Saturday, October 10, 2009

We Can't Stop Here, This is Today's Country

It's been an eventful few days for me. I came down with what felt like everything at once Thursday morning, so I haven't quite been at the top of my game since despite sleeping entire days away and attempting to drink all of the juice in the universe. And then everything went white on Friday, as if the weather went "haha wait this is Winnipeg and it's almost Thanksgiving" and decided it had some catching up to do. But particularly interesting was my bus ride home from work on Wednesday afternoon, and if you don't mind I'd like to tell you a bit about it right now.

I caught a 16 along Main Street after work that day and sat along the driver's side, riding the route as it carried me along Graham and down Memorial to Osborne. As it was travelling through the Village, I saw the bus reflected in the windows and finally noticed the gigantic advertisement I was sitting above -- a banner for QX 104, one of the local country stations, that has a shirtless cowboy celebrating in a field for no immediately obvious reason.

"Ha ha, ouch," I vividly remember thinking to myself, being no fan of the station's playlist at all. (Any 'country' play on the radio these days is just shitty pop music with steel guitars. Let's not kid ourselves here.) "If I'd known it was the QX 104 bus, I wouldn't have taken it." I do tend to exaggerate wildly in my thought processes, which I'm sure comes as a surprise to no one reading this, but you gleam the sentiment.

So the bus continues down Osborne, and as it's heading south under the bridge I hear this ominous -- and very close -- clunking noise. I pop out my headphones, look around to see if anything looks amiss, and--

--what the hell the banner is falling off the bus. Guys, the banner is falling off the--


By this point everybody around had noticed what was going on, including the bus driver and including the poor motorists who happened to be driving near it at the time -- so there we all are, on Osborne during rush hour, with half a banner hanging off the bus and flapping around into neighbouring traffic. A recipe for disaster? Not so! On any other street, the driver might have been forced to stop along the curb and disrupt traffic by running directly into it to corral the signage's bid for freedom; on Osborne, however, he had the good fortune of being able to pull right into the main transit depot.

Pictured above.

This is Ron; everybody say hi to Ron. Ron is one of the maintenance workers at the Winnipeg Transit bus depot, and he had this very serious problem fixed in less than a minute. He just walked up to the side of the bus, ripped one half of the sign clean off, ripped the other half of the sign off for the sake of balance, and then gave the driver a big thumbs-up.

Well met, Ron! Great guy.

So the day was saved, the bus rolled a long circuitous route back out onto Osborne, and the driver thanked us all for our patience. "THIS CONCLUDES THE TOUR!" he also yelled, because a man may as well have fun with his job once in a while.

That's... pretty much the whole story, yeah, but I did think it was kind of funny. Curtis Brown has a three-part interview with the frontrunner candidate to become the next Premier of Manitoba, and I write about signs that fall off of buses. I'm not very bright, but I work well within my limitations!


Anonymous said...

I enjoy your writing about signs that fall off buses. While I like Curtis, 4:00 on a workday, I'd rather see screenshots from the Freep's website with old school speech bubbles on them.

James Howard said...

Thanks, mystery guest! I do what I can.