Riding the bus is a unique term. When you ride any other vehicle you are usually the sole driver. In reference to a bus, you are not even the driver! The ‘bus rider’ in this case is simply a passenger. All though undoubtedly unique and a bit special, adult bus passengers are not individuals. Recently I have been ‘riding the bus’ as part of my commute to work. This is a temporary state whilst other options are on hold, along with my masculinity. You will be disappointed to know that riding a bus doesn't even call for any unique attire. What’s the point of a man getting on, or in, a vehicle if he can’t even accessorize? We can’t come up with Bus-braces or similar?!
Transportation options for men have always been varied. More than just classic cars, iconic men have long transported themselves through time on equally masculine vehicles. We are talking cowboys on horseback, escaping POW’s on motorbikes, Lycra clad lothario’s on road bikes, gentlemanly giants in hot air balloon, astronauts rocking rockets, salty sea-dogs in submarines and billions of bros on boards. How one chosen to get from A to B has always been a reflection of the man himself.
There are some known options that don’t quite cut the mustard sandwich for any Real Man™. You could look at your yacht, tandem bicycle, llama and even roller-blades. But in this instance, I am talking about the bus. Real men don’t catch the bus.
Most young males will first experience the bus during their schooling. This is fine. It can be a place of many youthful memories. The bus is often the place that the Birds & the Bee’s turn into the Vultures & the Wasps. A space where the opposite-sex is clumsily approached, in preparation for a time when the backseat will be traded for bar stools.
I once stopped a bus, and I did it with nothing but the power of mime.
Each day on the way home from school we would cluster our bikes at the top of the hill to chat, before heading our separate ways. We were always trying to one-up each other, and this particular day I decided I would do something none had tried before; mime. As a luxury coach (the type used to take your Nanna to the city once a month to see some TV host from 20 years ago perform in musical adaption of Cheers!) passed, I seized the moment.
Gracefully I mocked throwing an unwanted apple core at the Bus windshield, complete with the follow through of a Yankee’s outfielder. The driver reacted just like the flying fruit safety video advised, locking the brakes manically with all disregard for his, his passenger’s or any other vehicles general safety and desire to live. Not one to wait for the applause or admiration of my colleagues, I bolted; using everyone of the 12 speeds on my bike to get home.
The next day we were hauled before Assistant Principal Lovejoy (real name!) and scolded for practicing mime likely to cause injury in a public space. I felt bad, but then frustrated. Who is that stupid to react in such a way to mimed fruit? Bus drivers.In much the same way dentists are believed to be failed medical students, bus drivers are thought to be failed tank drivers. That, or ex-prisoners and just those with a dislike for their fellow man.
No man ever dreams of growing up to be a bus driver. It is something some people just end up doing , much like orienteering. No man really dreams of continuing to ride the bus during adulthood either. Look at any urban bus today and you will see it populated with majority females. On the shuttle bus I commute on, I am the only male. The bus must look like some weird cult group on our trip into town for supplies.
Most men found on a bus will be there by court or doctor’s order. Nobody chooses the bus. Even eco-greens will use all their solar powered savings to buy a Prius before ever riding the bus.
If like me, you’re currently catching a bus, you’ve got yourself Zone 1 all-day pass to an unmanly ultimatum. The good thing about the bus is they stop regularly, allowing you to get off and get on with more manly ways of commuting. Like a scooter.