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This is a question Public Transport Trauma

Completely Underwhelmed writes, "I was on a bus the other day when a man got on wearing shorts, over what looked like greeny grey leggings. Then the stench hit me. The 'leggings' were a mass of open wounds, crusted with greenish solidified pus that flaked off in bits as he moved."

What's the worst public transport experience you've ever had?

(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:13)
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This question is now closed.

A little girl sitting with her mother and she's got her mobile phone out.

Said little girl starts playing 'Valerie' by Amy Winehouse. Shortly after, the song finishes. So she plays it again. It finishes, so she plays it again.

She played the song about nine times from start to finish, at good volume until I could take no more and had to get off the bus before my stop.

Unfortunately for me, I'm the sort that just puts up with this, and I couldn't be bothered with the inevitable ear bashing I would get off her mother had I have said anything. She looked a bit rough and that.

Also, there was a time I went on the bus with a new pair of jeans on and forgot to take the cardboard tag off the back. I got laughed at good and proper.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:43, 5 replies)
Many years ago
when I was about 20 I had occasion to cross London and therefore use the underground.
On the platform there was a man in a suit with a briefcase being violently sick.

To this day I still feel guilty that I didn't go over to him and stood and watched like everyone else.

I know it's not funny or anything but a feel a bit better for talking about it.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:42, 1 reply)
I don't mind trains, but buses are a different matter.
When I were but a lad or about nine or ten years old I was attempting to get the bus home from the swimming baths. I wasn't sure what number bus I wanted, but did know which stand it went from, so went to that stand where a bus was waiting, got on board and asked for a single to my destination. The driver tutted and said that it had gone up from 5p to 7p, but that he'd let me on anyway - "Thanks, Mister!" - and I settled down for the short journey from the baths to home - only a couple of miles, won't take long.


This bus normally turns down that street, but I expect it will double back shortly.


This bus doesn't normally go through that village, but I expect it will double back soon.


This bus doesn't normally speed along the A19 for an hour. But I expect it will double back in a minute.


This bus doesn't normally stop at some barren bus station with the driver shouting "That's it, all change!" and everyone getting off. I am beginning to suspect that there will be no doubling back of any kind *at all*.

So there I was, with no money in my pocket, miles away from home and no real idea of where I was, with my 5p bus ticket crumpled in my hand, the driver calling "You have to get off here, lad", and the tears starting to trickle down my face.

I've never felt so lost.

Of course the driver spotted that I didn't appear to be particularly happy with the state of affairs, and took me in hand. He checked my ticket - "oh dear!" - and I was ushered into an office. A phone call home to reassure my parents - who had called the police by this time - a free cup of hot chocolate and a bag of crisps from the canteen, and I was soon on the bus back home (somebody competent chose that one).

It left me with a deep suspicion of buses, I don't mind telling you.

And it lasts to this day.

A year or two back on holiday in Sydney, I had to get a bus into the city centre. That was easy enough, since my friend made sure I got on the right bus and knew where to get off, but getting back saw me left to my own devices. I found the correct bus (Yay!) but when I asked the driver for a single to Castle Hill he fixed me with a rheumy gaze and said, in that laconic Aussie manner, "Yeah?" and indicated that more information was required.

A memory of my inadvertent sojourn to Sunderland bus station flashed back; I could practically smell the chlorine coming from my bag. I briefly considered fleeing and getting a taxi, but managed the tentative suggestion of "Castle Hill... Centre?", which seemed to do the trick since he grunted and rang up the $6.50 fare.

Mind you the driver probably wished I *had* got the taxi, since I then attempted to pay for my ticket with a $50 note. Bloody Poms, eh?
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:39, Reply)
Not mine, but someone else's
known as "The Unpleasantness on the Railway".

This FoF had gone to a beer festival in the West Midlands, and had - as you'd expect - drunk long and hard. He was sober enough to get himself on the last train home, a type of train called a Sprinter. I suspect some irony there, but still...

All was well until twenty minutes into a 50 minute journey, when our hero realises that the 12 pints of old Scrotum he's imbibed are not sitting happily and want out. There is, of course, no toilet on a Sprinter, or wasn't back then, back then being nigh-on 20 years now.

