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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)
Pages: Latest, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Ahh Rwanda
Tha taxis in Rwanda are amazing- the driver will cram in as many people as possible, meaning the back seat holds a football team or two, the passenger seat holds 3 and the driver SHARES his seat with an extra passenger. Travelling like this he still tries to cram in anyone who sticks their arm out en route.

However (this does get good, bear with me), there are regular car-check posts where the police throw you in jail if you've got more than the regulation number in your car. Rwandans are lovely friendly people and look out for each other (genocide aside, ahem) so they have a system where a car coming at you will flash you if there are police up ahead.

Now there's not a lot you can do if your car is more overcrowded than Hillsborough and you're a couple of hundred yeards from a police check, or so you'd think... however in a resourcful move which would make Maggie Thatcher proud, hoards of boys on bicycles wait the couple of hundred yards down from policed check-points, waiting for heavily loaded cars to empty out the illegals. Then then run them across the check-point on the back of their bikes (boy-powered bike-taxis are totally legal of course) and deposit them rond the next corner. The taxi driver gives them 10p each and everyone is a winner.

I've just realised this is slightly off-topic, but it was ace and I wanted to share.

Length- well they are black so you work it out...
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:23, Reply)
I love horses
As a youngster, I was mad about horses - they were all I could ever think about, talk about, read about etc etc. I grew out of my obsession a little by the time I left school, but was still delighted to find that there was a riding club at uni. So, ignoring the fact that I was a lower middle class poor fat girl and that every other club member was a skinny toff with an eton education and a string of polo ponies in their garden, I joined up - cheap riding lessons, and a couple of hours surrounded by horses every week, excellent!

However, I soon learnt where I fit in in this club. On our first lesson, four of us were instructed to get the train from glasgow to edinburgh, meet someone there, and we'd be driven to the stables. Me, a toff from Rugby with no chin and his own house in the West End of Glasgow, and 2 chinless vacant psychology student girls who kept on about how 'bleddy marvellous' the stables were going to be, don't you know. All fine, we got there, had an uneventful lesson, I only fell off once, I was easily the lowest class of person they'd ever seen, but never mind. It was the journey back that was interesting.

As we were in hurry to catch our train, we didn't change after the lesson, so got on the absolutely packed 5.30pm commuter train from edinburgh to glasgow in full riding gear - jodhpurs, boots, body protector in the case of the other three, chaps, etc. We stank of horse. so we decided to take turns to change in the toilets on the train. The other 3 went off, got changed, came back to the seats. Then it was my turn. Off I go, find the toilets, go in, and close the door. I'd got my chaps and boots off, was halfway through removing my jodhpurs, and the train wobbled over a point. This caused me to fall over, and catch the 'disabled person has had an accident' button on the wall. And the 'unlock and open the door' button next to it.

The train (still packed) screeched to a halt, the door swung open, showing my flabby arse off to the carriage, and an announcement came over the speakers
'There has been an accident in the disabled toilets, so we have stopped until this can be sorted out, please bear with us'.

My cheeks burned (both sets of them), i have NEVER pulled trousers on (or off) that quickly, I got friction burns on my knees doing so, and i apologetically barged through the crowd back to our seats. The toffs stopped yah-ing at each other, saw the colour of my face, and promptly fell about laughing, shouting about me being a spakker and so on and so forth - when the conductor came through to find out what had happened, he saw us, quickly worked it out, i apologised profusely, and he said it was ok, could happen to anyone, so the train started up, and we got on our way.

But for the rest of my time in the club I was the token retard, was described as special at all times, and eventually put off horse-riders in such a big way i've never been back to a stables.

Good times.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:20, 2 replies)
Is anyone sitting there?
SWMBO broke her ankle on holiday, upshot was she had to spend a week in hospital being pieced back together before the insurance people booked her two seats on a sleazy jet flight home (no expense spared then). She couldn't put any weight on said ankle for 6 weeks and had to lay the pot across them. So she was wheeled on first and took up said position.

As the plane filled up she was asked by some twunk if "anyone was sitting in that seat" and "could she move her leg"? Stunned, she was actually asked to show him the tickets before he eventually flounced off.

We all hate the selfish gits who stick their bags/laptops/papers on the aisle seat so they can get the entire row to themselves, but come on, some people have a bit of a nerve.

length - 6 inches of steel plate and 6 months off work, in agony mainly.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:12, Reply)
Marks & Spencer turbulence
I think it was 2003. Me and the missus had enjoyed a lovely road-trip style holiday around California / Nevada / Arizona visiting national parks and cities nefore flying home from LA.

