved. Bus Drivers, possibly, more than most.

Not only do they have to put with a lot of Scallys smoking weed and ciggies, being aggressive (I've seen more than one scally pull a knief to try and rob a driver-both times have resulted in a very sorry looking kid in a trakkie flat on his back in the road) and more abuse then anyone should have to put up for doing a job that is of vital importance to those of us without cars, they generally do it with smile.

Ok so you get a few grappy nob-heads but you would do with the amount shit they put up with, but on the whole they are friendly and polite.

I'm especally indebted to them as after leaving my phone on a bus last Monday I got an email from my Mum who had been rang up by the driver who had left his number. I rang him and he went out of his way (with family) to drop my phone off at my house that evening.

Random acts of kindness are always so much greater for their unexpectedness. To do this for some gormless idoit who left his phone on your bus, I think deserves a medal. He also taped up the back which I had been meaning to fix for ages cos the battery kept falling out. What a star.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 12:56, 4 replies)
the long and winding road ...
When I've been skint (mainly) or felt like an adventure (occasionally) I've taken the bus on long journeys. Listen up, people - it's neither big nor clever. Two tales, therefore, of bus related maladies.

1. Prague - London

I was coming to London at the end of one gig to visit some friends and couldn't really be bothered with the hassle associated with flying into Stansted so decided to save beer tokens and get the 19-hour bus journey instead. Mistake.

Left Prague at 4pm on the Saturday and - after multiple stops on the way to Calais - arrived in Calais at about 5am, where UK immigration hoicked all of the Roma off the bus (this is pre-04) and gave me a very suspicious look (what's a UK passport holder doing not flying?).

Finally got to London at 11am the next day and I spent most of the day in a daze of having had nooooooooooooooo sleep the night before.

2. Leeds - Amsterdam

Again, I'd finished a gig in Yorkshire and my next gig was going to be in the city of a shmoke and a red-light district but first needed to get out there and meet them in person.

Took a megabus (just say no, people) to London and from there a bus to Amsterdam leaving at 6pm, expected to Schipol airport at 10am. By 10pm we were on the motorway down to Dover when there was a God almighty bang followed by a rumbling noise - a tyre had burst.

Then, having finally gotten across the Channel, we stop 20 miles away from Amsterdam because the bus driver has to rest - a rest he wouldn't have needed had he checked out the vehicle properly / not burst a tyre. Eventually into Amsterdam four hours after I was due to get there.

Naturally, flew back.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 12:21, Reply)
At least
90% of bus drivers are cunts. I am as certain of this as I am that night follows day.

That is all.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 11:31, Reply)
Unintentional punnage
The hospital where I work is split over two sites, with a regular link bus service between them.

This used to be free, but since a move of nearly all departments to one site, and accompanying reorganisation of the car parking, there is now a charge of £1 each way.

On the staff forum on the intranet I saw this posted the other day:

"Why do we have to pay £1 to use the hopper bus, I don't think it's fare"
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 10:33, 5 replies)
Trouble in the Hanging Gardens of Baby-lon
There used to be a time when getting hot and sweaty in an enclosed space with a bunch of strangers, with the possibility of a pointless, demeaning one night stand (pointless and demeaning but with the added bonus that a girl who’s name you don’t even know and who you know you’ll never see again is very, I mean VERY fucking likely to let you take her up the shitpipe), was what I lived for. But I’m getting old now, I’m thirty-four, and quite frankly now the only thing I want that’s nice and hot and wet of an evening is a steaming hot cup of tea to go with my pipe and slippers.

But this morning on the way to work I found myself stood cock to arse with a load of sweaty strangers, jostling round, just about licking the sweat from some random girls armpit. No, not a club – this was the 134 from Tufnell Park down to Euston.

I got on, did the bleep-bleepy-bleep thing with my oystercard, and found my salvation, my home sweet home for the next twenty or so minutes - a narrow strip of vacant bus floor near the back where I wedged myself in and prepared for the bone juddering, bollock jangling drive down Kentish Town Road and through Camden Town.

