Like many other Sydney Siders I have a tumultuous relationship with public transport. Residing so far north on the beaches, defenseless minor birds struggle to fly all the way to the city. Many days a week I am a defenseless minor bird battling with the big blue limousine that is the L90 bus. If I were incredibly efficient and cured myself of motion sickness, I would use the transit time to indulge in riveting Foucault essays or study the ancient civilisations of said minor birds. Instead I plug my earphones into the soothing rhythm of percussion genius Snoop Dog and people-watch.
Oh, what a show I am privy to!
I wonder whether jury selection would be easier and more cost effective if legal personnel utilised the diverse selection of humans riding public transport. I'm envisioning a lucky dip scenario resulting in an accurate if not slightly disturbing representation of our society.
We've got the highly-strung career gal claiming the disabled seat, verbally whipping her assistant/boyfriend (interchangeable term) over the phone. I am sure they can hear her ferocious hand gestures very nearly missing the lively bub in the pram. May the office gird their loins and pantaloons upon her arrival.
Her neighbours, the knitting squad from the local retirement village, question the morals of the younger generation. "My young Tabitha has a machine just like that. BRAINWASHING, I tell you,” they broadcast to the public sphere. Their collective one-day hall pass permits freedom of location and judgement. Thank god for the sassy twin cardi's keeping their opinions warm. Fingers crossed they make it home in time for a repeat screening of The Bold and Beautiful.
Nanna keeps one beady eye on her purse as the "young drongoes" stumble into the picture, tobacco love affair evident and procrastinating their way to the next job. They're the kind of guys that like to have a beer and a steak with the community. The ARY, (R-Y) or RSL is an old squeeze - it's practically a public service to visit the facilities and ride the courtesy bus home. Will these tradies impress the ladies? Stay tuned.
I've got a whole sitcom at my disposal on this bus. Deep and complex characters developing connections with their fellow cast members, flapping their wings in order to survive the unpredictable trails to the other side of the bridge. Perhaps it could be a documentary on the comparison of humans and minor birds travelling in swarms. Or maybe its only potential is a new 'Flapchat' app showcasing drunken fondles on the back seat.
Whatever the story, thank you L90 for being you.
You're authentic, entertaining, and an all-round go-getter. Whilst I've stopped eating Nanna's berries, I have no doubt your grimy floors and sticky windows breed enthusiastic disease. My OCD alcohol sanitising is a useless protection mechanism. But I know, L90, that when you get knocked down, you get STRAIGHT back up again.
Because you are not a bird, nor are you a plane.
You, my friend, are the L90.
By Claudia Neal-Shaw