So, dear readers, the last few days at work have been rather… interesting. Late in the night on one of my last trips, I pick up this rather dubious couple. Of course, they both requested concession fares. I asked to see their concession cards and the girl spent five minutes digging in her bag and handed her card to the guy who presented it to me. It was in the name of Jacinda Marie. He handed back the card to her and she then came out with a health care card, which she handed to the guy to show me as his card, mind you. Normally I don’t pay too much attention to names on the cards, but I had figured these two were up to something and I checked. I said to him “both of you can’t be called Jacinda Marie”… He then said something along the lines of “oh, I don’t have mine with me then”. I then asked if he knew his pension card number, which he rattled off. I gave them both a pension discount as it was just easier. So there was rule number one, broken, straight away – don’t take the driver for a fool.
The pair then went and sat right up the back of the bus, the only passengers on board, and proceeded to crank tinny music out of their crappy iPhone/iPod/smartphone/whatever, thus breaking rule number two – no loud speakers on the bus. I ignored this one as they were the only passengers on the bus and I couldn’t be bothered yelling at them. Instead, I tuned in to JJJ radio station which, fortunately, had The Racket playing, which is a heavy/death metal hour of power and I cranked that right up so I didn’t have to listen to their rubbish.
They then put their feet up on the seats – breaking rule number three; no feet on the seats. Again, I normally would tell passengers to take their feet off the seat, but again, I couldn’t be bothered with these two. Then they pulled out a bottle of booze and started swigging at it, thus breaking rule number four – no consuming alcohol on the bus. Not long after that, I peered in the mirror and spotted them on the back seat with their tongues down each other’s throats. Now, this was not breaking any rules, but I really did feel like chucking a bucket of water over them at this stage. The way they were going at it I was almost expecting an X-rated peep show in my mirror! Finally these dipshits got off the bus and left me to my peace and quiet.
When I started the next, and last, trip for the evening, I had an extra passenger than usual lined up to get on board. He asked me if I went to William Webb drive. I informed him that normally this service does, but as this was the last one it terminated early. He looked so worried that I offered to take him there anyway if Comms would allow it. Comms were fine with it so I drove him right to his street, pretty much. He was SO grateful! We had a good old yarn during the remainder of the trip after I dropped the other two passengers off. Turns out this lovely man was a gay aboriginal fellow from Queensland who worked in aboriginal men’s health in Canberra. He had gone out to tea and had wisely not driven as he had had a few drinks, instead opting to take the bus home. I was glad to ensure he got home safely as he told me he was rather scared of being out so late.
The next day I picked up a school boy who had been running for the bus and just making it on board the last few days. He sat up the front and chatted to me all the way home and I learned that he travelled an hour to and an hour home from school on a daily basis as his friends all went to the school he attended even though there were many schools much closer to him. He was really lovely and pretty much like most of the Canberra school kids; nice.
Then I did another trip later that day, readers, and this is where you might get a good giggle. I pulled up at the Westfield mall and as soon as I opened the doors a drunk aboriginal fellow got straight on the bus and asked “do you go to Florey?” “Here we f**ing go…” I thought to myself. I replied to him that I wasn’t sure and I would have to check. “I waz told you go theah” he slurred. I checked my run sheet and turns out that I did, indeed, go past the Florey shops, but the back of them not the front entrance. “Okay. You tell me when we get theah. I dunno where it is” he said. “okay, love, just sit in the front seat so I can see you so I don’t forget to drop you off in the right place”. Then a bus pulled out and he said “Zhay jus pull out infront of ya”… I told him it was fine and they were okay to do that. Old mate just basically didn’t shut up all the way to Florey. I was being very good and placating him and making sure he knew I would drop him off at his stop.
Anyway, dear readers, I got to his stop and said “ here you go, my love. Here is your stop. The shops are just up there”. “Shank you, driver” he said to me. I popped the door open and he got up and looked at the door, swayed around and looked at me. He glanced hazily back at the door then headed towards me with his arms out and his lips all puckered up. I freaked out with a look of terror on my face, and flung my hands up in front of me to fend him off. “Okay, mate, the door’s just there. Off you go” I said. He grabbed my hands and I turned him around and sent him on his way. After I shut the doors and left the stop, I called out to my passengers “I nearly got a kiss!” They all exploded in laughter at that one. Yep, readers, never a dull day!