THE ‘I MUST HAVE THE FRONT SEAT OF THE BUS!’
What is it about the front seat of a bus? Yes, you can see a bit more but why do people fight for that front position? I have watched guests argue over that seat and then attempt to pull each other off the seat. When a tour is called in the theatre ‘The I Must Have A Front Seat’ gang dart down to the gangway at the fastest pace you can ever imagine. Often miracle of healing takes place when an invalid spots the potential position of bussing viewerage power! They then get to the bus and feign a limp, produce a walking stick or demand the front seat based on an invented disease. Often the seats are reserved for those less mobile. It when eight people compete against each other to justifying why they suffer more pain than the others to get the front seat of the bus. The reasons spiral into absurdity where people pluck out false eyes and wave them – that is when you know the world has gone mad. In hindsight it might be worth designing a very wide bus with only front seats to stop bus front seat conflict.
The other type of front seat demanders are those who wait for the ship to be cleared by authorities and get out to the car park before the buses are set up. As soon as the bus is free they are there. They have nabbed the front seat.
Another little trick they pull is when the buses are being loaded, the sneak off like Ninjas to the next bus before the previous bus is full. This backfired when a certain couple thought they were being clever, snuck onto the next bus and missed their tour. Instead they climbed onto the free shuttle bus. Since they had been so determined, the driver let them sit there. Woops! Never mind.
Many of the ‘I Must Have The Front Seat’ have developed their techniques over time. They know that people don’t like confrontation, so if the worst comes to the worst they will shout, scream and pull actual tantrums. Watching a woman wearing a visor lying face down in a carpark pummelling the floor to get a front seat is a spectacle worth beholding. Obviously standing with a huge grin on my face did not ingratiate myself to her. When you are at the end of a contract then nothing phases you. So I left the woman pummelling the floor until I loaded the bus and then advised her that there was one seat left at the back. This resulted in tears, stamping and general outrage. ‘I can refund you if you don’t want the seat,’ I said without emotion. Her jaw dropped. All her tried and tested tactics had failed. ‘You can get a taxi and go yourself. It will cost you four times the amount of the tour. The choice is yours. I have two minutes until I have to send the bus.’ Oh the satisfaction… Of course she got on the bus. When people threaten you with their walking stick that is a different matter. You would have thought that this couple went round duelling with walking sticks as a profession. (Remember the previous ‘Walking Stick Dueller’ creature?) They were the type of angry old people that were bent over and looked as though they had spent the last fifty years sucking a lemon. When it came to the front seat demands, the old chap began to shout. That is standard; however, when they swear you know it isn’t going to end well. Finally, he intimidated the tour staff and when he did not get his way lifted his walking stick aggressively. He demanded a front seat and a personal onslaught ensued accusing the tour staff of not being accommodating. It is always good to record these little attacks on your phone and then send in the Security staff to abate the threatening behaviour. Unfortunately, that old couple did not make it to Miraculous Fatima for the healing because Security extracted them from the situation. They then created more commotion so were disembarked the next day. Goodbye.