19 December 2006

Stop, wait, go

I read a quote by Momus the other day about public disobedience and self expression. Something along the lines of "its okay to walk around naked in Berlin so long as you stop at the red man." I Was at the bus terminus near my place the other day, waiting for a special express bus to the city. Lets call it the 666. The said bus has a moving LED display above the windscreen that says alternately "666 to Circular Quay/ Pre Pay Only" and a giant triangular yellow sign on the front that says "No tickets sold on this bus". It runs about every 10 minutes in the summer and tends to sit on the curbside at the terminus for up to 10 minutes, before drawing up to the actual stop so it starts the journey on time.

I rocked up to the stop while the bus was sitting there, flashing silently, bus driver calmly waiting behind tinted glass. Two other men were at the stop. After about five minutes standing man has answered the mobile while looking at the front of lurking bus and made arrangements to meet them at Circular Quay. Then standing man asks sitting man "Do you know when is the bus leaving?". "Sitting man says "they go about every 10 minutes, did you know its pre-pay only?". He actually volunteered this extra information, unlike many residents of the Emerald city, who it would not have occurred to do so, as this was an Aussie-speaking dude. The reply: "Oh, really, no [mild panic, adopts righteous tone] and how would someone who's just a visitor to the city get a ticket?" Answer from both of us in unison "just there at the Newsagency."

In clear line of sight from the stop there is also a sign that says "Tickets for 666 sold at Newsagency, not 10 metres from where you are standing, pillock." Lesson for this week: Never assume someone will read something just because you put it in front of them in 100 point lettering on a yellow background.

2 comments:

Betty Sue said...

Ha! Reminds me of my form-processing apparatchik days, when I spent half my time calling people to tell them they hadn't signed their form, right there, on the last page, where it said at the top of the page in 16 point font 'this form cannot be processed without the applicant's signature'

Waste in government departments is sometimes not the government's fault.

meririsa said...

Arrived at airport to find that you need to pre-check in yourself these days and arrive at checkout only to deposit baggage. Asked how we were supposed to know that, and lady pointed at these massive signs hanging from the ceiling about 5 metres above out heads! As if we'd look there with 5 bags, a pram and a baby to manoevre about!!