After some thought, he realises he's not going to be able to make the rest of the journey intact. Being a gentleman, the thought of soiling the carriage (which is thankfully empty) is not acceptable. Jumping out at the next stop means being stranded there, this being the last train and all beer tokens having been spent. He's considering whether the arc of piss would be high enough to escape out of the carriage's only opening windows (the sort that open inwards at a slight angle at the top of the frame) when he spots an empty crisp bag.

Necessity is the mother of invention; our hero manages a somewhat clumsy piss-into-bag-then-hold-willy-shut-empty bag-out-of-window-whilst-train-is-rattling-along manoeuvre with some aplomb. Only issue is the volume of crisp bag as opposed to quantity of urine seeking escape. After three bags have been filled and emptied - the task not getting any easier as the bag now has a tendency to stick shut - the pressure on the bladder seems not to have abated at all. We all know what it's like having to stop mid-flow, imagine that process repeating frequently - his prostrate must have been the size of a small onion by this point.
And then, the worst thing of all occurs - the train starts slowing down. The lights of the station can be seen as the train comes to a halt. And into the carriage comes a family, Mum and Dad and their two young, female, offspring.
Our hero somehow pushes past them as they get on the train, hand in crotch, suffering agonies one can only guess at. He then floods the thankfully empty station, spraying like a fire hose trying to reach a tower block. The relief is so great he practically forgets the impending 8 mile walk home; until he realises he's also forgotten his backpack on the train containing such useful extras as wallet, walkman and house keys.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:37, Reply)
Greenwich - January 2008
Was at Greenwich station a in January this year on the way home from work (can't remember why I'd changed trains there - can't have been important).

Two chaps were apparently being friendly, generally "joshing" with each other when one glassed the other - in public.

Attempting to get involved proved to be a foolish idea, although I did try to face the bottle holding chap down in an non-confrontational fashion when someone else on the platform called the police and an ambulance. It's as easy as it sounds.

Everything seemed to slow down. Me grabbing my scarf and giving it to the bleeding bloke and at the same time trying to keep the bottle holder apart from him to avoid his (and I quote) "f---ing finish the c--t".

Ambulance arrives. Police arrive. Victim treated and driven off; ambulance team try to give me my scarf back - erm, no thanks.

Police start to chill the drunk / stoned (never did find out which) bloke, although they did have the advantage of holding a baton over their shoulders ready to thump him. Didn't have one of those myself.

Never heard anything else about it but did throw up later on that evening when I'd phoned my friend to tell him about it who called me a "stupid bastard" and that I "shouldn't have gotten involved". What was I going to do, let one guy kill the other?

Apologies for lack of funny.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:34, 5 replies)
Gosh, this was jolly awful
I once caught a bus and there was no cake to be had!

It was very traumatic.

(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:34, 26 replies)
Stupid fucking wheelie cases
It seems that in the last couple of years, the use of a small wheeled suit case has become the norm for a lot of people on the tube. It wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that they are about the size of a standard laptop case and therefore shouldn't need wheels.

I was behind a woman the other day at Embankment, wheeling her stupid little bag along the platform. This in itself gave her an operating radius of about 5 feet, but what really pissed me off was that at a set of stairs, she pushed down the handle, carried the bag down the stairs, then pulled up the handle, wheeled it 6 fucking feet to the next set of stairs, pushed down the handle, carried it etc..

Get a fucking rucksack or a case that is worthwhile in size so at least i have a chance of seeing it and not tripping over it.

(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:32, 6 replies)
Funnily enough....
Having lived in Manchester and used the public transport there, I have had very few bad experiences.

1. A yoof set fire to the seat in the back of the bus I was on.

2. A couple of yoofs terrorized a person of foreign persuasion.

3. I had a panic attack which has been documented on an earlier qotw.

That is it.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:31, 2 replies)
My guilty pleasure
Is posting my answer 11 weeks late.

And getting my joke* back.

*references to actual humour may not apply
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:31, 3 replies)
Mrs Liveinbin has reminded me
of when I worked in the city centre. As an early starter, I was on the bus around 7am. The route went past the main entrance to the Prison (known hereabouts as the Saughton Hilton) and the recently released used to catch a bus right outside.

