It’s a great day to be alive. The sun is shining; birds are chirping; everything seems to be in its right place. That’s when I climbed on the bus.
There’s something about riding the bus that I can’t quite put my finger on. Something…terrible…right on the tip of my tongue. Like a piece of hot licorice, or worse, two pieces of hot licorice.
It’s not the overcrowding, the hard plastic seats, or the intermittent blasts of heat – you know, the ones that make you feel like a broiled sardine – radiating throughout the chassis. It’s not the twelve G’s of force you experience every time the driver takes a corner a bit too aggressively, or the silent but deadly countermeasures being employed by the grizzly gentleman with the eye-patch who thinks you are invading his personal space. It’s not the woman wearing the technicolor robe who is opening a week’s worth of mail while muttering obscenities, or the portly passenger who is slowly inching their large caboose closer and closer to your face as they complain to their friend how “this hot bus is making them sweat.” Surprisingly, it’s none of that.
It’s the fact that you can’t complain to the driver about how uncomfortable you are. Think about it: the city bus is like your childhood minivan, only it took a bunch of horse steroids in the 90’s and is now driven by a guy named Chip, instead of Mom or Dad.
Time was you could whine and moan until the air conditioning was turned up, the channel was changed, or your fellow passenger (your sibling) was punished for touching you.
Of course, if you did that now, you’d be arrested, or punched in the gut, or both.
And that, my friends, is why buses are terrible.