Once upon a time there was a train
where people could breath and eat with knives and
forks like human beings and we didn’t have the
urge to kill the fat guy on the seat next to us.
In those days we didn’t have to behave
like farm animals being transported they
know not where, making the sort of sounds
you hear coming from a barn over-packed with
goats, chickens and cows.. And the grunts of pigs
and the squeals when a foot or a tail was yanked
on stepped upon.
No. Those were the days of dignified travel.
When we had room. When there was a certain grace
to the dining car. When passengers could breathe
and have a few thoughts along the way.
A person might even feel a frisson of
romance when he heard the lonesome
whistle of the train he was riding on. Bashing through
the deep snows in the winter, watching the pine
forest up close to the windows, passing by.
The trip was fun and alive, and tourists liked
Northerners no longer can travel like
normal people. We must skulk
like addicts in small little groups
in the wee small darkest hours past midnight –
to nab a bus which is not packed with people,
a means of travel where we can breathe
A lot of northerners do a lot
of wood chopping. This makes our
shoulders larger than the shoulders
of many southerners.
As a result you cannot place two
males next to each other in two narrow
seats and expect to achieve any kind
Someone measured my shoulders the
other night (a sordid story I’ll tell you
another time). I am close to three feet across
at the shoulders if I breath in, which I hope
to do when I’m travelling…And I’m not
considered a huge northerner, just a tad ungainly
in that I resemble a gorilla when
So you put me next to
another 240 pound beast from
the Great White North – say Swastika,
Ontario, or Iroquois Falls… well, we get to
hate each other in thirty minutes.
There simply is not room in bus
transportation to seat two bushmen
Luckily, people such as we are
tend to bring libation with us – and
so even though there is no room
to sit down – there is space to lie
down in the aisle – or you could throw open
the luggage storage shelf above
and lie down there…
But I have found this makes
the ladies nervous – taking bets
on exactly when the behemoth will
fall and break their mothers’
corning ware all at once and ***
once and for all.
Northern women chop wood, too.
And such ladies are quite capable
of knocking a southern liberal out,
if he falls into her lap at an
Nope. If the BUS is full
we’re like BEES in a BOTTLE.
I’d like to know which dingbat
made the decision to remove
trains from the north: the person
who pulled a fast one and turned
northern transportation into a
The woman ahead of me
in the bus was making a bit of a
speech to her fellow travellers.
And of course I could hear it
because I was crammed and
seated in such a way that my nose
was about six inches behind her
She said: “They did it to
punish the north! For not voting
All the people up front were
talking to her, too, and murmuring agreement.
“Whoever did it we owe
him one. We’ll wait…!”she called out rather
too loudly for what they call ‘polite society’…
but that didn’t matter.
We were no longer in polite
society. The bus was stuffed like the
Christmas turkey! I was wondering what
the scene reminded me of… and then I knew.
It reminded me of a bus in a third-world
In Jamaica, when I was a kid, buses
used to bop along from stop to stop,
careening around blind corners with the
horns blaring. But those buses were fun,
even if you were on the verge of getting killed
every second. Because… you were allowed
to smoke and drink alcohol, stick
your head out the window and shout to people
in the street. You were even allowed to bring
chickens or a goat on board.
Also, it was warm, so that helped, too,
if the bus broke down… or if seven or eight of
us had to get out and push the bus the last
hundred feet up a hill. That wasn’t so bad
because of the sunny climate.
In Canada, of course, you’d freeze off some
body parts if you attempted this
The woman up front was shouting
again. It was impossible to ignore her.
“Yes, we’re going to wait!”
The other passengers were cheering.
I didn’t hear the whole speech
because the guy to the right of me
was breathing garlic into my nostrils.
However he passed me half a mickey of rye
and said, “Go ahead. Finish it!” And I
did… in two large gulps. So the garlic
no longer mattered to me.
The woman was standing now.
I couldn’t really move my head, so I
had to look right at her ass. Her
butt was big, made her look like the ass
of a mule in blue jeans.
But we all have our little problems
so I’m not one to judge.
“Oh, yes, wait we will!” She
was waving her fist in the air. We’ll
vote the bastards out! We’ll get
payback! We’ll count the days!”
There was more cheering,
but I didn’t listen any more.
My mind had moved on
to other things.