After a minute or so I felt... something... brushing against my hanging gardens of baby-lon. Don’t get excited, Spanky – might’ve been and accident... Then I felt it again, only with a little bit more pressure and a degree of unmistakable cuppage... Now, being a perfect gentleman and not really wanting to make a scene I immediately scanned the area round me for any fit super model-type women who might’ve taken an instant liking to my meat and two veg. And – fuck me – there right in front of me was a girl who was so beautiful, so perfect, so absolutely jaw-droppingly hot she could’ve easily been the type of girl I regularly see on the internet covered head to toe in sticky, ropey manfat (my internet viewing habits go like this: news – check, footie – check, local gigs – check, extreame all-over body cumshots – check).

I instantly felt a little hard at the thought of this incredible temptress sexually assaulting me on the 134 – as they say, its not sexual assault if you enjoy it. I felt her hand stroke over my rapidly hardening trouser bulge. She sought out the tip of my cock and started... whooooooaaaa, sweeeet Jey-sus!!!... She started... tickling it... with one of her long, delectible nails. I didn’t really know where to look – if I acknowledged her she might stop, I thought. So, instead, I gazed out the window watching the pedestrians overtake us as we queued in the abismal but usual North London traffic. Her hand worked down to my balls, stroked them tenderly like a pair of sleeping hamsters curled up in their nest. And then in one fluid motion she moved her hand up, grasped my now erect pork sword which was pushing against my light grey trousers like a sudden and violent stone-hard pulsing, throbbing hernia.

I couldn’t take this anymore. She was gorgeous. She was absolutely fucking stunning. And the cheeky minx appeared completely uninterested, she too was gazing out the window, checking out the Pete Doherty wannabe clone cunts you see mincing through Camden Town 24/7. I said a quiet: “Hello...” This vision of beauty’s head snapped round, regarded me like I was a fucking cockroach smeared in diarrhea, and returned her lovely, perfect gaze to the view out the window.

Fuck??? What??? Still, she continued to jiggle my plums. I could feel some definate leakage going on now...

Then, without a word, she got off at Camden Town (which was a shame because I was about to ‘get off’ myself if she’d have stayed on). Deflated, I suddenly realised I didn’t fancy walking through Euston with a swaying lob-on, making me look like some kind of erotic Darlik: (instead of saying EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!!! I could’ve gone round saying IMPREGNATE, IMPREGNATE!!! In my best Stephen Hawkin voice). Then something odd happened... I felt the touch again... More insistent this time. The fingers working over the quite obvious dark wet patch of sticky pre cum that was spreading over my groin.

I looked down.

Then I looked across.

Sat in the aisle seat just next to me was a toothless, hideous, amazingly effeminate old queen wearing a rather fetching flowry summer frock (didn’t go too well with the grey chest hair and anchor tattoos). The bloke looked like he played rugby for the transvestite national fifteen. He smiled toothlessly up at me.

I smiled down at him. Then I shuffled away quickly.

And the terrible thing, the awful part of this was...

... it was quite possibly one of the greatest handjobs I’d ever received in my life...
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 10:06, 5 replies)
Buses are for poor people.
And oldies.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 9:55, Reply)
Riding with Bogans
So I was riding the bus to work and two bogan guys (chavs) are talking loudly about their mate:

B1: Did you hear? Davo ripped off the XYZ Hi-Fi shop on the weekend.

B2: The one in PQR shopping mall?

B1: Yeah, on Saturday night.

B2: Davo?

B1: Yeah, Davo Smith.

B2: Smith?

B1: You know him. The one with blond hair that lives in ABC block of flats.

I was a bastard and called the cops when I got to work.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 9:44, 8 replies)
Dublin bus
Dublin about three weeks ago.

