Herd Of Buses.

Nashville’s buses, like the buses of most areas that have public transportation, are a pastiche of old and new, of different types and styles, including some hybrid buses, and that’s not a gratuitous use of the word “pastiche”. A gratuitous, or possibly just wildly incorrect use would be to say I love eating pastiches and remember that when I was a kid pastiches were always dyed red, but that’s another story.
Anyway the other day I got on a bus that was unusually nice, or that must have been nice when it first rolled off the line. It’s hard to tell when that was since city buses are rode hard and put up wet so they quickly wear down. The first thing I noticed were the seats which were not the usual plastic bucket type with only a thin coating of fabric but comfortable, tall, nicely designed seats covered with a thin coating of fabric. Over each seat was an individual light and air blower of the sort you find on airplanes and also Greyhound buses which made me think this bus was a stripped down airplane although a discontinued Greyhound bus and I was glad the Nashville MTA decided to adopt a Greyhound.
The windows also didn’t open but had a red lever that said “For emergencies only” which I’ve never seen on an airplane but have seen on Greyhound buses, and I remember a Greyhound bus driver once instructing passengers not to open the windows except in the case of an emergency, adding, “The last time someone opened one of the windows when he wasn’t supposed to he became the next emergency.”


The individual lights also seemed like a good idea. I usually only ride the bus in the dark in the winter when the days are shorter and I’ve noticed that the interior of the bus is usually brightly lit which seems like a bad idea because the glare reflects off the front window making it difficult for the driver to see.
By the time we got to my stop the bus was empty and its seedy luxury reminded me of how sometimes when it’s just me and the driver I like to pretend I’m riding in an extremely large but dilapidated private limo and the driver is new so he doesn’t really know where he’s going so I ask him to let me off on a major road close to my home rather than winding through the back ways, all part of the pastiche of thoughts that go through my head while riding the bus.

 

8 Comments

  1. mydangblog

    It’s like that with Via Rail too–every once in a while you get on a car that’s completely different. Shabby, but also much more comfortable than the others with plenty of leg room. These are the oldest cars on the line and they have little showcases in them with models of trains. Like you, I like to pretend that I’m the boss, and that the car attendant is my own butler. They don’t like it when I yell out “Come here, Jeeves!” though.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Better to be Jeeves than Wooster! It’s amazing though that the nicest train cars are the oldest ones. Back in the day I guess they had more of an eye for the riders’ comfort since back then the designers were more likely to be riders themselves. That’s one of the biggest problems with stuff these days: too much of it is designed by people who’ll never use it themselves.

      Reply
  2. Jay

    I really wonder who picks out the upholstery.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I once rode a bus that had little musical notes in the upholstery–Nashville being Music City–although it was also the same burgundy color. I figure it’s picked out by a committee of people who are specially selected for their complete lack of taste.

      Reply
  3. Ann Koplow

    Another delicious pastiche, Chris. Thank you for the ride.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Thank you for the wonderful pastiche of not just this comment but all that you bring.

      Reply
  4. Allison

    We were talking today about a colleague who uses elegantly and eloquently interchangeably and incorrectly. We should introduce him to pastiche.

    As for me, I need to get on the buses and ride. I also really want to do the hop on/hop off tour bus I keep seeing around town.

    I too wonder who picks the upholstery.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That hop on/hop off tour bus goes right by the building where I work and I see it several times a week, sometimes more than once in the same day. I always wave and it cracks me up that most of the tourists either don’t notice or just glare at me. I guess they’re not used to friendliness. Anyway one of these days I really want to ride it too. I think it would be a real hoot.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: