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Bee Whispering for Dummies

Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

For a bee attack on the bus, use the following protocol…

There was a bee on my bus this week. It was one of those moments when you have a choice.
Pretend that there’s not a bee on the bus. Ignore it at all costs. Don’t acknowledge it’s there and maybe it’ll go away.
This is the patented City Response; works for the Emo kids congregating by any and all Starbucks, the scary bums outside the McDonalds, and all forms of winged stinging insects.
Or, see The Problem. Acknowledge The Problem. Find solution to The Problem.
Needless to say, I went for Option A. This duly resulted in the bee making a beeline (sorry, no self-control) straight for me, which duly resulted in me trying to ignore it, which duly resulted in it flying straight into the head of the lady in front of me.
She turned around and gave me the absolute filthiest Look.
From this I gathered I was supposed to charm the thing into the palm of my hand and put it to sleep.
Happily, it all worked out in the end because Scary Lady and The Bee got off together two stops later, but it got me thinking- wild animal attacks, very intimidating patrons- what can one expect from their public transport travels these days?
Statistics show that there has been an increase in public transport patronage in the last decade, with a $300 million public transport bus system placed in the North Shore, Auckland. It is fully operational, introduced to cope with increasing commuters to Auckland.
In February 2008 the government announced $2.5 billion dollars to be dedicated to public transport over the next two years for the country.
So it follows that, all bee whispering aside, there needs to be a few guidelines that people need to know before embarking on this mode of transportation. Out of the goodness of my heart, and because writer’s block set in today and I can’t pull anything else out of my head, here you go:
Before alighting your Public Driving Article (PDA), you will have done one of two things:
1) Arrived ten minutes before your departure time, and stood waiting anxiously for it to arrive. Twenty minutes later.
2) Arrived thirty seconds before your departure time, having previously been anxiously waiting at light crossings/ locking and alarming your private driving article/ hmming impatiently at the person in front of you at the ATM because you forgot to get change yesterday.
When alighting your PDA your driver/ conductor will:
A) Be cheerful, friendly, charge you correctly and ask you politely to have a nice day.*
B) Not speak. At all.
C) Not speak your language. Jedi or Klingon always an option.
D) Overcharge you and then proceed to tell you it’s your fault.
E) Not let you on the PDA, a la “I only do avenues and lanes, luv.”
The PDA driver will:
A) Calmly, considerately, follow speed limits and not imitate a rabbit hopping in any form of manner whatsoever.
B) Attempt to break the land speed records, forgoing all pedestrians, traffic lights, and common road usage laws.
C) Inexplicably stop, for long periods of time, while fellow passengers eye each other nervously.
Your fellow passengers will:
A) Respect any and all personal space, and generally be wonderful companions along the journey.
B) If the carriage is empty, sit in the seat directly in front of you.
C) Read a classic novel, a Harry Potter or a Top 100 book, displaying the cover at every opportunity.
D) If they have a guitar, will break randomly into song at some point on the journey.
E) Complain loudly about the price of a ticket these days/ compared to any other country.
F) If they have more than one child, one will remain the centre of their attention. You will be expected to take care of the other one.
The music on your PDA will:
A) Be entirely appropriate, and have you humming along under your breath, much to the extreme delight of the other passengers.
B) If Christmas, consist of a soul-destroying montage of such favourites as “Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer,” and “Santa Baby.” Your PDA driver will occasionally join in over the public address system.
C) Consist of music relating to your driver’s preference, usually Golden Oldies or Country. They may surprise you and tune in to The Rock FM.
D) Consist of ads asking you to buy things. If selling hair regrowth product 85% of male passengers will surreptitiously finger comb their hair. 10% will, in a bid for comfort, change the songs on their MP3’s or state-of-the-art ipods to Jovi’s “It’s My Life”.
5% will actually be bald.
Upon disembarking your PDA you will:
A) Be filled with a sense of well-being and contentment. You love public transport and cannot wait for your next experience
B) Be reasonably dejected and grimly determined to see if Barry from accounts is willing to carpool.
C) Be stressed, but resigned to the process- you will source an earlier time of departure- this may or may not help.
D) Be ambivalent- it’s 20 minutes out of your day- who, really, cares?
Hope this guide sees you in better PDA straits- happy trails, kids.
* All option A’s are approximately 92 percent wishful thinking.

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