I'm sitting in the window seat just behind the one reserved for the elderly and the infirm -

the one, as a healthy young thing, you're supposed to give up.

There was an empty seat next to me.

There were empty seats next to several people.

This giant, ambling, moustachioed hag decides she likes the look of mine as she boards and

crashes down next to me, the impact wave propelling me a good 3-4 inches over and a further

3-4 inches of give in her ample flesh assimilates my elbow and hip.

I have my headphones on - the journey is nearly over.

I contemplate standing for its' remainder.

But why embarrass her?

She doesnt smell.

She is sitting quietly.

I take a deep breath.

I try to make my own ample frame as compact as I can.

I grin and bear it.

I look out the window and try not to notice her.

I admire the lovely young things frolicking down O'Connel street.

The music in my headphones soundtracks a tolerable summers day in the city.

Then there's a tapping on my shoulder.

A pointy finger beckoning my attention.

I turn my head and she is staring right at me, the lip-mouse squeaks at me and I recoil my

neck as there is simply nowhere to go.

"Have you got any change?", she says.

I offer my stock response,

"Not a bean"

Now, whilst it is very unusual to find oneself solicited for alms by a fellow commuter on

public transport in Ireland (It is common on London transport, I witnessed), what was

especially unusual was her intonation.

"Have you got any change?" bore the emphasis on the 'you' as though it was a question as to

the health of my purse rather than the 'change' which usually implies your interlocutors'

desire to relieve you of its' weighty bepocketed burden.

So maybe she just wanted to make sure I was ok.

Maybe she was perturbed to hear I was so hard-up.

Maybe I am a bastard for painting such a horrid picture of her appearance above.

(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 9:34, 2 replies)
Is a very beautiful place. (well, the parts I saw. Jerusalem basically)

It's also quite surreal as it appears that every other person is carrying a gun. We were getting the bus to Eilat (I think) to cross the border back into Egypt (which is a nightmare if you're not in a tour party, but that's a story for another week).

We were at the bus station at the same time as a large proportion of the kids doing national service, it must have been the start of the weekend or a leave period, as there was hundreds of them. And when I say kids I mean kids many of them still proudly sporting their first top lip 'bumfluff' moustache.

And they all carried guns. And I don't just mean holstered handguns like the coppers here in Australia, I mean BIG, fuckoff, fully-automatic full metal jacket blow you to pieces grenade launcher packing machine guns.

My favourite part was turning around on the bus to see a girl 'recruit' - who looked the geeky girl at school nobody talks to, big thick glasses, fuzzy toplip, that sort of thing - snoring, head back, mouth wide open...M-16 Arnie-in-the-film-Commando size machine gun between her legs.

My friends wouldn't let me take a picture. Cowards.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 4:50, Reply)
Wrong Bus
(My first b3ta post- wahey!)

A certain incident prompted me to be very sure I was on the right bus. It was about three years ago (I would have been fourteen at the time) and I was doing my work experience at the University of Warwick. They kindly let me leave at three, which was an hour early. I left happily, stepping into the warm embrace of a sunny afternoon and hopped on a bus.

I can’t remember at what point I realised I was on the wrong bus. Whenever it was, it wasn’t a pleasant moment. As realisation dawned, I felt that awkward kind of fear that’s rather like when one gets a sharp, stabbing pain in one’s stomach, but, being in a group of people, one ignores it and hopes it goes away.

It didn’t. It worsened when I found myself staring gloomily out of the window onto the streets of Leamington, and seeing its dull, brutish architecture glaring back at me.

My phone was out of battery. I felt very alone and scared and embarrassed and I needed the toilet (I was a smorgasbord of negative emotions).

The bus plodded through an array of identical looking streets for what seemed like an eternity. I witnessed a medley of disgusting people; they got on the bus, they got off the bus, they sat beside me, they took measures not to sit next beside me and they highlighted the fact that I had been stuck on this demonic piece of transport all fucking afternoon.