Driving about 500 miles a day is fun but tiring and I'd done it for almost two weeks, so was understandably tired. The plane was delayed 'gone tech.' is the phrase, I believe. Once boarded, we were duly informed that there would be no in-flight entertainment for our 12 hour journey. About 7 minutes after reaching cruising speed, I fell asleep and stayed that way until we passed over Ireland.

Fortunately for me, I'd slept throough the spot of turbulence we'd encountered mid-atlantic.

According to my wife (and verified by the pallid and perspiring faces of the other passengers) this hadn't been just 'Little bit wobbly, makes your tummy turn' type turbulence. It was 'Watch how far the wing tips can bend, lift-you-off-your-seat, flight attendants buckled in and shitting themselves' type turbulence.

My dear wife went to great lengths after we disembarked, to relay to me her annoyance at the American woman on her other side frantically screaming "OH MY GOD, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!"

Fucking traumatic indeed. It being the North Atlantic, there wasn't even the possibility that we may crash land and be stranded on a mysterious tropical island inhabited by strange magnetic forces and fantasy polar bears to find that our lives had unknowingly been previously interwoven.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:10, Reply)
Tubes - buses & a few pints.
Seeing as I have a total phobia of vomit I have had to be really careful once again with this QOTW - it has nearly had me chunder, I couldnt imagine what would happen should I ever be in an enclosed space whilst someone vomits near me...

Anyway I digress...

I don't drive, so I rely exclusivly on public transport and taxi's...

When I moved to that there London village I was amazed at the quality of transport... in my eyes reliable, cheap and fast - I'd moved from a backwater small town/commuter village where it was acceptable to only have 3 trains a day, and a bus service that was timetabled with 2 hour gaps - if it ran at all.


I can honestly say I am truely amazed I am alive today...

I was living in NW london in lovely Kenton, my job was in lovely Twickenham in SW London - this was quite some commute - it would take about an hour and a half if all the connection matched up - but more often they didnt so it was more like 2 hours and a bit.

Tough job, long hours - coming home I used to soften my journey by having a few beers... it amazing how time flies when you've taken that edge off...

So one afternoon, after recieving a fat cheque from a happy client my boss gave me a nice cash bonus 'to have some fun' and sent me on my way earlier than normal...

The sun was out, the birds were cheeping... so I went to the pub... for a beer...

a beer turned into about 7, feeling the need to get back in one piece all the way across the city - I thought it best if I stop whislt ahead. I get up and I'm drunker than I thought.. bollox... thinks I.

I clamber across to the shops, get a newspaper and 8 more cans - and trundle off to the station...

straight onto the train - two stops if I recall correctly... off for a change - now this is where it starts to become a tad hazy... I recall the notice board stating that a train was due - I recall waiting, and waiting, on what was a strangly empty platform... quite happy in my sozzled state, I waited some more...

I started to realise I must've missed something, so I went to one of the guards in one of those little cubicles... and asked him what was up...

his response... 'I dunno' and went back to staring into space... I wander off to look at the board... it's stil stating the train is due, but is late by at least 30 minutes...

So I go back to this helpfull chappy and ask again.. same response... The thing was I knew he knew the answer to my questions... but was so bastardly unionised he couldnt simply say... yeah mate they're screwed, but hang about it'll be here shortly... This type of attituded jobsworth union cock monkey really started to make my drunked state turn vitriolic...

I did what any skinny short arse would do... I spat my chewing gum in his general direction bouncing off his little desk, right next to his foot...

Monkey wasnt happy... monkey was outraged... at last a reaction!! woo hoo.. so I asked him about the train once again - foaming at the mouth he splutters into his walkitalki for security - thinknig that I am some kind of mad man in a cheap suit security come over, and ask whats the problem - then ask me to leave...

I said no...

they're not allowed to touch people...

so they called the police...

the police came in about 3 and a half seconds

they escorted me from the building - I explained what I had done, and let me on my way...

a taxi to the next tube station, 2 more changes... 6 of the 8 cans gone... I am a blabbering mess... sat on a platform somewhere or other, I fall asleep... wallet with a few hundred quid pocking out my back pocket... bag somewhere at my feet...

I get woken up by a nice young lady - she gave me a fag...

and off I trundled...

not arrested, not mugged or bummed...

but over 4 hours after I left the office...

Not the worst, and it was my fault but well.. it was sort of mermorable... ha

Length - 30 ish miles...
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:10, 1 reply)
The Public Transport Trauma that ruined my life, forever.
I'm crying as I type this...

It was a bright and warm Sunday afternoon, Bluebirds twittered their merry songs in the sky, and all the insects seemed to hum the tune from Masters of the Universe. I had a jaunty skip in my step, a love song in my heart (most likely something by the Partridge Family, or even David Essex), and a mind over-flowing with happy thoughts as I cheerfully made my way to the local train station.

