Wife braved the lavatory. She has renamed me “liar.”
I asked the child to read or look out the window…he went to sleep.
Megabus status: My 9 year old traveling companion decided a trip to the water closet was in order. My only experience to allow me preconceptions is airplane lavatories with their tight confines, lack of sound proofing for the nearby passengers, and sucking whoosh of the blue cleansing of the stainless steel bowl. I sent the youth in first and am glad he returned. The Megabus lavatory compared to an airplane is rather spacious with white polished fiberglass surfaces not dissimilar to my home bath. This one in particular was remarkably clean. The big difference is that the Megabus toilet resembles a portapotty where the airplane has a stainless steel bowl with a flap that opens upon flushing to let you play bombardier and pretend you’ve just launched something on the unsuspecting persons 30000 feet below the bus instead has the same stainless steel but the opening is large enough to lose a child to the sloshing blue sea of yuck.
In other news, the driver read about my how pleased I was with the air conditioning and turned on the heater.
I was settled in and comfortable so my wife had me move.
Journey underway. Despite being second in line only 2 of the 4 front seats secured. In other news, we scored 2 front seats! The bus is clean. Windshield not cracked and almost perfectly clear. Air conditioning is working (knock on wood). I even have an empty seat beside me. The only negative thus far is that apparently they were out of shock absorbers and had to install pogo sticks instead about as long as you hold your arms up in the air and scream “wheeee” it’s really not that bad.
Megabus status: Part 2 “The Migration South” has begun. Civilization has evolved. The natives have grown elbow room. Climate change has brought cooler temperatures!
The natives were satiated by the impromptu stop. Peace found between the clans. Giddiness resuscitated as a rail line appeared simultaneously indicating our close proximity to the promised land as well as an alternative yet perhaps only slightly less hellish means of transport.
Mild skirmishes threaten to erupt as Lower and Upper pushed to rapidly exit the now mobile roaming realm bringing back ancestral memories of our youthful days and fights during the Great Eternal Drive. But as the rush of cool, exhaust filled, urine tainted, dead rat stinking air inflated our withered lungs, love grew again between the clans for we survived The Ordeal.
Luggage retrieved, I turn to my wife, “We should try an Uber!”
The clans agreed to meet. A tentative truce had been worked out via couriers. The plan was to allow the Lowers shared time in an Uppers seat for light and tech withdrawal therapy while the Upper was granted time in the bathroom. All looked well until the tribal councils attempted a meeting on the stairs only to find a drunkard had declared himself a lone state and would not allow anyone to pass without correctly answering three questions to which he promised a wrong answer would have you ejected from the roaming realm. With the degrading conditions physically and politically, the patron saint of steering elected to pray to his deity Dispatch for guidance and a holy grail glowed thusly betwix a sacred McDonald’s and, for those read a similar albeit somewhat but not quite different book, a 7 Eleven (now open 24 hrs). The Patron Saint of Steering declared the respite for air, bio breaks, and cooling down to be exactly 30 minutes and not a minute longer. The Uppers, forgetting the patron saint had previously been the leading dictator of the Lowers, enthusiastically rushed into their respective churches of convenience. And promptly 15 minutes later, the bus left.
Passengers have begun to realize that dinner is not being served on this flight. I cannot recall the last time the stewardess walked down the aisle. Rations are running low. The poker players in the back of the upper deck now wager with pretzels, potato chip crumbs, half empty water bottles, and those hard candies granny brought but no one wants. The upper faction has elected leaders who now sit in the front seats with the great view. Congress is in session debating war. The lower faction, now a dictatorship led by the bus driver with the really accurate watch, has realized that they control the bathroom. The poker players are pleased knowing the intrinsic value of their half empty chits increases with every passing minute and every sip. Tension is high. Stomachs empty. Bladders full.
The problem with voicing the question, “Good God what’s that smell?!” Is that you may not want to hear the answer.
Our new driver made it known that the downstairs passengers have comfortable climate control while the upstairs passengers sweat. As night befalls us, the downstairs passengers will lose light and electronics while the upstairs parties on. Ignorance is bliss. The bus grumbles. We have become fractured into the haves and the have nots. A battle for limited resources looms.