A Funny Thing Happened On The 100 Bus

28 January 2013
I've achieved very little in my long pointless life , but I can proudly state I was one of the very first followers of Newcastle twitter celebrity, The 100 Bus. It's a wild and crazy ride, both on road and off. The bus takes one from my old stomping ground of Charlestown, via the university and some of Newcastle's shall we say, less salubrious suburbs, and on into town. Meanwhile on twitter, the bus keeps us all entertained with insights on life, music and the perennial Newcastle twitter game, Who Is The Bus? (Except we know now. Or do we? I can't think about it without getting a headache).

Anyway, unlike most of the bus's coterie of fan girls, I actually catch the thing regularly, if slightly less often now thanks to my beloved bicycle Zorah. And...I've seen things, man. The 100 bus visits some, well, interesting areas and attracts some interesting passengers. Here are a few of the things I've witnessed on The 100 Bus:

  • Bus driver always looking slightly startled when I request a full fare ticket, as if amazed anyone with a full time job would actually catch it.

  • Upon being told he couldn't bring his long neck of beer of the bus, man who made us all wait whilst he drank the whole thing in one go at the bus stop (very glad I was getting off at the next stop).

  • Seeing eight people simultaneously take their cigarettes down from behind their ears in a beautifully coordinated ballet as we arrived at Jesmond.

  • More bogan baby names than you can shake a first response at. Of course I only hear these and am unenlightened as to spelling, but I am still confident there live in Newcastle children named Destinee, Dakoda, Maxin and Pippee.

  • Man reaching from behind putting his arm down the side of my seat and sliding his hand along my leg.

  • Woman who boarded, refused to pay fare as she was only going a few stops, and absolutely refused to move (can't say I was entirely devoid of sympathy).

  • A lot of smoking.

  • A lot of relationship abuse.

  • A lot of women young enough to be my daughters with their own prams.

  • Mullets a-gogo.

  • Not on the bus itself, but whilst waiting, was asked when the next bus was due. I asked which bus and he said he didn't know. I asked where he was going and he said it didn't matter.

  • Driver aggressively told by rat-tail wearing young man to wait at stop for several minutes for his rat tail wearing young friends.

  • Baby-wearing man carrying 4 50 litre storage bins.

    They're all part of the rich tapestry, I suppose (though I could have done without the groping). One day, eventually all these suburbs will be gentrified - maybe not Jesmond - and such adventures will be lost to history. In the meantime, I've to head off to town, and with the incessant rain making everyone a bit crazy, I'm sure I'll see some colourful folk today.

    1. One time on the 100 bus, I witnessed a conversation in which a middle-aged bogan type aggressively refused to believe that two Germans on the bus were not, in fact, French. It didn't matter how many times they told him. The conversation did not end until the bogan type called the two men gay (using surprisingly descriptive language) and exited the bus at Tighes Hill.

    2. That's why I'm just a fan-girl and not a passenger.

    3. It has been my experience too that bus drivers are really freaked out when purchasing full-fare adult ticket!

    4. Hey, that was me with the storage bins. When you find a good price it's worth travelling a bit further than the local Woolies.


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