Arriving at the lovely, warm, friendly, almost magical transportation terminal, I saw that the place was empty, and I had quite some time to wait for the next Iron Horse to carry me to my destination.
'Ah, well,' I thought, absent-mindedly doing the blockbuster hand jive and thinking about kittens on scooters.

I sat on one of those fixed metal benches, and turned the music on my phone up, so that my earphones were gaily blasting out the latest hits from Wham! and Bucks Fizz.

I didn't notice him at first, of course I couldn't have, the world I lived in was full of cartoon bunny rabbits and snails that would wink at you and apologise for getting in your way if you accidentally stepped on them.
He didn't fit in to that world at all. Not one tiny little bit.
The best description I can think of is that he had the appearance of a young hobo, the kind you'd imagine most of the cast of Hollyoaks would've become if they hadn't been to some piss-poor drama school and sucked off the right TV producer at the right time.
He swaggered his way out of the subway that connects the two platforms of the station, muttering to himself and carrying a can of Tennents Super in his hand.
His appearance and demeanour didn't bother me at all, I'd have happily engaged the young man in conversation, if it hadn't been for what happened next. What happened next sucked all of the colour out of my world, like watching The Wizard of Oz in reverse.

Between Young Hobo and I there was a waiting room, and either side of that were clear glass partitions, presumably so people can shelter against the wind and rain.
But young Mr Hobo had decided to give them a different use today, Mr Hobo was a bad, bad man.

Watching from my little metal bench I saw him prop himself against the glass partition, on the opposite side from me, and before I realised what I was looking at, I saw what can only be described as a 13" giganta-cock of doom, pissing liberally, everywhere.
I quickly looked away, traumatised, the image burned into my eyes forever, and the whole world suddenly seemed to become a very sour place.

I don't remember getting home, or how I got there, I can only recall curling up in bed in the foetal position, rocking myself back and forth, trying in vain to get the image out of my mind, all the while my poor, suffering brain kept thinking the same thoughts, over and over again...

'By Christ, it was huge.'
'I feel so sorry for any woman that ever has to go anywhere near that... that thing.'


'Gee, I wonder what it'd taste like?'

The memories will haunt me forever.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:09, 71 replies)
The Northern Line
Why is that unassuming little black line the biggest source of insanity this side of LSD?

Only on the Northern line have I come across the following:

* A roaring drunk, 6ft black transvestite blocking the doors loudly proclaiming his love for everyone in the carriage for a full five minutes before a deputation of bored and late passengers (including yours truly) physically threw him out onto the platform;

* The worst version of the Macarena ever created (yes, even worse than the original), by a smelly bearded man wearing a kilt and playing a banjo. The only person who gave him money was wearing an iPod, and thus was the only person on the carriage not to hear him;

* A man (looked in his 50's sober suit) who became so annoyed at the usual wait outside Morden station that he harangued a total stranger about it before screaming and banging his head on the doors. He had a bus to catch, apparently;


* A bizarre incident involving my ex on the down escalators at Tooting Broadway. At the top we were sharing a hearty chuckle at a particularly thick woman who couldn't for the life of her figure out why holding her paper ticket to the Oyster reader wouldn't open the barriers, about halfway down she went a bit quiet, and at the bottom, she was furious at me, just growling at me to "fuck off" whenever I asked what the matter was. She ended up not talking to me for two days, never apologising, never explaining.

I guess the madness of the Northern Line got to her.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 16:01, 3 replies)
Bleeding dandruff.
Manchester University.
Piss up.
Me and shag partner decide to have a night out and although we were "the official gays",we got on very well with the rugger/footy lads.Hence a 10 strong group of pissed up heteros and the woofters(me and hubby) on the bus to go to CRUZ 101.A vile club if ever there was one but I was mates with the owner and could get these monstrous hefty breeding friends of mine in.

On the bus at midnight,and "Andy" of them decides to open a window.It won´t budge.

He tries again.No budging.

With a yell that would make William Wallace papper himself,"ANDY" pulls so hard on the window that it shatters onto me and the boyfriend,showering us in glass and causing our heads to bleed.Quite a lot.

The owner of the club was mystified when I explained that these friends had almost given me a lobotomy,but would he please let them in as they were nice people really.

They had to promise to dance with their t-shirts off all night.And I got rat-arsed for free.And I felt up a rugby player.Yum

No length,sadly,but it looked big in his jeans.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:54, Reply)
Woof woof
This is the second time I've typed this story 'cos it disappeared into the void the first time. I'm just too kind to you.