They're given a travel warrant to get them to their home slum, oops I mean town, and that means everyone knows where they've come from.

One or two were very scary, but most were actually quite funny.

One guy entertained the whole bus telling an older man how he'd been up in court for not having a TV licence, which he couldn't afford. They fined him. He couldn't afford to pay that either, so ended up in the nick. He made a valid point - he was a hard working father of four who'd never been in trouble until then, and ended up in the clink for not buying a licence to watch shite on the BBC. He'd been sentenced to one month but was out after two weeks, and had persuaded his boss to keep his job open. What a way to use your annual leave!
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:30, 1 reply)
I was on the Dover to Calais ferry
with two blokes, both called Ian, both had been stripped of their peerages for running their tongues along the outside of a bar

they were my worst pub-lick trans-port ex-peer Ians
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 8 replies)
Pearost: Chinese sleeper busses
The Chinese are renowned for inventing torture-devices. I experienced one such device - a Chinese Sleeper bus from Erenhot (Erlian) to Beijing. It was a bus with bunk beds that were too small for me to lie down in, and to increase capacity, there were even people packed sleeping in the aisles. I’ve already written about it previously in more detail (see the bit about China).
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 7 replies)
I would like to apologise to the cleaners
of the toilets on First Capital Connect trains. I was mid-poo and needed to be sick and I wasn't sure what to do. I now realise that deliberating with my arse facing the door and my mouth the wall wasn't the best thing to do when the spasm hit. To spray so completely two sides of a toilet and the floor, although impressive, must have ruined your morning. You will be rewarded in the afterlife and I will be reincarnated as a toilet duck.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 1 reply)
This from /talk a few years ago...
A story on the Underground

This happened this morning, I hope this is the right place to share plus it seems quite slow today, hope it's not too long.

My life is just one massive joke, everything stupid happens to me. 100% True story, written by me.

I’m a nice guy usually but an arsehole in the morning on the trains.

So I got down to the Central Line station this morning for there only to be massive delays, severe to the point of instant death if I stepped onto the platform. I had to turn around and walk back a mile up to Ruislip Manor. Oh how a man in cowboy boots can stomp up the road when angry.

So I got to the station, onto the platform with many other people, trying to guess where the train doors were going to stop. I know where they stop, FEAR MY UNDERGROUND KNOWLEDGE! Muahaha…ha…hold on what’s this, so does another bloke with a dirty suit! We are both hovering, around where the best empty seats are.

The train pulls in and I notice a solemn Metro on a seat, so does Chunky McSweatsuit. The doors swing open and we are both onto the train like greyhounds from the traps, I tread like a cat and intercept his lumbering feet with my cowboy boots and sit down on the empty seat, window else, and grab the paper, 3-0 to me! VICTORY! It’s the little things…

I feel great, Chunky McSweatsuit notices how I’m smiling like a French woman with a new face transplant (ie keeping it to myself) so decides to sit next to me and try and read the paper over my shoulder, bad move buddy.

I notice that he looks like a sports fan, I hover over the front page and then straight to the cricket scores, he peers in closer trying to see, bingo. I stay on the cricket bending it towards him so he can get a good view for a good 10 seconds and then POW I flick 12 pages back and to the theatre reviews! HAHA! 4-0! You can’t beat me! I’m now gurgling with glee! :D

I start laughing at myself and how much of a tosser I am, I feel great :D leaning the paper so he can’t even get a good view out the window as I block his light and he withers like a shitty flower :)

I give it 5 minutes and my early morning power trip starts wearing off, I’m starting to feel my usual happy good self again. Then all off a sudden Chunky McSweatsuit starts sniffing and grunting lots of snot and phlegm, refusing to blow and snorting every 20 seconds for the rest of the journey. Damn you…damn you 4-1. A late effort I feel.

So yeah, I get off the Met line and have to go on the Bake a Poo line, deep into the bowels of hell I go, down the escalator of woe and along the platform of crowdedness.

