Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Memo from Angry Bus Rider: Shut the Hell Up!

Jonathan Dawkins, aged 36 and not happy about it, has written a memo that he will be giving to all the passengers who annoy him on the number 9 bus in Edmonton.

“It’s time that people wised the hell up,” explained Mr. Dawkins to the M.o.M. “It’s getting so that I can’t enjoy my Stephen King book anymore, what with the swearing, the blaring of iPods, the idiots yakking on about their boring lives, not to mention the north-side kids who are borderline feral and have sharp, yellow teeth.”

This morning, Mr. Dawkins presented his first memo to Mr. Ronaldsen, who is also known as Crusty, on account of how his ears are so crusted up with wax that he is unable to hear any words uttered below the level of a thunderous bellow.

Dear Crusty:

I know deep down you are OK and not out to hurt anyone. But you know what? When I’m reading It or Carrie, the last thing I need is you yakking on about Prime Minister Harper. Yeah, I get it. You don’t like him. You know what? I don’t like him either! If I had five minutes alone with him, the room would look like a goddam abattoir. However, unlike you, I don’t feel the need to yap on about politics over and over again.

I also don’t need to hear you yakking on about a) your groceries budget b) the Bush family c) a beautiful girl who talked to you in 1987.

It’s getting old, dear Crusty. It really is.

So my advice to you is, Shut the Hell Up!

After presenting this memo, Mr. Dawkins expertly scurried away through the crowd to the back of the bus. He watched at a distance as Crusty slowly opened the envelope. The aging warehouse labourer wore a slack, open-mouthed smile, clearly expecting some kind of present. He read the memo. Then he glanced up and squinted through his thick glasses. He was visibly shell shocked.

“Well, I guess the truth hurts,” said Mr. Dawkins to himself. “But somebody had to inform him he’s an asshole!”

Crusty immediately rang the bell and got off at the next stop. Mr. Dawkins had not expected that.

He presented his next memo to a 14 year-old girl who entered the bus on Whyte Avenue. Typically, her inane chatter with her friends about Justin Timberlake and shoes would enrage Mr. Dawkins within minutes – as would her incessant gum chewing. The latest memo had been crafted specifically for Annoying Girls just like her.

Dear Annoying Girl:

Look, I get it. You think you’re just emerging from a chrysalis like a butterfly and soon you’ll spread your dewy wings and flutter around, attracting admiring men everywhere. But, newsflash! You’re going to have all the charm of a broken sofa once you hit 40, so you better develop some conversational skills and learn something educational pretty quick, or else you’re going to be entirely useless to humanity. I mean a compete waste of skin. So meanwhile, in order to save the rest of us from your stunning idiocy, Shut the Hell Up!

The girl shot a glare at Mr. Dawkins, who characteristically glared right back.

“What’s your problem?” she said. “Are you a sad, lonely, loser?”

“Watch your lip,” said Mr. Dawkins. “When I was a boy, we learned manners.”

“You’re fat,” said the girl.

“I was not aware of that,” retorted Mr. Dawkins, trying to sound biting.

“Have your stupid letter back, loser.”

The girl crumpled the memo into a ball and threw it at Mr. Dawkins. It bounced off his large forehead.

“You’re a wanker,” said the girl, who was particularly proud of the new word that she had picked up last week.

“You have no tits,” Mr. Dawkins retaliated.

“Nobody likes you,” said the girl. “My friends and I call you the Creep.”

“Oh yeah?” said Mr. Dawkins. “Well… Me and my friends say your face was chewed by a dog.”

“But you don’t have any friends,” observed the girl.

Mr. Dawkins’ lower lip started to quiver. The bus had just crested Bellamy Hill. Even though his final destination was an obscure north-end office, Mr. Dawkins elected to exit immediately. He rang the bell.

“You can dish it out but you can’t take it, eh?” said the girl.

“Shut the Hell Up!” Mr. Dawkins thundered, his eyes starting to sting.

Just as he was climbing down the steps to the pavement, he heard the entire bus erupt into a cheer.

“You shut the hell up!” everyone roared.

As the bus accelerated away, Dawkins saw all the passengers waving at him joyfully, united in their glee to see him gone.