Eventually I got out of my seat and asked the driver what time he thought he’d be getting back to Coventry. He told me was expecting to be back at about six. Six! I had been on the bus for almost three hours! I could have walked home and back from the University twice in that time.

I closed my eyes in a dejected, crestfallen way. What a day. The driver looked at me with sympathy, with a look that said ‘if I could magically transport this bus to your stop right now, I would’. I appreciated the look. By now I was the only person on the bus and I was feeling more anxious than ever.

Then the driver said something that cemented his place in the twisting, meandering forest that is my memory with a sentence that was at once both uplifting and depressing. He said, reassuringly:

“I think you’re on the wrong bus, mate.”
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 1:44, 1 reply)
Manchester to Wakey, via sodding Goodwood.
So I'm making my way home from Britain's unwashed second city, first on the Metrolink, then onto a northbound train at Piccadilly, then onto a slow local train at Huddersfield... in theory at least. As I waited at Huddersfield, and admired the (quite splendid) Victorian architecture, it became increasingly obvious the local train wasn't going to show up. Eventually, the announcement came through that it had been cancelled due to a police raid(!) As the next one was not due for about another hour, and as I'd spent 45 minutes pissing around already, I decided to catch the next Wakefield-bound bus instead.

By sheer good luck, there was one due to leave in five minutes. It pulled up ten minutes late, the middle-aged driver looking rather harassed; he was accompanied by someone official-looking from the company, so I can only assume he was on probation or otherwise under scrutiny. Having taken everyone on board (a grand total of 3), he pulled out and began the most terrifying journey I have ever had on public transport.

It started out uneventfully, the driver proceeding in a brisk and well-behaved fashion through the town centre, Waterloo and Lepton. But the moment we left the outskirts of town, he put his foot to the floor and began tearing round country lanes as if he had a rocket up his arse. As anyone who knows Huddersfield can testify, most of these little back-roads are steep and narrow - the key word being "steep". What's more, the bus was well past its salad days and not really designed to take such abuse in the first place; it sounded (and felt) like it was going to collapse on one of the many tight blind corners. After enduring about ten minutes of this rattling rural rollercoaster, the higher functions of my brain shut down and I thought "well, if I'm going to die now at least I was doing something exciting." When I disembarked at Wakey I could barely even stand up straight, never mind think.

To the driver's credit, he did manage to navigate a difficult route at high speed without even coming close to colliding with anything, and he shaved 15 minutes off an hour-long journey, more than making up for lost time. If he can do that with a multi-tonne vehicle that's 40 feet long and 10 feet wide, he'll have a bright future in professional rally-driving. But I'm not riding on his buses again, no fucking way.
(, Mon 29 Jun 2009, 0:48, Reply)
".. and I'll blast off their kneecaps"
I think I attract nutters. I don't know by what mechanism, or whether I'm just getting a bit paranoid, but having been approached by a guy who claimed to have a warrant for my arrest, a guy who thought I was a male prostitute and several oddballs who have insisted on having lengthy but incomprehensible conversations with me on buses, I think there's some evidence which requires a theory.

Of these bus-ridden oddballs, some I have felt sorry for, some I have just kept nodding politely in the hope that they'll alight at the next stop. (And most of them, I seemed to encounter on the same bus route...) One, however, sticks in my mind because I was fucking terrified.

I was in the window seat as the bus pulled away from the ASDA near Wimbledon Common/Putney Heath and this chap sat down next to me.

