I love a good fracas on the bus.


There’s nothing I love more when I’m on the way home – because there’s never anything kicking off on the way to work, it’s always when I want to get home – than an arsehole getting a bee in his arsehole bonnet.

Last night, the fracas involved the phrase, “Is it because I’m white?” which was awesome. I mean, that’s bonus points right off the bat when it comes to scoring a fracas. Which I do, obviously. It’s how I have my fun.

I, and many of my fellow passengers, missed the beginning of this seething resentment that built up into a full on shouting match after a mere five minute bus ride, but from what I can piece together (i.e overheard) this is what happened.

A man – a white man – got on the bus with some fried chicken. The bus driver – a black man – asked the man to not scatter chicken bones across the bus. Which is a reasonable thing to ask of anyone on a bus past peak travel hours because, basically, once your bus service goes to hourly people degenerate into animals. If you want to see how civilisation will collapse, start by putting the buses to hourly.

Anyway, the man took offence to this for some reason. I don’t know why. I mean, you’re not really supposed to sit on the bus and tuck into full-on takeaway meals anyway. But anyway, he was hugely offended and decided that what the driver meant by “don’t scatter chicken bones across the bus” was “don’t you dare bring food on my bus, you naughty, naughty white person.”

And so it began.

The guy went to get off the bus and had a good old shouting match with the driver about all the blacks and Asians he had seen on the bus having a good old chow down. I mean, there are a lot of factors to consider here. Bus routes, different drivers, whether they were as blatant with their food as to walk on with a big thing of chicken in their hands… you know, factors. But nope. It was clearly a racist thing.

So he got off. Eventually. Muttering. And I bet his chicken was shit, because it always looks nicer than it is. But anyway…

Then later another white guy got off and accused the driver of being racist towards the first guy. He did it in a really good way, backing up his arguments and everything. Like he’d really thought it through and wasn’t just trying to be a big man as he got off. “You are racist, yeah think about that,” he said. As he sloped off in his matching hat and tracksuit combo.

And then for the next three or four stops, people would ask the driver what had been happening. People from upstairs on the bus had only heard parts of it. Other people further down the bus needed to go through it all because they felt that they should be offended. It was a whole thing.

From a disruption point of view, this fracas scored incredibly highly. There was the original shouting match when the first guy got off, and then several added incidents. When people describe incidents as a pebble dropping in a puddle, and the ripples the spread from the centre are the effects this is exactly what they mean. Every bus stop was a fresh ripple, covering the ground from the previous stop.

When it got to my stop I just got off.

Which is the correct way to deal with a prior fracas on the bus.