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The Problem With Public Transport Is The Public

, , , , , | Friendly | May 10, 2021

It’s a few days before lockdown in the UK, very early in the morning. Panic buying has cleaned a lot of the shelves during the day, so I have decided to try and get to the shop as early as possible to give myself a sporting chance of getting something to eat. So, instead of my usual Saturday lie-in, I’m out the door just after six, feeling very tired and grumpy.

There’s a couple already on the bus arguing away. After a bit, the man storms to the front and sits down, but they continue to argue loudly. I put up with it for a few minutes, but there is only so much I can take.

Me: “Will you please both be quiet?!”

Man: “It’s none of your business!”

Me: “You’re absolutely right, but I can hear everything you’re saying!”

They continue but a bit quieter. After a minute, the woman moves and sits down next to the man, and they argue even more.

The bus is running ahead of schedule, so it waits at one of the stops for a few minutes. By now, the volume has increased to the point that I shout:


The driver gets up.

Bus Driver: “I’ve had enough of the both of you. If you don’t shut up, you’ll be thrown off the bus.”

They do shut up at this. The woman mouths to me that she is sorry; the man just looks sullen. The journey continues, this time in blissful silence.

A stop or two later, they quietly leave, at least until the door closes. The argument resumes, but at least it is out of earshot. At my stop, I speak to the driver.

Me: “Thank you for getting them to shut up.”

Bus Driver: “Yeah, I was getting fed up with them, too.”

Me: “Can you imagine what it would be like if they were quarantined together? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, by the end of the year, I saw either one of their photos in the news about how they were serving life for murder!”

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