Enter winter, truly the season of my discontent. Winter means many things and in my books at least, most of them negative. Oh I can handle the cold, even the snow and ice and the short-ass days when it's constantly dark (going to work and coming back from...). But the worse that winter has to offer those of the riding persuasion, is no riding and worse yet, the bus.
Yes, the bus... or as I invariably refer to it: "The Loser Cruiser". It would be hard for me to be precise as to which aspect of busing I loathe the most. Surely, being at the mercy of it's timetable would rank way up on the list. And again, it would likely depend on which direction I was going. If I were to be perfectly honest and not inclined to dramatics, I would have to admit that the morning trip in is in fact not that terrible. Let's face it, when the weather is really crappy, snowing, blowing, freezing weather... I'm actually pretty stoked to see the dim outline of it's lights in the distance, as it trundles along Innes. I am fairly near the start of the inbound run and as such there is always a seat available for my carcass when I get on.
Normally, 1 bus is all I need take to get me from home to my place of work. I have a brief walk from where I get off the bus to my particular office space. It's very convenient, really. On the way home, well that's another story. If I happen to finish early (1615hrs), I will have to wait with uncounted multitudes as we watch bus after bus, crammed impossibly full with commuters coming from God only knows where, sail by our stop...the drivers not even so much as touching the brake pedal, so as not to give us even the slightest illusion of false hope. With all the Gods smiling on me in unison, I may finally get to board a bus 45 to 50 minutes after having began my vigil. But at least it's my bus and I won't have to transfer between here and home.
By this time, any notion of boarding a bus AND finding a seat is not to be entertained, unless you really enjoy torturing yourself. On a good day, I might get a seat five blocks before I finally disembark. Score!
True, I could attempt to sardine myself onto any particular express bus headed out to Place d'Orleans and from there take a secondary bus. When I work the late shift, I have absolutely no choice but to do this. This means facing the one scenario which renders busing the absolute Hell that I normally associate it with. The Transfer...
There is only one bus other than 94, which can get me home. Sad, when you think of the scads of buses which go tearing by my house... But no, there are only 2. The second one is the 135. Or as I normally refer to it: "That mother-------, p.o.s, ----sucking 135!!" I hate this bus. I loathe it. I despise it with the same fervor I would normally reserve only for French Nationalist Quebecers, who are the sworn enemies of my country and who should be put to the sword indiscriminately, every one of them. (I am military...my allegiance is to my country...they seek the destruction of my country...Try to keep up here...). Okay, I can hear you asking why I would dislike this one particular bus with such a white-hot intensity. Having to Transfer to this one bus inevitably extends my commute home by at least another 40 minutes. Normally more than an hour longer. Powerless to avoid such a wait, I normally manage to escalate my discontent into a murderous rage.
Rumour would have you believe that there are 2 buses which serve the 135 route at any given time. The times listed at the Place d'Orleans station are obviously figments of someone's imagination and clearly have never been shared with any of the drivers who pilot that bus. My own take on this would be as follows: Each 135 bus is hancrafted by twenty or so 10-year-olds with Downs Syndrome before being put into service. This accounts for the inordinate wait time when you happen to disembark from a 95 Orleans bus. Once it is finally put into service it meanders lazily through the southern subdivisions until it reaches the boundary of Trim Road, before meandering back to rejoin 10th line and then proceed southwards towards Innes, a street it could have reached some 15-20 minutes ago had it only continued uphill along 10th Line in the first place. After finally turning onto Innes and passing my stop, I am fully convinced that it bimbles along eastwards, possibly cruising out to Rockland and maybe even Hawkesbury (I hear some have been sighted in Pointe Claire on Montreal's West Island...), before it decides to consider heading back to Place d'Orleans, where other hapless commuters are tearing their hair out by the roots, cursing this bus with their every breath, as they wait to finish their seemingly interminable commute home.
In many of my fondest dreams, I see the 135 come wheeling into the shelter at Place d'Orleans, the driver smiling broadly, waving as he manoevres the bus alongside. Me smiling broadly as well, as I heft an RPG-7 onto my shoulder, take aim and send this petulant, cantankerous piece of crap to Bus Hell... Oh yes, and I have multiple reloads too... which I will gladly expend before cheerfully deciding to walk the rest of the way home. *Sigh!*
I truly don't like the bus some days...