Many moons have passed over the tepee since I was a bus driver but this one, for some reason, sticks in my mind. I was driving along the main dual carriageway into Hull - yes, really - when I saw two small dogs in the distance. They were in the outside lane and doing what dogs do best with the little boy dog really going for it at the back. The trouble was that teh little girl dog wasn't really with it. What she wasn't with was her head, which seemed to have been untidily removed by a passing car. This didn't seem to dampen lbd's ardour at all . . .
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:53, Reply)
I was on the tube once,
and I'm just getting to the top of the ticket barrier right at the top of the escalator when this hippie riding a bike and a short fat sweaty guy wearing a grease smeared vest (with a shovel over his shoulder) both shout "you cunt" at me...
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:53, 17 replies)
I was a tourist attraction
Last May, I f got invited to a dinner at Inner Temple by my friend A, who's a barrister and one of the PhD students here. We weren't travelling together, and arranged to meet at Temple Tube.

As is the prerogative of the woman, A was late. I wandered about the station concourse for a bit.

The dinner was black tie, so I was in my kilt. By the ticket booth, a family was watching me. From the looks of them, they were from Latin America somewhere. Eventually, one of them plucked up the courage to come over to me, and, shyly and in slightly broken English, asked if I'd mind if she took my photo.

I smiled, said "Of course,"... and charged her a tenner.*

*Last five words may have been added for comic effect.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:52, 11 replies)
Synchronised phone-smashing at Wokingham station
I've only ever been to Wokingham by train, but I'm told there's a sign over the main road in: "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

Walking through the ticket hall into the station one evening, I overheard - no, wrong word. There was a chavvy fellow with a mobile glued to his ear but, sadly, not firmly enough to his mouth, which is why the whole station could hear him shouting into it.

He was talking to/shouting at his girlfriend Charlotte - him on platform 1, with a bunch of us waiting for the train on platform 2 able to hear every word. It wasn't very elucidating.

(part of the fun was guessing what exactly Charlotte had replied)

And he became more and more agitated. To say he was "pacing back and forth" would be overstating it, he only managed about 1m in either direction, but he wasn't very happy. Sadly I can't remember the remaining five minutes of witty repartee - there was some stuff about his car, and who she was out with last night - but I do remember the very, very loud closing line.


followed by him throwing his mobile very very hard at the concrete footbridge. At which point, obviously, it smashed.

Cue one chav glaring angrily at his ex-mobile, slowly subsiding into a puzzled look like "er... what the [fahk] do I do now?". And about 30 passengers on platform 2 trying not to laugh.

I like to think that exactly the same scene was playing out in Bracknell at the same time.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:48, Reply)
Citadel reminds me...
I had to get from Moshi to Nairobi. A bus seemed like a good idea. It was cheap, and so am I.

We boarded. The driver had a tape playing. It was the most maudlin C&W Jesuscrap I have ever heard. I've scrubbed most of it from my mind, but the jist was that death was great because you get to see God; the phrase "I'd rather have Jesus than anything the world affords today", however, is scorched on my memory. Every song on the tape was in a similar vein.

Side A ended. The tape flipped. Side B was more of the same. Eventually, it ended as well. The tape flipped... for six hours.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:47, 3 replies)
Traindick vigilanteism
Whenever someone is being a dick as I'm getting on or off on the train (blocking the aisle, taking ages to sit down when there are loads of people waiting for a seat, braying on the phone) I like to wait until I am passing their seat and then fart near their head.

That'll teach them.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:43, Reply)
Three of the best
Wow, I’ve got a few of these, having used buses almost every day for the last twenty years – probably a good 10000 journeys. The vast majority of these are either soul-destroyingly boring, or filled with a host of minor irritants which make for crap stories. There are three journeys that always stick in my mind though, recounted below.

Pull up a chair, crack open a tinny, and enjoy. Or if you’re in a hurry, skip to episode 3 as it’s the best of the bunch.

Episode 1 – Tramp fight.

The venue was the 167 Manchester to Norden service. It’s a Saturday afternoon, but for some reason, instead of a proper full size bus, they’ve put on one of those tiny ones that usually only do local routes – known round our way as a biddy bus. It’s almost full, but there’s a couple of seats left.

Two blokes get on near Victoria station; one looks like a cartoon tramp right out of the Beano, probably in his 50s, long white beard, big coat, dot-like alcoholic eyes and ruddy alcoholic complexion, clearly pissed and had been for many years. I’m surprised he didn’t have a crumpled top hat and a knotted hanky on a stick. His companion though, was one scary looking motherfucker – younger, possibly in his 30s, but covered, and I mean every visible inch, in scars, including ones on the backs of his hands that looked like gunshot scars. He also had a lovely collection of loyalist paramilitary tattoos, in the traditional razor blade and biro ink style, and the accompanying thick Belfast accent.