"It's a beautiful day, isn't it?" he ventured wistfully as the bus drove along the side of the Common.
Politely, I agreed.
"Not like some of the ones I've seen."
Oh dear. I'm going to get a sob story. It's at least another twenty minutes up to Putney Bridge and I bet he stays on here and talks at me for most of that...
And so he told me his story...well, he mumbled it. From what I can make out, it was a tale of a difficult life somewhere in Africa, and I did feel quite sorry for this fellow. He blamed his home country's government, and he blamed the British government.
"...you can complain all you want, they don't listen to you.They don't care about me. They just tell you to fill in forms and write letters. I'll make them listen...I'll get me a shotgun...march into their offices...and I'll blast off their kneecaps." - and in case there was any ambiguity about this point, he mimed a double-barreled shotgun and made a couple of gunshot noises.
Oh jesus. He's a nutter...
"Blast off their kneecaps and hold a knife to their throats...then they'll listen to me. Then they'll listen to my story."
That's ok...I'm listening, I promise...
And I honestly didn't know what to say. At least with all the others nutters it was easy enough to nod politely, look sympathetic and reply with the occasional "I'm sorry to hear it." But what do you say to a man who's just unfurled his Master Plan, his Final Solution to make the Bastards at Whitehall listen to His Story?

As he continued in this vein - mostly repeating his promise to "blast off their kneecaps" - the bus started to head up the Richmond Road. I was almost drawing in the breath required for a Sigh of Relief, in the knowledge that Putney Bridge was only a couple of minutes away, when:
"I got this book from the library," he said, as he reached into his bag,

The A4 hardback he produced had various pictures of guns and artillery pieces adorning the front cover. My suspicions that the book's contents were similar were soon confirmed as he flicked through the book,
"I gotta get me one of these...then I'll give them what they deserve..."
Well, it would have been rude not to look. He was pointing at a picture of a Howitzer. A fucking Howitzer. Sorry to hear about your misfortune, mate, and good luck with your one-man shotgun coup, but I doubt even the Texas branches of Wal-Mart are likely to sell you a fully functional artillery-piece.

I've never been more grateful to see Putney Bridge. I think I even managed to stutter out, "well, good luck with it. Nice talking to you..." before making a very rapid break for the doors.

Length? Don't know, but the bore was 155mm...
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 23:23, Reply)
hail to the bus driver-man
There is a couple of mentions i must make-one good - one bad

Bad-lady driver who INSISTS on taking every corner at full pelt no matter who is on board.

Good- man who takes NO shite from anyone- i saw him get out of his cab and go into local police station to summon bizzies to deal with a bunch of scallies-legend and still works my local routes.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 23:07, Reply)
Stranded in the desert
Holiday trip to Sousse, Tunisia. A friend and I decided to take a 3 day bus trip into the Sahara desert since around Sousse you won't find any desert. Day 2 of the trip and we are well on our way across one of the dried out salt lakes, on a road originally built by Rommel's advancing troops (or so the tour guide told us). The bus was a completely run down Toyota with 20+ seats. Probably also from the Rommel era. Right in the middle of the salt lake track, smoke poured into the bus, Bus driver stopped without too much panic, and we along with the other 10 or so passengers left the bus to stand in the middle of 40+C blistering heat. The bus driver did some small "repairs" underneath the bus, waited until the smoke had completely cleared from the bus, then declared we could continue since it was now safe again.
As one can imagine, some of the passengers, specifically a Portuguese couple, were not really convinced. So the Portuguese man knelt down and had a look at the underside of the bus. Turned pale with shock, he stood up and declared he was not going to step onto that bus again.
The problem: the fuel pipe had been bent a bit too close to the (steaming hot) exhaust (say 1-2 inch away), probably on one of the previous "repairs". In order to keep the problem under control, the bus driver had pulled away the pipe and fixed it with a plastic cord, also on a previous "repair". That cord had started burning due to the excessive heat, causing the smoke. Now it had been replaced with a brand new plastic cord in the exact same spot.
Learning this, all passengers started a heated discussion with the driver, who saw no problem (it had worked for thousands of miles before, he argued). In the end, he arranged for alternative transport in the form of a passing by normal public transport bus, crammed with locals and also in an advanced state of technical decay. That bus took us to our hotel for that evening, and the driver promissed to organize a new Toyota bus for the next morning.
I am not sure whether the others noticed, but it had the exact same registration plate as the old bus. But it must be said, that old Toyota really lasted until we all had safely returned to Sousse.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 22:11, Reply)
Bus driver closed the door on my arm
just as I was stepping off.
Didn't quite understand what was happening, I may have been a little high... took me a few minutes to struggle free and come to terms with being assulted by public transport.

