MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

PT.... MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

I took two weeks holiday from the job I was doing at the time to concentrate on this strip. The trip to my job could take an hour on a good day but could take 3 hours if things didn't work out. Every one of these strips is based on a true story.

If you don't or have never travelled on Public Transport then this strip will mean absolutely nothing to you, so I wouldn't bother reading it. But if you have or do still use our wonderful public transport system, I'm sure these stories will be very familiar.

EPISODE 1

 THAT GUY AT THE BUS STOP #1

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #1

This guy got on the bus at the same stop every day. The bus was always running late so without exaggeration you could wait 40 minutes on a bad day. I caught the first bus of the day so you could safely say if you were at your stop by 6:10 you wouldn't miss that bus. When I started walking to the station to avoid catching the Ever-Reliable Bus Service I noticed that this guy was at the bus stop at 5:45. He just waited and waited and waited. He was a better man than I.

EPISODE 2

 THAT GUY AT THE BUS STOP #2

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #2

The second episode pokes a bit of fun at this guy, as I pondered why on earth he would want to leave home so early when he could spend an extra half hour in bed.

EPISODE 3

LUGGAGE BOY #1

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #3

Luggage Boy really existed. He also used the Ever-Reliable Bus Service. Luggage Boy never seemed to be in a hurry and I never found out where he went or what he did.

EPISODE 4

LUGGAGE BOY #2

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #4

The scene on the platform that day was something to see. I think luggage boy had lost something and was desperately trying to find it. What it was I have no idea. Maybe another drink container. I think one of the reasons I do comic strips like this is that I desperately wanted to tell someone about that scene. I just couldn't put it into words.

I no longer use the public transport system as I work from home. I did however see Luggage Boy recently and he has a push bike now. Still carrying all that luggage only now he has handle bars to balance it on.

EPISODE 5

READY STEADY GO

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT

I felt great stress from this journey that I had to take every day. So much so that I knew I had to find another job. But all the walking and running I had to do made it one of the fittest periods of my life.

EPISODE 6

PONDERING

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #6

I began to wonder how a company could be so consistently late. And why they had never done anything about it. This was my major thought process at the time. I have no idea if the bus is still late. The thought has crossed my mind that one day I should go to the bus stop and see if it's still going on.

EPISODE 7

STILL PONDERING

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #7

Someone had told me a story of a transport company they had worked for that had quite a social event each morning. The drivers talking over coffee before the started their days work. But at the end of the day they left immediately. No one had time to talk then. 

EPISODE 8

WALKING

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #8

When I started walking I really started to make better time. Without the Reliable Bus Service life was much easier. However when Winter arrived it was a toss up some days whether you could take the chance of walking. This meant I was back and dependent on the RBS.

EPISODE 9

TWO TRAINS

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #9

One day I was sitting on a tram traveling home from Northcote. I was seated behind two guys, one who was a visitor from Brisbane. I overheard him say to his friend "You have a fantastic Public Transport system down here". For a second I thought I should mention the comic strip I was working on. But it occurred to me, if you are a tourist, chances are the PT is going to take you where you want to go. I mean he certainly wasn't going to visit my place. That would have changed his opinion.

EPISODE 10

ESCALATOR ETIQUETTE #1

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #10

I guess when you're PT journey is a long slow frustrating affair you get a sense of urgency about getting to work on time. Thats why you become a walker and not a rider. If you are a rider this strip will mean nothing. But the walkers are forever aware of who's in their lane.

EPISODE 11

ESCALATOR ETIQUETTE #2

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #11

I always felt strongly about stupid bosses who couldn't understand the difficulty of getting to a job on time when you have to catch Public Transport. Most of them drove cars and had never used a bus or train in 30 years. Perhaps it would be good if they devised a training corse for these managers, where they could learn of the hazards related to travel in the public sector.

EPISODE 12

DON'T SPIT

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #12

I really like this section of Flinders Street Station. It really is like going back in time. There are people calling for it to be upgraded but to tamper with it too much would destroy it's great ambiance. The spitting sign obviously comes from a time when it was much more common for people to spit. As a youngster at school I was always baffled by the fact it was considered cool to spit. That still baffles me. But some people I know from that time still do it.

EPISODE 13

THE TRAIN NAZI

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #13

There are a lot of these people on PT that think it is their duty to organize everybody so they can fit on the train. Sometimes it is just not possible. I've witnessed people miss their stop because they have been herded into the middle of carriages that are too overcrowded. Watch these psychopaths, they are dangerous.

EPISODE 14

THE DREAM

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #14

I'm making a little fun of my own PT paranoia in this strip. I loved the idea that all the drivers got together to make sure I was late and they had back up from the escalator mechanic.

EPISODE 15

TORTOISE CHILDREN #1

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #15

 Traveling in a carriage full of school kids is really is an experience I never want to repeat again. Unfortunately I can't be sure of that. It's an experience that really makes you admire school teachers taking children on excursions. 

EPISODE 16

THE TORTOISE CHILDREN #2

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #16

Traveling home with the kids was something I could rarely avoid. If you stated out early to miss them, you inevitably would be leaving early and catching them. Some times I'd change trains at North Melbourne in order to get a peaceful trip home. The Hockey stick incident actually happened to me when 2 kids were wrestling each other for possession of the stick. Without a care in the world who was hit by it.

EPISODE 17

WEIRDOS #1

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #17

The next three strips in this series involve true encounters with strange people on the PT system. As a teenager in the seventies I had witnessed a woman try to jump from a moving train as it went over a bridge near Footscray. In those days you could open the door while the train was moving. It was an early warning of the types of situations you may need to be prepared for if you travel by train. The incident in episode 17 reminded me of the incident with the suicide girl. This guy however didn't jump but just stared eerily at the passengers. This stuff really is uncomfortable for everyone.

EPISODE 18

WEIRDOS #2

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #18

Crazy people who talk to themselves are really common on PT. It's best to avoid eye contact in these situations. 

EPISODE 19

WEIRDOS #3

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #19

It's a sad fact but true. A simple train ride can be a terrifying experience if you're on the wrong train in the wrong place.

EPISODE 20

TWO JOURNEYS

MY LIFE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT #20

Just like everything else you learn the rules of the game. People become seasoned users of the PT system. You learn where to place yourself and who to avoid. It all contributes to the fine art of being the passenger.

 

I did this strip with a certain newspaper in mind. However after emailing it to them I never received a reply and can only assume they didn't like it. So it remained unpublished. Perhaps it is a little cruel in places but it's all tongue in  cheek really. I never needed treatment after using the PT system. It was really just one big uncomfortable experience. And from what I hear it still is.

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