Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OC Eating II

One of my first memories of OC Transpo was from the late 80s. Back then, you were not allowed to eat on the bus. It was forbidden. The sign at the front of the pink-and-white buses said as much. One of the passengers that night not only brought a pizza on board, he was eating it right from the box, in direct defiance of the "no food" icon. He left the (hopefully) empty pizza box on the seat when he disembarked, and that's the moment when 4-year old me made the connection: eating on buses is not allowed because then buses get messy.

The bus in question is not unlike this one, only with more pizza boxes
Since then, the food ban has been lifted, probably since people tended to ignore it. More common than pizza boxes are crumbs on the seat, raisins on the floor (and yes, they do stick to your shoe), wrappers of all types tumbling from stem to stern, and half bags of chips and pretzels and Fuzzy Peaches that have fallen from the clutches of small hands. These, along with the coffee spills and ketchup stains that greet you throughout the daily commute are the marks of poor bus eaters.

Despite being gross to deal with, these are the best-case kinds of messes. Most of the time, sweeping away crackers or half eaten bagels and avoiding seats with smears of (what I hope is) ketchup or cream cheese is usually pretty simple. It's the food-related messes that you don't see that are cause for alarm.

One time, I witnessed a man eating from a large bag of chips while standing on the 95. They must have been so delicious that, after a couple of handfuls, he would lick his hand of the simulated ketchup flavour.  As the bus braked sharply, he took his sticky, saliva-loaded hand and grabbed the pole for support! Once the bus was fully stopped, he took that same hand and fished out another handful of chips from his bag. This cycle (hand licking included) repeated until he disembarked, leaving me — and I'm sure anyone else that was hypnotized by his egregious display — thoroughly disgusted. If I were the Adrian Monk-type, I would definitely go and disinfect that pole, or flat out replace it, but instead I just made sure not to touch it. Doesn't do much for the next guy, though...

Gum is terribly disgusting, but at least you can see it

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben,

    My name is Sannah and I'm with CBC Ottawa. We're interested in talking to you today... can you give me a call at 288-6907?