So the two deadbeats end up arguing about something or other, I just try to ignore them and hope I don’t get stabbed. What followed was the single most pathetic fight I’ve ever seen – my baby niece would fight harder than these two utter pussies, rolling around on the floor of the tiny bus, right at my feet. Tramp guy is on the deck, on his back, with UVF guy on top of him – Orange boy has, rather remarkably, some money in his shirt pocket, a tenner if I recall, which trampy tries to lift out of his pocket. This enrages our protestant friend so much, that he threatens to blow up the bus - driver calls the police and crazy Paisley fucks off into the back streets of Cheetham Hill.
The police arrive, and attempt to take a statement from the old boy, as he was the victim of an assault, even if it was a spectacularly feeble one which resulted in no injuries at all. They’re asking for the name of the Norn Irish guy, trampy just keeps repeating that he doesn’t know it, before conspiratorially glancing side to side, lowering his head and voice, and whispering to them in a way that suggested the imparting of some arcane knowledge… “I think he’s a heroin addict”.
No shit.

Episode 2 – Lazy Bastard.

Bog standard, boring journey home from work. Bloke gets on about ten stops before I get off – he looks like a painter/decorator; he’s covered in paint splashes, and is carrying a box full of brushes and other decorating gear. I really didn’t think much of it at the time, all seemed normal, even by Salford’s standards.

A couple of stops later, another guy gets on, stays on until the very next stop, then gets off. This, for fuck only knows what reason, enrages the decorator guy no end. Despite having been still and silent so far, he now feels the need to run up and down the bus shouting “LAZY BASTARD, FUCKING LAZY BASTARD, DID YOU SEE THAT? FUCKING LAZY BASTARD” at the top of his lungs, looking at the other passengers for confirmation of the lunacy before him; a man riding a bus for 200 yards is just too much for this bloke to cope with. Mothers are shepherding their children towards them, hiding them behind their legs, grannies are hiding their pension books, and everyone else is trying their damndest to become invisible out of sheer whatthefuckery.

Episode 3 – Waiting for Reg.

This one’s going out to the Kersal Massive, as it’s all about a daysaver.

I stayed over at a mate’s one Saturday night, then got the M10 into town to catch the 167 back home on the Sunday morning. I had precisely enough for a daysaver to get home with, £3 at the time I think – no other resources whatsoever, no cash in the bank, not even any cigs.

M10 arrives, I buy my ticket, and sit down to smoke a reefoh in the cornoh (not really, no reefer left by this point on a Sunday morning). Being bored witless, I glance down at my ticket quite by chance, to see that it hasn’t printed out correctly, and the date is completely illegible. This worries me, as the jobsworthyness of bus drivers is legendary, and I don’t reckon any driver would let me on with this ticket. So I walk up to the driver, and in my usual polite manner, tell him the score, and ask for a replacement ticket. The following discourse ensues:

Numpty: “I can’t, my takings will be £3 down if I give you another ticket.”
Me: “I sympathise mate, but we can file that under your problem, not mine.”
Numpty: “I can’t give you another ticket.”
Me: “You haven’t given me a usable ticket, so it’s not ‘another’ ticket, I don’t want two, I just want one that will work.”
Numpty: “Well you’ll have to come to the office with me and wait for my boss, Reg, to authorise it.”
Me, with the air of resignation of a seasoned bus traveller: “OK.”

As it was a Sunday, I had plenty of time until my next bus, so I end up following the driver to this shitty little porta-cabin near Cathedral Gardens, which is now a proper bus station, but at the time of this tale it was just a car park, a porta-cabin, and some piss.

The porta-cabin was a time machine to the early seventies, it was like being in Porridge – page 3 girls on the walls, blokes with ‘On the buses’ uniforms and hangovers smoking roll ups and drinking tea from thermos flasks.

Reg eventually arrives after I’ve smoked a couple of the other drivers roll ups (thanks again mate), and numpty driver explains the situation to him.

Without hesitating for even a second, Reg gives me three quid, turns to numpty, and with vitriol practically spraying from his ears says:

“Why didn’t you give him his money back you fucking idiot?”

Th'end, ta,
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:42, 2 replies)
The Italian Gob
Some years back, I went with a group of friends to Tenerife for a week on a cheap package deal. I volunteered to drive us all to and from Gatwick. The week didn’t entirely go well and there was some friction within the group so, needless to say, despite having a good break most of them time we were all relieved to be going home.

Being a package deal, we had no control over the flight times and were on a flight that was due to arrive back at Gatwick at 2am. I was keen to get some sleep on the plane so that I was able to drive back at least marginally awake.

