Saturday, May 18, 2013

Damn Straight

Sometimes I over-think things. A example is when I try too hard to understand what bus people are actually trying to say. One such case presented itself just the other day.

I was about to start a loop of the Oh North. I was spelling another driver while she took her lunch break. A teenage boy who was already aboard the bus approached me and asked me if this bus went "straight to" Fairview, which by the way, is a continuation high school. Many of the less-bright and less-socially-adjusted children go there.

His question presented me with a quandary: by "straight to", did he mean "closest to", or "most directly (i.e.: most quickly) to" Fairview. The Oh North has a stop on the Promenade at the intersection with Beast Avenue, where Fairview abides. From there it's a walk of a few hundred yards to the school. The Route C outbound has a stop on Beast Avenue right across from Fairview. According to the schedule, Oh North arrives at the aforementioned stop four minutes before the C arrives at Fairview. I say, "according to the schedule" because it is not always possible for us to run exactly on time, despite our best efforts. If you could bank on the buses being on schedule, you would have to consider whether it would be quicker and/or easier to get out sooner but further from your destination and hoof it the rest of the way, or wait for the later bus which would deposit you directly in front of your destination.

If you really wanted to split hairs, the C inbound (which, if you read the Glossary page, you'll recall starts life as the D outbound) actually stops on the same side of Beast Avenue as, and directly in front of, Fairview - saving you the trouble and danger of crossing a busy four-lane thoroughfare  However, the C inbound gets there considerably later than the C outbound, so that's not really an option for any one but the most lazy or mobility-impaired.

Now, anyone will agree that the O North goes "straight" up the Promenade to its stop near Fairview. To my mind, this is "straight to" Fairview. If an uninitiated person (like this boy appeared to be) were to take the C outbound hoping to soon find themselves at Fairview, they might become concerned by the very round-about path the C seems to be taking. Their concern may turn to alarm when it begins to look as though the driver is about to take them to the far edge of town, perhaps for nefarious purposes.

All this aside, I told the boy that my bus went to Promenade and Beast. You see, I presumed that he knew basically where Fairview was, since he seemed so interested in it. But you know what they say about presuming: that you make a "pres" out of  "u" and "me" (or something like that). Upon being presented with this information, he asked, "Where's that?" I looked at him for a moment before saying, "Near Fairview".
He then asked again if I would be going "straight there". By now I was fed up with trying to suss out his semantics and I told him that if he wanted to go to Fairview, he should go get on route C. He got off my bus, then turned and asked where C was. I pointed him in the right direction, then wiped away a silent tear for our future as a society.

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I work almost exclusively with people who have a college education, and although they may have plenty of that thar book larnin', there are still a bunch of them that don't have the good sense that God gave hamsters.