Comment by Alex Bysouth
We’ve all been there, waiting patiently for a bus that was supposed to arrive 15 minutes ago, only for three to turn up at the same time.
That’s fine, three or four buses an hour has to be classed as a pretty good service, but three or four buses in a minute proves a massive pitfall in the system and a huge inconvenience in your commute to work.
Understandably the buses are on a loop, taking the same route day in and day out and there will be cars nose to tail crawling through Manchester city centre at rush hour.
You could be lucky and rock up to the bus stop just in time, or, as so often happens, you could see your bus in the distance, start waving frantically with bags in either hand as you attempt to catch the driver’s attention, jogging towards the bus, only for him to close the door with a smirk as you are about to step aboard.
In fact it is not always the waiting or attempting to sprint for the bus that is the problem, sometimes it is once you have settled in to your journey that the problems really begin; particularly when you come across the over-sharing space invaders who ignorantly plonk themselves next to you.
These over-sharers enjoy letting everyone travelling on the bus know exactly what is going on in their life, what they had for dinner last night, who their boyfriend has been sexting behind their back and why the world owes them a favour.
The worst over-sharing culprits are the ones who then try to involve you in a discussion about their tragic insecurities – no I have never had a spouse on Jeremy Kyle, or composed a text message completely of acronyms and even if I had frequented the GUM clinic I am not about to openly admit that to a stranger.
And as for space invaders, well they are aptly named for their uncanny ability to uncomfortably encroach into your personal space, arms flailing, legs spread unnecessarily wide, breathing heavier than Darth Vader with a bout of man flu, and leaning over your shoulder gawping at your copy of the Metro.
You would assume they are aware of the fact they are taking up one and a half spaces on the bus, especially as you were forcibly squeezed into the corner of your seat to make way for their overbearing presence.
But no, blissfully unaware they attempt to natter with you – often positioning themselves almost nose to nose leaving you no choice but to inhale a waft of greasy kebab, lingering between their teeth from last night’s dinner – hovering anxiously for you to flick through the Metro sport section, which IS free and IS available at the front of the bus.
And then you get the full package, the over-sharing space invaders.
These inconsiderate commuters put their elbows up to position their mobile phone to their ear – if they have, for once, taken it off loud speaker – effectively pinning your face against the window, taking up a majority of your seat, resting one hand on your leg and panting down your neck.
At this point – having run for the bus, been offered the chance to write a complete stranger’s autobiography and shared bodily odour with them – you’re left wishing you’d bitten the bullet and walked to work.
But then the question is, when would you read the Metro?
Picture courtesy of Jovike via Flickr, with thanks