Well, that was the plan. Unfortunately the five of us were placed in two rows of three with the odd seat given to an Italian girl who was sitting behind me and next to my friend Mark.

The Italian girl decided that she wanted to talk to Mark for the entire journey and when I say talk, I mean talk loudly with her mouth and with her hands while having her knees jammed into the back of the seat in front of her, mine. So, no sleep for me. If it wasn’t yak-yak-yak I was shaken about just when I was about to drop off.

I tried to get Mark to shut her up but that didn’t work so I resigned myself to no sleep and sat it out. She somehow assumed that all six of us were now great friends and so was a little surprised when I looked like I wanted to kill her at the baggage carousel.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:41, Reply)
and another thing
In the nation's armpit on a training course, staying in digs in Kilburn. Where do I decide to get legless - in the middle of town, a tube train away. That's why I had to leave the bumping swaying rattling conveyance at St John's Wood. I threw up on the platform then carried on my digsward journey on the next train. St John's Wood, eh? Don't tell me I haven't got style.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:34, 2 replies)
Southern Bus Travel
When I was a Freshman in college, my Parents, requested I use my credit card to purchase travel arrangements to get home as I had a Niece graduating from high school the week that we were released and they werent going to be able to chauffer me home. I figured: cheapest way to get home = bus.

It MAY have been the cheapest. But God, the pain I endured.

I was standing at the Greyhound terminal (Greyhound buslines for those of you that do not know) and the bus appears to be a popular one. NOT a good sign. From Charleston, South Carolina to Baltimore, Maryland is about a 12 hour journey by car...but by bus it is a delightful 15 hours with all the stops.

As I was a Freshman cadet in a military college though, my thoughts were: Great! I can sleep and catch up on the exam sleep I lost! Not likely.

There was ONE seat by the time I got on the bus. I had let FAR too many people (of the female persuasion) get on before me. So I was sat next to the proverbial fat kid on the bus. Though this time, it was no kid. It was a 50 year old woman who HAD to be weighing in at about 350lbs.

I am not a racist, but I am going to make a statement here about large, obese really, southern black women. They tend to lean towards the Baptist Faith and the Holy Roller side of the church seems to make their lives complete. They are very vocal in their love of Jesus...and that vocal nature does not limit itself to Church or the Privacy of their own homes. No.


Some of the gems I heard(all spoken at a near yell because her friend, also quite large, was unable to sit in the same row of seats as her):

"Lawd, Jezus done SAVED MY LIFE Girl!"
"PRAISE Jezus! He can DO IT ALL!"
"Lawdy! Preacher dun spoke DA TRUF Girl!"
And OVER AND OVER again, a simple: "YES JEZUS!" Literally at least 500 times!

The ENTIRE ride. Neither of them slept.

Later in life, when I lived in NYC, there was a bus that literally ran two blocks from my abode to the World Trade Center. It was an express bus and would have dropped me within FEET of the air conditioned entrace way to the Twin Towers.

Did I take it? I tried. But every time I got near the bus stop all I could hear was "YES JEZUS!"
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:28, 3 replies)
Antisocial Behaviour
Here are some methods I have used to deal with various sorts of antisocial behaviour on public transport. I have used every single one of them - though I caution that in some cases it helps to be 6'4" and have no measurable sense of embarrassment...

1) The Aeroplane Seat Recliner

Flying from Basel to London a couple of years ago. Woman in front reclined her seat, or tried to. Encountered my knees. So, being a selfish prat, she tried again, good and hard. The effect on a plane ful of passengers of someone screaming "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh. My knees." as loudly as he can is really quite entertaining. I don't think the woman in front dared breathe for the remainder of the trip.

2) The Table Hog

You've all seen them on trains. Aisle seat. Laptop in front of them. Papers all over the table. Bags on the two seats opposite. Simple solution: two year old child. Hours of fun.

3) The Screaming Child

I'm not too bothered about a bit of childish noise. It's what children do. However ... what do you do when a child is standing on teh seats in a train, leaning forward and screaming in the ears of the couple immediately in front while the mother does nothing? Why, you start screaming just as loudly yourself. Elapsed time to shut child up: 0.3ms. Average noise from child for rest of trip: -46dBA. Ay thang yew.

4) Mobile Phones in the Quiet Zone

This one doesn't have to be confrontational. I find that saying "Excuse me, did you realise that this is the Quiet Zone" (gives them a face-saving back-down) almost invariably works. However, if you want a bit of fun and are out of sight of the person, I recommend just shouting "Quiet Zone" as loudly as you can.

