Monday, March 20, 2006
Lookit, I know it's been absolutely flippin' ages since my last post. But just because I haven't been filling up this page with my ickle pink words doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about doing it and thinking what those ickle pink words might ultimately say. And sure we all know that it's the thought that counts.
Por example: one evening, I had a thoroughly chronic bus experience. [Now, I know I complain about commuting an awful lot, but this was a particularly awful episode, definitely worthy of a rant!] I was so completely enraged by what happened that I vowed I would vent my spleen [owie, painful] via the medium of Mon Petite Blog. However, I was afraid that I would forget the true extent of my crossness by the time it came to putting fingertip to keyboard, so I decided to jot down exactly what was going through my mind at the time - and here is what I wrote, in all it's nail-spitting glory, for your viewing pleasure...
"I'm writing this on the back of an envelope. I appreciate that you're reading it on a screen & that the two might seem worlds apart, but let's not think too much about that right now. I am scribbling on the back of a brown envelope that my last Statement of Tax Credits or some such scintillating document arrived in, and although the middle-aged gal beside me on the bus seems to be engrossed in her newspaper, I feel horrifically self-conscious.
This isn't some sado-masochistic exercise in self-humiliation though; there is actually method in the madness. No, really. I'm writing what will shortly be an entry in my blog on the back of a non-descript brown envelope on the bus home from work because I'm afraid that, by tomorrow or whenever I get around to posting this entry, I may have forgotten how unspeakably angry I am at this moment in time. Unspeakably is right: I am so, so, so cross that I don't think I can even begin to describe the enormity of the fury that is boiling within me right now.
Left work at 5.04pm. Nothing particularly unusual there. Took bloody aaaaaages to get across the N11 to my bus stop [I'm too scared of heights and shaky constructions to use the footbridge so have to cross 4 lanes of traffic when there's nothing coming]. There are days when such a delay would prompt a rise in blood pressure whose magnitude is matched only by the enormity of a simultaneous nose-dive in mood and accompanied by an actual physical pain in my face [right across the sinuses, I kid you not], but there were no buses zooming towards town that I could have caught if only I'd left work a few minutes earlier/if the traffic blocking my path across the road wasn't so chronic/if I'd been wearing a jet-pack a la Bond, James Bond. So no harm, no foul, I eventually made it to the bus stop without having missed a potential bus into town and I was very pleased with myself and all was right with the world for all of about, oh, 30 seconds.
Maybe it was the karmic equivalent of Newton's Third Law. Maybe it was some variant of Murphy's Law. Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline. Who knows. Anywho, what happened next started out looking very much like super duper good luck - I saw the 5.15 Bus Éireann bus from UCD to Newbridge trundling towards me. This bus is a rare [some would say mythical] beast. It eliminates the need to traipse into town on a Dublin Bus that's more than likely standing room only, leg it through Temple Bar to the quays [obviously, you get extra points if you avoid a collision with some sour-faced teen on a skateboard mooching around the Central Bank] before invariably freezing your unmentionables off until the next Bus Éireann bus from Busárus deigns to trundle along. It also saves €1.35 a pop, which is a lot when (a.) you're not out of college quite long enough for the student mentality to have relinquised its hold altogether, and (b.) when you're trying to save save save with a view to buying a nice shoebox next year somewhere around The Back of Beyond. [Or Mountmellick. Sure they're one and the same, really.]
So I was understandably excited at being in time for the direct bus. [Listen, if you got rained on half as much as I do while trying to get from the Dublin Bus stop in town to the Bus Éireann stop, you'd be excited too. Ah, cohesive and coherent Irish planning strikes again!] I have a theory that these 5.15 UCD-Newbridge buses are a wee bit shy. It's a work-in-progess, based on the observation that they are reluctant to pick you up when hailed. Maybe they worry that you're some raving lunatic crackpot who mistook them for a Dublin Bus; this would be substantiated by the fact that their drivers are always keen to point out crossly: "This isn't a Bus Éireann bus stop, I'm not meant to pick-up here" if they do decide to be big men and do you a favour and stop for you.
Jeez lads, thanks so much for picking me up at a Dublin Bus stop. Have a medal or two. Alternatively, RACK OFF!!! I am dropped off every morning at a Dublin Bus stop with no Bus Éireann sign and there's no whinging about it. In addition, the "official" Bus Éireann stop on Earlsfort Terrace has no Bus Éireann sign. Just a Dublin Bus sign. Again, no whinging from drivers about stopping there.
Besides which, aren't Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann all part of CIE?!
Anywho. My attempts at getting the direct bus to collect me from this non-Bus Éireann stop have met with mixed results. I have found that the most successful strategy involves standing right at the edge of the road and sticking my arm out in plenty of time [like, while the bus is 200m away] while holding out my 6-inch long white weekly ticket for all and sundry to see. The idea is that it's patently obvious that I know it's a Bus Éireann bus and I'm not trying to ambush it for a lift into O'Connell Street instead of waiting for a 46A or something.
So. Today, on seeing the bus approaching I moved out of the bus shelter to the kerb and stuck out my arm in the usual "I am hailing a bus" fashion while holding my impossible to miss ticket for ultimate effect. Worryingly, it signalled no intention to pull in and showed no signs of slowing down - I genuinely think it might actually have started to move faster. As the bus got closer, I frantically waved in the direction of the driver's seat to try and flag it down. Zooming along, it came level with me and it was fairly clear at that stage that it was absolutely, definitely, no way going to stop, and in frustration I said "Oh, come on!!!!"
And what did the bus driver, the big man, do? He responded by slowing fractionally as he drove past, made a big production of sneering at me, mouthing "What?" and shrugging his shoulders.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHH, I say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"