The train arrives and it’s packed, really packed. I notice a man with his belly pressed up against the glass and he looks really unhappy, it was like he ate a St Bernards for dinner last night and forgot to go toilet this morning. I laugh. It’s the little things.

The doors open and I slot myself where there was enough space for me and maybe a midget by my crotch. Then, no fucking shit I kid you not just as the doors were closing a teeny Asian midget slots himself in!! WTF!!

Is god playing a trick on me? I’m not sure whether to love the situation or hate it and freak the fuck out!

So, I’ve got no where to hold onto and the midget’s head is pretty much wedged between touching the plexi glass seat divider and about 1 cm from my belly and ball bag, I’m wearing rather tight trousers too.

As many a commuter will tell you, the section of the Bakerloo line between Baker Street and Oxford Circus is being re fitted and it’s particularly juddery and jerky to the point of falling over most times. As the train pulls away my crotch starts jackhammering the midget in the head against the glass! FUCK! I’m podging a midget in the ear!

I start to panic and try and pull away but all I’m doing is pushing against a woman behind me, I try and keep still but it’s not working and I’m now just rubbing his face left and right like some dirty windscreen wipers. I can see that the midget is cursing his disability with a passion of being born at the level of cock height.

I was starting to feel really bad for this guy and was going to just sidestep him and charge the carriage to the other end to stop this debauchery but what happed next threw that plan out the window. He started holding into my trousers…MY TROUSERS!!!

I’m now doing a Shakin’ Stevens impression to get his grip free but his cabbage like vice grip was having none of it. I was now starting to feel physically sick with the thought of a midget holding onto me as we are forced to make through-clothes love due to Metronets inability to maintain train tracks.

I was now getting desperate as I could feel the morning tosser boiling out of me as this clamped on midget was putting the ‘sensual’ back into ‘nonconsensual’ closeness. I had to think fast. I had no farts in me which would have been genius as I could have just turned 180 and brapped an eggy pop pop in his face for an ‘ummm smell the fresh bread’ bonus but that would be too perfect, but alas, I’m not that lucky.

I only had about 1 minute to go so I started sniffing the door seals trying to get some dust in my nose and get a tickle going so I could let out a huge projectile sneeze on top of the midgets head with added ‘lips spray and stare’ at the end but even though I was contorting my face into various bird impressions, I wasn’t lucky. I was defeated…

The doors opened at oxford circus for me to leap off and never to return, I didn’t even look back to see if the midget had a black eye from where I was inadvertently trying shatter his skill with my private parts.

So hear I am, now at work. 4-12 to the commuters… I hate mornings on the underground.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, 10 replies)
I have a game
To pass the time on public transport: "Is that a man or a woman?"

One can only play it in the presence of somebody of ambiguous gender. Asking them directly is cheating, trying to sneak a look at their crotch is not. That's the easiest way to find out if they're sporting a John Thomas or an axe wound. It's up to you whether you're actually prepared to go that far though...
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:29, Reply)
*retch... heave.....*
Despite our wonderful and salubrious democratic government completely fucking me in the wallett for my audacity of owning a motor vehicle, I still grudgingly pay.

It costs me roughly £275 per month for insurance, fuel and road tax. I'd gladly see that up past £350 to continue my avoidance of public transport. On occasions when I MUST get on a bus, I take a carrier bag (to sit on) and lace myself with deodorants / aftershave so I can cover my nose.

Public transport is shit.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:27, Reply)
Teh Tube
I spent the first 18 years of my life in a village that doesn't even have a single set of traffic lights; the kind of one-horse town where the horse is a donkey, and the donkey is lame, and has only got two legs, and arthritis, and is dead.

And so, on moving to London, I spent countless hours gazing in wonder at the London Underground Tube System: a train! Underground! They come along all the time! They're trains! Underground!

The first time I was stuck on the Jubilee line due to "a person under a train" I was horrified at the absolute callousness of the announcement. Someone ends their tragic and hopeless life by throwing themselves in front of a rush-hour carriage, and it is glibly and wearily announced as "a person under a train".

Two months later as I barged my way through the ticket barriers, Oyster card in wallet and snarling at the free newspaper hander-outers, I cursed the inconsiderate suiciding bastards who felt the need to inconvenience a city of people trying to get home in time for Hollyoaks.