Looking back on these, I see that almost all of them involve me making a lot of noise. But that's OK. The reason people get away with these things is that people are too embarrassed to say anything about the, Draw attention to them loudly, though, and the combination of natural British reserve and clear agreement from other passengers works wonders.

Finally, my own antisocial tip for getting a table to yourself on a crowded train, which I discovered oing from Euston to Edinburgh a couple of years ago. Just before getting the train I had been browsing in the Friends' House bookshop opposite Euston, and had bought a cheap second hand bible, mainly for crossword purposes. I dallied a bit long, so ended up running for the train, hurtling through Euston just as it was announced, being one of the first on board and throwing myself, exhausted, onto a seat. The book just went on the table, along with the other stuff I was carrying. The train was full. People were standing in the aisles. But, dear reader, with that bible in front of me, not a single person sat at the other three seats around my table for the entire journey...
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:18, Reply)
Flying back from America a few months ago.
I happend to be on the same plane as the British womens judo team. Why couldn't this have happened 10 years ago before I swore off women.

I spent the rest of the journey dyke spotting and my gaydar was going off like a geiger counter.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:14, Reply)
Cocaine is one hell of a drug II
After leaving London for the sunnier climate of Milton Keynes, I nipped back down the smoke to see my mate Emma one Saturday afternoon. Took massive amounts of coke, stole a bottle of champagne from a pub and exposed myself to a bunch of theatre goers (which must have been well impressive after the substances I'd taken).

The next morning, I fell out of the hostel first thing in the morning, to avoid the warden blokey, who would chanrge me for staying there. I dragged my sorry arse to Euston and staggered up to the ticket counter. "single to Milton Keynes please, sweetheart" I said to the bloke behind the counter. "Certainly sir" he replies "what kind of ticket do you want?". "The one that gets me home earliest, chief" says I. A ticket is produced and suspiciously powdery, rolled up motes are handed over. I say to the fella "when's the next train?". "8:15, platform 9" he says. And off I trot.

After working out where platform 9 would be (in between 8 and 10, it would seem) I showed my ticket to the dude on the gate who pointed me at a big, red, train-like creature, which I duely got on and plonked myself opposite a nice, middle aged couple.

Not long after we left Euston, a ticket inspector wandered along the carriage, doing the ticket inspector thing and inspecting tickets. He took one look at mine and then the converstaion went like this:
Ticket Bloke: "You've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Eh? Does this train not go to Milton keynes?"
TB: "Yeah, but you've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Eh? But I got a ticket to Milton Keyens"
TB: "Yeah, but your ticket says Silverlink only"
Me: "Eh?"
TB: "your ticket says Silverlink only"
Me: "Yeah"
TB: "And this is a Virgin train"
Me: "Right"
TB: "So you've got the wrong ticket"
Me: "Run that one by me again, slowly"
TB: "You've bought a ticket that ony allows you to get Silverlink trains, this is a Virgin one"
Me: "What's Silverlink?"
TB: "A different train company"
Me: "Oh right"
TB: "so you need to buy a ticket for this train"
Me: "No I don't"
TB: *looks confused* "Yes, you do"
Me: "Why?"
TB: "because you don't have a ticket to be on this train"
Me: "Yeah, but when I bought that ticket, this is the train they told me to get onto and, since this train goes to Milton Keynes, I assumed it was the right one"
TB: "Well it's not, if you were going to Ney York and had a ticket to go by BA, you wouldn't get on a Virgin plane, would you?"
Me: "I would if I had been told it was going from platform 9 of Euston at 8:15 on a Sunday morning"
TB: "Well, you're still going to have to buy a ticket"
Me: "Not a chance, it's not my fault" (it was, really)
TB: "Are you refusing to buy a ticket?"
Me: "I guess I am"
TB: "in that case, sir, I am going to have to ask you to exit this service at the next stop"
Me: "Fine, where's that?"
TB:Milton Keynes"
Me: "you're a fuckwit"

He actually sat with me to make sure I got off at MK. I gave him a cheery waves as the train pulled away.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:12, 3 replies)
Manchester to Stockport

That is all.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:11, 7 replies)
Train from Rye to London
I dont remember the train, but man oh man that bathroom was a NIGHTMARE!

I was with my Brother, Brother in Law and a Navy Commander buddy of mine and we had been to Rye and Portsmouth, kind of a day trip. We had eaten and consumed alcohol rather intensely and on the way home, I had the need to drop the kids off at the pool.

I went into the first car with a bathroom and there was a sign on the door "OUT OF ORDER" or some such. NOT promising.

I went towards the rear of the train (ironic) and the bathroom door had no sign! Result! I opened the door and saw that there HAD been a sign, but some nice bastard had removed it, placing it IN the commode and then, a series of people had dropped THEIR kids, well, I say 'kids' when 'gelatenous, mud-like personal waste' would be more visually accurate.

