Thursday, 6 August 2015

The unambiguousness of bus stops (write of passage number thirty-six)

When the bus jolts to a halt, the Resident Fan Boy can see what's happening better than I can because he's that much taller. The driver has stopped several yards past the bus stop. A young woman clambers aboard, cell phone glued to her ear, chatting away. The driver calls to her as she passes him, "I had no way of knowing you wanted the bus."

She doesn't turn or lower the phone. "Well, I was standing at a bus stop…"

She adds, to whomever is on the other end: "I was at the bus stop and he just went by." She gives at least two other accounts of this contravention during the two other phone conversations she has during her ride, her voice dripping with contempt.

I lean forward and mutter to the RFB, "He stopped for her; a driver wouldn't have stopped in Ottawa." People often rest at bus stops -- or stop to make phone calls. Generally, you make eye contact, step forward and signal when you want the bus to stop. Am I right?

Ms Bus-stops-mean-the-bus-stops hops down to the pavement and saunters on up the street, the phone still at her ear, her eyes unfocussed. About four other people get off at her stop. They all call "Thank-you!" to the driver, a Victorian custom, but it sounds a bit more pointed than usual.

No comments: