Anger and paranoia: A public transit story

By Klax Zlubzecon

Translated by George Hyde

I laugh at your methods of transportation.

We have great warships that travel at light-speed, and what do you humans have? A clunky, large, gas-guzzling box that, more often than not, doesn’t have the guts to move at anything faster than thirty miles an hour.

If I had a form of alien transit, I could make it downtown in a nanosecond. But no. Me and my host have to prepare an hour in advance before the bus shows up, wait at the bus stop, wait about a half hour for the bus to arrive, and finally, we depart and slowly walk — or shamble, as is often the case with George — to our destination.

Call me spoiled, but that’s inefficient! And we do it with solar power! You guys still rely on fossil fuels. We abandoned that eons ago.

It’s something that aggravates me every time I hop on the bus with George, but to him, it’s not even the scariest part.

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Let’s tell another story.

George — and I, hidden seamlessly in a comfy winter hat – hopped on the bus after a long day at class, intending to pre-order “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D,” a remake of a pretentiously depressing adventure, now presented in 3-D for some reason. George forgot his headphones, so that meant that instead of blissfully jamming away to the sultry tones of Stevie Wonder, we got to listen to that most interesting of dialect: the bus conversation.

First off was a woman sitting right next to us, talking to nobody. Well, it seemed that way, at least; she was wearing a headband, so it might have been a phone call with a hidden earpiece. But it wasn’t her look that concerned us. It was the fact that she was talking about fighting the demons of city hall with the sheer power of vigilante justice.

I’m not inventing that, by the way. That’s what she was actually saying.

It was at that point that we scooted a few inches away, with George moving his bags as far from the woman as he could. There was a real twinkle of fear in his mind, but I found this conversation to be truly fascinating. Who were these demons? Why did they deserve to be fought? They might be repulsive, but they got George and me a free bus pass for being a student, so they can’t be all bad.

And what kind of vigilante justice are we talking? We’ve had to deal with our fair share of intergalactic rebels, and they aren’t that hard to deal with. I’d love to see this woman up against the fleet. If only they were here…

Anyway, we shifted our focus to a young man a few rows down. There was a reasonably attractive girl sitting next to him, and he was obviously trying to impress her. The problem was that he was using poor, inaccurate semantics about journalism to do so.

“Journalism is dead,” he says, hoping to score. “Anyone can be a journalist nowadays. Those hacks at the newspapers don’t know what they’re doing.”

The girl laughs in agreement. George’s paranoia has turned into blind rage. He’s breathing through his teeth. Just as he begins to roll up his sleeves, though, I sit him back down and force him to keep his mouth shut. This jerk isn’t worth it.

I can estimate about 97 reasons that George got angry at this punk, chief among them being: A) he’s single, B) he’s frustrated at being single, C) he’s getting a degree in journalism, which happens to be something of a passion of his, D) he (and I) work at a newspaper, and E) we don’t like our medium getting dissed.

I agree that newspapers are growing outdated, but the best ones are expanding their online presence. The Guardian and The New York Times still remain two of the best sources of news online, and The Northern Light — well, we still have some work to do in the online space, but we’re getting there! Just you wait!

I was just as eager to pummel this kid into the ninth underworld as George was, but the reason I sat him back down was that another man was giving us a psychopathic, Norman Bates stare. Thankfully, though, when we looked away from him we were downtown, so we got off and ran as far as we could to do whatever we were doing.

Moral of the story … uh … ride the bus more. It’s free for students and faculty, so why not. At the very least, it’s an entertaining ride.