16 January 2008


Missoula buses talk to us now. They're not reciting poetry or anything like that. (If we're so inclined, we need only look up, and there's plenty on the ceiling.)

Nope. Missoula's busses offer cheer:
Welcome, and Happy Holidays from the staff at Mountain Line.

They caution us:
Remain seated until bus comes to a complete stop.
Do not talk to the operator while bus is in motion.

And they tell us where we are:
Now approaching Russell and Wyoming.
Now approaching Missoula Library - Front and Adams.

Listening to this for 20 some minutes is incredibly annoying, I can't imagine what it's like for the drivers who hear it all day long.

This morning, I was on Route 1, and the bus I boarded was in an especially chatty mood. For every stop along the route, we were reminded twice of its approach. And then we started approaching Brooks and Sussex. A good 4 blocks out, my helpful bus made sure to tell us. Then, about 2 blocks out, it reminded us again. And then a block out, and then yet again, when we were caught at the traffic light at the corner of Brooks and Sussex, it told us twice more, "now approaching - Brooks and Sussex. (Maybe Zeno had a point.)

I asked the driver, "does it ever approach orgasm?"

He didn't skip a beat. "Only if you rub the seats."


Anonymous said...

Hhehee, your public transport services are so much more exciting than ours ;)

Teri C said...

LOL, I love a fast draw. LOL
Gorgeous picture!

Patia said...

That is so funny! Laughing ...

What are they trying to do, discourage people from using public transportation?

ValGalArt said...

hilarious! the illo is so beautiful, i love the blended sky!

Mick said...

I'd love to stay and chat all day ... but, I'm too busy rubbing my seat! :O

montag said...

I believe you have stumbled upon an efficient and economical way to run urban transportation systems.

Flirtatious busses and coy riders! Who would have thought of it?

dinahmow said...

Gotta love that driver!

Thomas Paine said...

Relevant to nothing perhaps, but this song just happened to be playing as I read your post so I thought I would share:

Goodby Old Missoula
By Willis Alan Ramsey
(performed by Jimmie Dale Gilmore)

Seaching for the sunlight
On this winter's day.
Here in old Missoula,
They locked the sun away.
Come tomorow morning
I'll head for the Bozeman round
And it's goodbye to old Missoula, sleepy town.
I met a girl named Rosie,
Sweet as she could be.
But I guess that Rosie
Didn't have eyes for me.
Time it waits for no-one
Lord, why did I hesitate?
And it's goodbye to old Missoula, a day too late.
Clouds that hang on the mountain
They make me lonesome inside.
And these four walls that surround me
They leave me no place to hide.
The show in this town is over
Or maybe it never began
And it's goodbye to old Missoula, I've done all I can.

Goodbye, Rosie - you'll never know
And time says my love will pass
But if I can remember your smiling face
That's all of time that I ask
The show in this town is over
Or maybe it never began
And it's goodbye to old Missoula, I've done all I can.
Goodbye to old Missoula,
Goodbye to old Missoula,
Goodbye to old Missoula, sleepy town.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Brilliant! The joys of living in Postmodernity.

Sharon said...

That was a funny story. I love the picture, the color is wonderful.

studio lolo said...

I think you've met your match in that bus driver! Too funny.
Would you please send me your mailing address? I have a selection of notecards for you with some of the birds you like.



Sandy said...

OOOO, I love your illo....it is beautiful! The colors are fabulous.

Your story is soooo funny. What would the old timers [not us...the real old-timers] think about talking buses?

I love what the driver said...LOL


Andrea said...

This is very subtle and lovely!

rundeep said...

Wait a minute! There are buses in Missoula? Sheesh. What's happening in the world when there's public transport in the West?

Lovely picture.

Sarah said...

Sounds suspiciously Douglas Adams to me - great comeback from the busdriver though! (Should I re-phrase that??)Funny and a beautiful illustration.

Brine Blank said...

Really like the pic to this...great colors...now let me go back and read the story...I only glanced a portion and saw something about a bus ride with a family of four to enjoy a nice picnic and squirrel feeding session...or something like that...

Forever Young said...

ha ha - you lucky- our bus drivers in london are booooorrrring, and half of them don't even speak english. poetry on the bus,whata brill idea.