That was a bad day.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 21:39, 1 reply)
Best scary but fun bus-ride (and a relatively short ride...)
If you ever have the pleasure of visiting the Isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples, make sure to catch the local mini-bus ride from the harbour area up to the town of Anacapri (you could go the pussy option and take the cog-rail, but you're better than that...).

The buses are run-down like most things in Southern Italy, and driven by ex-Formula 1 drivers. You can go to Alton Towers and not have as much fun (and heart-in-mouth moments) as this one 15 minute ride.

I highly recommend standing at the back window and watching as the end of the bus appears to swing out over a 1000 foot drop with Roman-era engineering holding up the one lane road you are on...

(And with a *pop* my B3ta cherry is broken...).
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 19:25, Reply)
School trip
A reasonably long time ago our school took us to a lovely farm in the middle of nowhere. It wasn't just any old farm though, it was a museum farm. It had old wells, which they explained to us was where our ancestors got water - no shit! There were "original" trees from like 150 yrs ago when the original settlers had planted them. Bearing in mind this was in South Africa so 150 yrs there is a long time. Jeez, talk about a shit school outing. The only bit of excitement came during the talk about how they dried grass to make thatched roofs. And no the excitement wasn't the talk, it was glorious interruption engineered by the horny tortoises who decided it would be a good idea to have a casual fuck in front of a class of thirty 12 yr old boys. The sound of the male tortoise wheezing as he mounted his mate was too much to bear for our guide and we were quickly ushered on to a room where the defining and exciting feature was the fact that the floor was made of real cow shit.

At the end of the tour we were allowed to patrol the farm shop 5 at a time and buy anything we wanted, except for the homemade booz. I settled on an ice cream and some chewing tobacco. The ice cream was consumed in breathtaking speed and I decided I would save my tobacco for the trip back. Now in retrospect I'm sure selling chewing tobacco shouldn't be allowed to young kids, but neither the shop nor the teacher who I showed my proud purchase to cared.

We all piled onto the bus and so began our 2.5 hour trip home. I dutifully offered my chewing tobacco to my friends, but on smelling it they all politely declined. Well, I say politely, but it the general tone was more of a 'fuck off with your stinky crap you cunt'. We were a genial lot us. So I got to munching determined to prove my friends that they were missing out on a treat worthy of the Gods of Computer games (for those were the only ones we really worshipped). It was up until that point in my life possibly the second most disgusting thing I have ever eaten(the first being a raison from my bottom which I spotted floating on the water post flush, but that is a story for another QOTW I'm afraid).

I grimaced and chewed until I could chew no more. I then sat in silence as the heady mix of nicotine and spit began to ferment in my stomach. I managed to catch the first few mouthfuls of puke in my mouth and swallow them down again with no one noticing, but as everyone knows once your stomach has pushed the eject button it's only a matter of time before you lose control.

Flashes of my dignity laying in tatters forced the first mouthful to be directed to the floor. My thinking being that if I puked on the floor quietly perhaps no one would notice. Obviously the projectile effect swiftly negated my hastily thought out plan by covering the blazer of the kid in front of me, the entire back of the chair, my legs, my chair and just for good measure a healthy splash back onto my friends lap next to me. My eyes at this point were watering and I was barely coherent, but I was lucid enough to register the punch I got to my arm and an order of 'puke out the window you idiot!'. So with all the elegance of a refugee high jumping an electric fence I hoisted myself up to the window and sprayed my next load. Only it wasn't open! This had the net effect of covering the poor saps behind me. More punches rained down on me from my thoughtful classmates as I frantically tried to open the window. Eventually a hand came from nowhere and opened the window and I thrust my head into the open air and released yet more of the delightful concoction in my stomach.

