Missing My Bus

Posted: May 10, 2011 in One More For Love, The World Needs More Canada

I know buses. I could name loads. But I have favourites! Buses I can sit on. In my seat. Buses that know me well enough to insult me, but don’t! Serfs that have become brethren! Americans that have become British! They know their place. There’s the 22. Or the 23! Buses that only the tallest woman in history could comprehend. Buses that hath beeneth bestowedeth uponeth them a secondeth deck.

But there is one bus. One faithful bus. A bus for the people. For the children. An elegant mechanical mule. A bus that stirs the pride inside us all. Feel free to sing something in a high-pitched voice. That bus. That august and venerable stallion, is the 295.

And… the 294.

Two buses. One route. Confusing, but we’re old friends. War buddies, reminiscing about that time I got off by the shops, or that time I missed my stop. Classic. Sepia. Like that shop up Modbury.

Sometimes a friendship has something special. Husband and wife. Dog and Dogl. Me and the 294/295. We’ll be together til’ death do us part.


I yesterday returned from Saskatchewan, and may or may not have slept in. Until 5pm…! It’s horrible! And now I’m too late to buy food from Stourbridge. I decide to go to the Mezzer, and head to the bus stop. I’m 7-Elevensick, but when I think of my good friend, somehow I know it’ll all be alright. I reach the bus stop, and smile. For I see a timetable, and the number 295.

I’m home.

I wait. For a while. For quite a while. Before I re-check the timetable. And spot something strange. Something confusing.

Two teenage girls arrive. With swaggers. (Which is not a nickname for Simon Platt, as far as I know.) They have complete confidence in their bus abilities – or ‘busilities’ – and I suddenly feel very bus-confusion-conscious. My face is a little too close to the timetable because of the tiny writing, and I look like the kind of man that licks buses and pictures of buses.

I awkwardly jingle the coins in my pocket, and hope that they can hear that I have the correct change and know exactly what I’m doing.

I look up.

They’re tittering, and looking at me like I’m a human cat. They probably think I’m a tramp! A nutter! But I think of my wheel-y pal, and smile; for they will soon eat their lack of words! They have no idea of my blood-bus on its’ vindicating way!

I need not mention my tea.

They begin to strut about, boasting about having just 10 minutes to get to Stourbridge. Those rats! Trying to make me jealous! Rubbing my face in their plans! I hate it when people rub my face.

Suddenly my face is rubbed by the abrupt blast of a wistfully hazy grey beam. A beam I know. I love. My bus has turned into the road! I scan its’ beautiful chasse; its’ lovely face. Those numbers. Those seminal numbers! 2…7 6…!?!?

I stand chapfallen as the impostor moves slowly towards me. The 294/5! They’ve been killed! I take a second to process the grief, but the abomination is approaching with haste. A new bus. To which I am un-betrothed! There are children on board in tears, and parents with heads buried in shopping bags like bourgeois emus.

The bus pulls up in front of me. Shall I really ride this fiend? I must decide without more ado. Two Girls confidently stride aboard exuding their unpalatable haughtiness, and I am overcome by a deep unease as I 6th sense-ily plumb their dark connection to this foul creature wearing the brazen look of a stepmom trying to extinguish her predecessor; or the laughing face of that cousin from Joey while he wees all over Central Perk screaming “How d’you like me now???” I don’t like you very much at all! You…! You…


I stab the air to my right.

The driver is looking at me blankly.

I am standing at a bus stop. On a road with nothing but a bus stop. I’m clearly waiting for him, but here I stand! Staring! Motionless! Paralysed by the rage within. I will not bow to this homicidal swine! A flow of vitriol filters to my tongue, and my ears moisturise in anticipation of the imminent abusive language. My eyes lock onto the driver’s. My temple twinges. I redden. I am a tube of tomato puree. I burst.

“I’ll leave it, thanks.”

The driver looks at me in lethargic confusion as I step away from the bus stop with integrity and into some leaves hiding some dog poo. He bemusedly shuts the doors and drives away, as Two Girls laugh at me in the window.

I watch as they drive away, unchallenged.

And it hits me.

They’ve changed the bus route!

I study the timetable again. And the route. The route that now means the same bus will come back here in fifteen minutes before going to Stourbridge.

I walk to the bus stop on the other side of the road. And wait.

And grieve.


Fifteen minutes later it returns, and I have made peace with my widower status. The driver sees me, pulls up, and smiles. With the look of a wiser, respectful 2nd wife.

“Daysaver, please.”

He says nothing, and lets me board with dignity. I see Two Girls, who see me and really obviously try to pretend they haven’t. They just had a completely pointless journey, and are now very late. I deliberately stare at them until I catch their eyes.

They go very red.

I smile. And sit down.

And lick the window.



Man Plays Chicken With A Bus. With Unexpected Consequences…


  1. Rob says:

    Chapfallen. Excellent.

  2. Simon Platt says:

    Quite excited to see you name check someone with exactly the same name as myself. What are the odds?!

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