Still, there but for the grace of god go I.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:27, 4 replies)
Not Trauma
But I do hold a world first.

Travelling, on the tube, from Hendon into central London I managed to initiate a conversation - not only with the gent next to me, but with another 5 total strangers.

A world first I tell you.

(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:24, 4 replies)
I urge everyone who cathches the tube to listen to this...

Definitely NSFW
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:23, 8 replies)
Early rant.
Virgin trains users:

I tend to work on the assumption that the words "Quiet Coach" are quite unproblematically written in, and meant to be read in, standard English. As such, the quiet coach is one that passengers may expect to be... well... quiet.

How, then, can so many people interpret the words "Quiet Coach" to mean "This is where to come with your screaming snotbrat"?
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:22, 5 replies)
Every time I get on a certain route
the dole scum from one of Edinburgh's less salubrious areas are on the bus first.

I sit there fuming, as they sprawl around the seats, dressed in the latest gear, yacking on their expensive mobile phones (the likes of which I can't afford) while I'm knackered from a hard days' work helping to fund their lifestyle.

Bitter? Me? Not much.

*breathes deeply*
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:19, 5 replies)
Not me but
I woman I worked with had a son in prison.
When he got out he came into town to see her.
He took the bus.
The first thing he said was 'have you seen the people you get on buses'.

The man had just been inside and he was horrified by the people on buses.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:19, Reply)
all public transport
is traumatic

*climbs into private jet and flies off*
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:18, Reply)
This one'll be good
London transport traumatises me every day
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:18, Reply)
What's public transport?
I live near loads of fields, me. Damn you Alistair Darling and your fuel duties. If I got a bus to work I would have to sleep here.
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:18, 2 replies)
The Boston Tram - from my youth
Picture, if you will, a small female English child, with her two reserved and distinguished parents, getting on to the tram in a rather nice area of the city. They are all dressed up, perhaps going to Symphony Hall, or to the theatre. How lovely, you might think to yourself. A perfect little family unit: loving parents and their well-behaved angel.

The tram moves off, still overground at this point, running past beautiful redbrick apartment blocks and treel-lined avenues. Then, with a creaking groan of metal under pressure, the tram goes downhill, into the bowels of Boston. All goes dark. It is deathly quiet, apart from the rumbling of the wheels along the long, soot-encrusted metal rails.

Suddenly, there is an eldritch scream that chills the passengers to their very cores. Surely a sound like that could only come from a hideous freak of nature, the like of which should never have been spawned, and which must have made its lair in the labyrinthine caverns of the tram tunnels?

Hang on...the screaming is coming from inside the carriage, not the tunnels. And, come to think of it, it's more of a high-pitched chatter than a scream. A bit like a child.

The bewildered and frightened passengers look around them, trying to find the source of this unholy clamour. It seems to be coming from above their heads. Looking up, they see something that sends jolt of fear and loathing through their bodies: the polite little english girl has somehow mutated into a snarling, rabid demon clambering over the handrails hanging from the roof of the carriage! Her parents notice that their foul little spawn is misbehaving, and with weary expressions that hint at the trauma and disgust that their little oppspring inspires in them, detatch her from the rails, and threaten her with a spanking unless she starts to behave.

Well, to be fair, I was going through my "I want to be a vampire bat when I grow up" phase, and I had to try and fit the part somehow.

So therefore, good citizens of Boston, if you were in that carriage that fateful night, then I apologise for my unseemly behaviour. Hell though, at least I didn't cock my leg on you (see www.b3ta.com/questions/kids/post144225)
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:17, Reply)
Missed the last train home from Kings Cross once
Hanging about KX in the early hours of the morning is a horrible experience, punctuated only by beggars, drunks and toothless, scabby crackwhores trying to ask you for things.

Always leave time for the last train
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:17, Reply)
Damn. Kaol's back.

*goes off to write stories*
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:17, 1 reply)
Oh God...
Ever tried taking a bass guitar in a hard case through the London Underground in rush hour?
(, Thu 29 May 2008, 15:17, 15 replies)

This question is now closed.

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