I kid you not: the collection of excrement reached as high as the uppermost portions of the bowl and THEN some.

We got off at the next town, much to the chagrin of my fellow travellers. I've crapped in some nasty places, but there was NO way I was going to unlimber there.

And the stench? I am not even going to GET to that.


(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:08, 2 replies)
That story has made my day :)

(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:06, 2 replies)
Blackwall Tunnel.
There's this strange fella who hangs out who hangs around in the street just above the tunnel entrance goin gout of London wearing a reflective jacket who gets extremely excitable when he sees any coach going into the tunnel....Froid would have a field day.

Also once, on the coach I had the misfortune to sit next to this rather large chap who took up his seat and most of mine.

He insisted I sat in the window seat, I was quite literally pressed up against the window (I think I became one with the glass) while my other leg was slowly going dead due to the big fella half sitting on it. Then he started talking to his interweb girfriend who lived in America about warhammer, punctuated by him also twittering into a walkie-talkie(!!) to a friend on another coach.

It was bonecrunchingly painful but I managed to contort myself into a position where I was able to glare at him until he ceased...But only momentarily, because he then fired up his laptop and started eating a pork pie *sob* The heating had also been switched on so the smell was quite unpleasant. By the time I reached my stop I was utterly traumatised and slightly misshapen.

To add insult to injury I fell out of the coach due to having a 22 stone man perched on my thigh for an hour and a half.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 15:03, 2 replies)
Oh yes
I once fell asleep on a bus in Thailand. I woke up with a start, and slapped the lady next to me in the tits. She smiled.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 14:59, 2 replies)
suicide is NOT painless
It's a fucking pain in the arse!
I've been on 2 trains here that have had twats jump in front of them. One of the cunts did it during the rush hour, in summer, hope the bastard roasts in hell for eternity.

The other time was just after the rush hour and I was going the opposite direction to just about everyone else so the train was just about empty. I stood up to look at the train map on the wall. Bad timing. I was just behind the drivers room-thingy and was lucky enough to see something resembling a baloon filled with thick red liquid explode over the front window, leaving bits of skull and hair and... stuff stuck in the wipers.
Never go near the front carriage now.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 14:57, 2 replies)
Stella Artois & Vomit...
Went on a school trip to watch the tennis as sponsored by the reassuringly expensive wife beater brand.

30 odd teenagers consuming lots of sugar, cigarettes and drink while basking in sunshine for the day meant that one or two weren't very well by the end.

On the coach heading back to school the lad in front of me announced that he felt sick, then kept to his word and filled a brown paper lunch bag with the contents of his stomach. He then immediately made tracks towards the teachers at the front of the coach as though to share his news with them.

Meanwhile, the sound of his chundering was enough to trigger something in my guts and I swiftly followed in his wake to find something more substantial than the brown paper bag I'd assumed to be inadequate for the job of holding a stomach full of sick.

Turns out I was correct: his bag split and the contents emptied all over the floor of the coach, just as he arrived by the teacher's side. This only fortified my determination to evacuate my stomach and I turned up next to him unable to speak for fear of unleashing the inevitable, so stood gesturing lamely at my mouth, then the river of sick on the floor, then back to my mouth again. The teacher understood, passed me a plastic bag and I promptly filled it.

Traumatic for all concerned, no doubt. However, my trauma had only just begun as I was subsequently forced to help clean the bus, despite managing to contain my sick in a plastic bag and not spread it all over the floor of the coach.

Most distressing.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 14:55, Reply)
The 10A bus Liverpool to Prescot
Now, before I start, I'm going to have to say that this post isn't a dig at scousers or Liverpudlians, but it is a direct attack at all the wannabe scally bastards, who walk around in stupid fucking tracksuits with their hands down their pants, talking like 'ayar lad, ey mate, eeyar jimmy he's just been fucking giving you the eye'... you all know the one's... sub-human scum who should be burnt to death with corrosive chemicals.

Anyhow, on the late bus from Liverpool to prescot, me on my own, dressed in jeans and t-shirt (rocker style),having just been to a rock night, I got jumped by about six or seven of these tracksuited fucks who had just rung the bell to signal their departure from the bus... without even a warning I felt a blow to the head, and then the next thing I know I had them all kicking me in the face and punching me in the mouth for about twenty seconds until the bus driver decided to stop and let them off the bus.

Then they were gone...

Leaving me with a black eye, bust lip, bleeding nose and ripped t-shirt.

The thing is, I bet these tossers do this on a weekly basis and probably get away with it.
(, Fri 30 May 2008, 14:55, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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