Monday 4 February 2008

Exiting a Bus

I'll probably go back and write about previous IPTPYA episodes, but here's a fresh one for today.

The procedure for exitting a bus is rather complicated (I'll write more about other experiences later). But today all the stupidity of Vancouver mustered itself into one lady in a spectacular manifestation of misfiring neurons. Today we got to ride an older bus. These buses don't have advanced door opening technology like a pushbar (which, if repeatededly and violently shaken will eventually trigger the door opening switch normally triggered by a single push), no, these buses have a large 30 point font in clear yellow on black letters on both doors at eye level that reads: "STEP DOWN ON TOP STEP TO OPEN DOORS".

Let's dissect that. STEP DOWN. As opposed to stepping up, or sideways, or backwards, or remaining immobile, clearly indicates a step in a downward direction is required. But required for what? ON TOP STEP. Ohh, now as a reasonable person, I interpret this to mean that I need to step onto a step, as opposed to standing in the aisle waiting for something to happen through telepathy. TO OPEN DOORS. Ahhhh, so all this only applies if I actually want to open the doors. So what I'm getting out of this is standing in place probably won't open the doors. I need to move my footsies somewhere.

So, the bus stops and the lady is standing in the aisle directly infront of the door. As a bonus, the big green light above the door turns on, indicating that the doors will open on command. And two big white lights also turn on, illuminating the 30 point yellow on black font. Or rather, would have illuminated them if it wasn't the middle of the day with a clear sky. She stands there, staring at the door for a second, then leans forward, skillfully avoiding losing her balance and grabs the door handle (which is actually a handrail after the doors swing open), and starts violently shaking it. Nothing happens. Now, this is actually an impressive gymnastic feat. There are two large downward steps between the aisle and the door, to lean forward and grab the door without losing balance and accidentally stepping on the TOP STEP would take a lot of skill. I doubt I could do it without practicing. Over time the shaking becomes more violent until it climaxes when the green light turns off and the bus starts moving. Then the yelling starts. "Bah Doos! BAH DOOS! BAH DOOS! BAH DOOS!". (Translated in to English, that's "Back Doors", I think.)

I'm surprised the driver could even hear her over the racket of the engine and the violent door shaking which upon climaxing showed no signs of relenting. The driver stops the bus.. the magic green light and two white lights go on.. again.. and the driver yells back "You have to step down on the top step".

Pause. Pause. Violent door shaking. Complete foot immobility. BAH DOOS! BAH DOOS! At long last the three chimes sound indicating that all the doors are about to open, and the driver manually opens them. She storms off the bus in a huff. The kicker is she had a monthly bus pass dangling from her neck validated for the past several months, she's clearly a regular customer of the transit system, but apparently not a regular customer of logical thought processes. I guess we should thank her ineptitude for holding all of us up for a good minute of entertainment.

So to recap, when your attempting to exit a bus, the aisle is an IPTPYA.


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