The whole episode was now being watched by the entire bus. I had somhow managed to cover several of my classmates in my puke and was being watched in bemusement by some and what I would probably call pathological hatred by others. I sat down and surveyed the scene and it wasn't pretty. I did however feel almost back to my old non-tobacco chewing self now that my insides were thoroughly cleaned out. The bus driver had witnessed the entire incident in his rear view mirror and triumphantly informed me over the tannoy that we won't be stopping for another 2 hrs and I should do my best to get comfortable. Looking down at the vinyl seat I realised that the mess wasn't going anywhere. So there we sat, me and my puke covered friends for the remainder of our two hour journey trying to make light of the situation. Me trying to sit so that the mess on my seat wouldn't get to the last clean bit on my pants and them punching me every now and again.

So there you have it - my bus trip story. A bit messy, but it might have been the reason I never started smoking. Who knows?
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 19:14, Reply)
Full speed behind
Most bus journies are a little mundane, and that's what I like about them. For every journey where there's a little bit of excitement or stress, there are tens of other occasions where everything runs perfectly smoothly and nothing of note happens. But sometimes - just sometimes - there's a journey that stays with you forever.

One Saturday afternoon a year or two ago, I was on the bus heading back towards the suburbs of Manchester, whizzing through the Cheshire countryside. It had been raining that week, so much so that this route's passage under a narrow canal bridge was blocked by flooding. I was the only person left on the bus at this point, travelling against the flow of city daytrippers. We duly followed the Diverted Traffic signs along a narrow country lane, until we reached a small humpback bridge with a steep descent on either side.

"Sorry about this," calls out the driver from the front of the vehicle, "I think we've gone the wrong way. Could you come and have a look at this map?" I go up front and take a glance at a printout from a leading online mapping provider. It's difficult to make out the roads from the background, everything merging into a dull grey with one or two anonymous looking biro marks. "We can't go over this bridge," says the driver, and I agree - the signs must have been intended for nothing larger than a small van. "There's nowhere to turn round, so we're going to have to reverse down the lane. Do you mind getting out and giving me a hand?"

There's already a small build-up of traffic in either direction by the time we've decided to retrace our trail. My job is to direct the traffic around the bus. It soon turns out that I'm not very good at this, as I barely avoid directing one shiny 4x4 into the path of an oncoming car. Once we've dealt with getting the jam out of the way, we set off down the single-track lane at a brisk walking pace, myself on foot in front and the modern single-deck bus in reverse behind me. We've got half a mile to go, and it takes an age because the bus has to pull in to the grass verge to let the occasional car pass us by.

About half way down the lane and we are rescued. A highways truck pulls up, having just reopened the underbridge we were avoiding. It goes off to position itself as a road block at the bottom of the lane, meaning that we can reverse with impunity. I retake my seat and we set off at high reverse speed (about 5mph) until eventually we are back where our adventure began.

By the time we reach our destination, the driver has lit up a ciggie in the cab. Although technically against the rules, I turn a blind eye with a wry grin: he's got some time to make up on the return leg, plus a whole load of teasing to put up with if news of this little escapade reaches the drivers' canteen.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 18:31, Reply)
It looks like the old saying is true.
The internet is serious BUS iness.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 15:48, Reply)
I didn't pay attention when I joined the anarchists.
I spent six months trying to bring down the busses.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 15:19, Reply)
There was one time I waited all week for a bus, and then several came at once.
It was the omnibus edition of Coronation Street.
(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 13:27, Reply)
This one time my bus was a Honda Accord and I did drugs and all the girls were like models and they all fucked me and I came.

(, Sun 28 Jun 2009, 13:02, 4 replies)

This question is now closed.

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