Tag Archives: bus

I’m Sorry!

maple-leafAs a shallow person I’ve never been one to turn a blind eye to a cliche. Let’s face it. Trite sayings can be useful on all kinds of levels. Like when you’re walking down the hall at work and you inadvertently make eye contact with someone you tangentially know, and at the most inopportune time, perhaps when your mind is wrapped around whether to have soup or a sandwich for lunch, and the only thing you can come up with in the moment your paths cross is, “Hi, have a good day!” Well, that’s not so bad. I mean, who doesn’t want to “have a good day”? Certainly there’s nothing wrong with letting someone know you hope they do. And it’s miles ahead of trying to pull up something slightly more meaningful on the spur of the moment which, more than likely, will result in some sort of unintelligible garble spewing from your otherwise preoccupied mind, making neither you or them feel any better.  Isn’t it easier just to make someone smile and go away a tiny bit happier?

Or when someone at work comes into your office to tell you that the sky is pretty much falling and they simply don’t know what to do next and you try to come up with something, anything really that will make them feel slightly better and all that comes out is, “well keep calm and carry on.” You’re fully aware of the fact that the chances of that happening are about the same as finding a needle in a haystack but what are you supposed to say? Even if you are thinking there’s a pretty good chance that before too long your co-worker is going to be offered the opportunity to “be successful elsewhere” what good is it going to do either of you to say so? Think about it for a minute. Given the alternative, and the fact that just about anything else you say is likely to lead you into some very uncomfortable territory, perhaps the best advice for both parties at this juncture is to “stay calm”. But none of this explains why lately I’ve been thinking more about cliches than usual. Truth be told, I’ve actually been thinking about one cliche in particular, but if you can hold your horses for just another minute or two, I promise I’ll get to that.

So the other day I’m minding my own business while walking to work. More to the point, I was actually walking from the parking lot to work when I looked up and saw a bus and there, displayed across the top where the destination would normally be, was the following: “Sorry…not in service”. And that’s when it occurred to me. There’s been a lot of that sort of thing going on in Canada lately, and while I am painfully cognizant of our reputation for being apologetic, I don’t think it has ever been regaled quite as publicly as it has been over the last few months. And I know this because I watch TV and lately there seems to be a proliferation of advertising that exploits this apparent predisposition. In case you have missed it, let me fill you in.

There are the Americans who, for some unknown reason are being taught how to “pass” as Canadians. In order to do this it seems, one must bone up on their knowledge of beavers, have a love of VH sauce and, when push comes to shove, automatically declare you are “sorry” to someone who doesn’t allow you to share their food. Is this really all that it takes? And who says that Americans don’t like VH sauce?  Then there’s the “tire guy” who apologizes for changing the name of “all season” tires to “all weather” tires since, it would seem, that for many years we have been fooled into thinking that our winters and “theirs” are one in the same. Not only does he apologize for the name change, he also makes the ultimate apology and apologizes, on behalf of all Canadians I am to assume, for our propensity for apologizing. Come on people! What we should be sorry for is not having won a war that would have given us free and clear access to at least one southern clime.

But that’s not what the bus triggered for me. At the moment I realized that the bus was apologizing for being out of service, even though that’s not an entirely unreasonable state for a bus to be in, the first thing that popped into my mind, and I have to say I’m not sure why, was the well-worn and as we all know, terribly overused cliche “Love is never having to say you’re sorry”.  Heads up my northern friends. It seems this may not be the case for us Canadian folk.

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It’s a Guest Post!

As a shallow person I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know there are other people like me out there. Of course it warms my heart to realize there is a growing movement (two is greater than one) of shallow people in this world but more importantly, when that shallow person actually offers to write a guest blog post it means I’m off the hook for the week.  And what could be wrong with that?

Having accepted this post I suppose I should add the requisite disclaimers, as one does when one posts the opinions of others. Just so you know, the ideas expressed below are those of the author and while I sympathize with the sentiments expressed I take no responsibility for them. At any rate, shallow as they may be, there is way too much feeling here for it to have come from me.

So without further ado I give you Louisa’s (yes the same one that won the folk fest prize but the fact that she was the only one to enter that contest in no way influenced my decision to invite her to be my first guest blogger) take on “love on the bus”.

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Hark, gentle readers. It happened again. On the commute home last night, two twentysomethings boarded the train and took the only available seats: one next to me, the other across the aisle. For a few minutes they chatted quietly, which is fine, and then they kissed noisily, which is not. Now maybe I’m turning into a grumpy old lady before my time, but most likely my aggravation stems from my big fat shallow secret:

I am opposed to public transit displays of affection.

Buses and trains are designed to fit as many people as possible into as small a space as possible. We’re sardines. We’re in each other’s spaces and each other’s faces. The person sitting behind you on the bus is only a few inches away from that tongue you’re sticking in someone else’s mouth. And if the person sitting behind you is me then I will go batpoop crazy on your a…actually I’ll just sit there quietly fuming and feeling disgusted because I have manners.

One time there was a thirtysomething couple in front of me. After enduring a couple minutes of their sloppy session, I stood up in a huff and moved seats. I glanced back at the couple, and they had the decency to look embarrassed and stop making out. So there: passive aggressiveness works.

Most of the time, though, it’s youngsters. Madly infatuated youngsters. Kissing and slurping and groping and groaning and licking and panting youngsters. Maybe they think the world is going to end and the only way to save it is to lick someone’s tonsils in public. We grownups don’t understand these things but youngsters do and they’re saving us all, one giant snog at a time.

But hey, I’m crabby and shallow and ok with the fact that the world might end for lack of saliva shared in public. So hormonal bus riders of the world, take note: I don’t give a damn about your happiness. I don’t care about your crushes or puppy love or nascent sexuality or even your lifelong devotion to a beloved partner who saved your life at an army hospital in the Franco-Prussian War. Take. That. Mess. Home. Do it in your living room. Do it in your bedroom. Do in your parents’ bed for all I care, but don’t do it in front of me.

Oh, and while I’m at it, get your dog off my lawn.

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