I stood on the platform, doing a fair impersonation of someone with absolutely no idea.
You wouldn’t think catching a bus would be too difficult. I’m told lots of people do it every day.
They know where they’re going. They have studied timetables. Possibly with the help of an academic.
I had made no such preparations. Foolishly, I decided it would be a simple task. Men don’t need timetables. Everyone knows that.
What I didn’t realise, was that a bus travels through my local busway about every four seconds. Each with a different number.
Of course, I had no idea what number I was looking for, to get me to my destination. There were no timetables on any of the walls. Staff members are no longer employed to help dumbos like me.
At this rate, I would not get to enjoy the cool drinks on offer a few suburbs away until around midnight. And that wasn’t an option.
I decided that the only thing I could do, was to stop one of the buses whizzing past me. Surely a kind driver would point me in the right direction.
It will come as no surprise to you, that I chose the wrong driver. This fellow was obviously at the end of a long shift. Or he was just a prize nark.
The fact that he had been delayed by a confused passenger annoyed him greatly. He told me this, loudly. Explained that he wasn’t going my way. Hadn’t I seen his number?
I advised that his number meant nothing to me. This enraged him further. By this time, bored passengers were uploading our colourful conversation onto YouTube.
He eventually sped off, leaving me alone again on the platform. About now, I was reflecting on what a great decision it was to decide against catching a cab.
Help finally came, in the form of a mother struggling with a pram and four small children. Her keen eye detected a big kid in strife.
She showed me the App on her phone, that came up with the timetable I’d been looking all over for. The elusive bus number, that was nowhere to be seen at the actual bus station, had been in her phone all along.
I thanked her, and waited for the 111. As it turned out, it got me close to my destination. But not quite there. This meant I walked up a large hill, cursing the bus system all the way.
When I made it to the pub, late and sweating, my friends managed to have a giggle at my misfortune. It was around then, as they made fun of me, that I noticed the purple bus.
It was driving past us every fifteen minutes. Like clockwork. And stopping just metres away. After all that, I didn’t need to know a number. Just a colour.
I’ve now established that the purple bus can get me to my second favourite hotel on any given day or night. And get me home.
For all I know, there may be a fleet of coloured buses criss-crossing the city right now. I don’t need to know where they’re going. I’ve found my bus. And I still don’t have a timetable. Just how men like it.