The other day I got thrown off the bus. Again …
The bus driver threatened to call the police unless I got off the bus. I hadn't done anything wrong I tell you. But let you be the judge of that.
You see ... when I read something I read it as I was taught at school. I run my finger over every word and read it out loud.
There I was on the bus reading loudly from my book:
A – Apple. B – Banana. C – Cat. D – Dog.
A woman next to me asked me to stop. She said she was busy playing Bingo on her cell phone.
SIDE-LINE NOTE: I don’t know if it is the same where you live. Over here in the UK people can gamble on their cell-phones. They can play bingo, roulette, poker, and other card and casino games on their cell-phones or on their tablets or computers. There are many organisations providing this service for you. You just log in and play. They all advertise their companies and their games on TV. They also warn Gamble Responsibly.
What does that mean? If you are gambling, then you are gambling. How do you do it responsibly?
Just like all the alcohol adverts on TV for beer and liquor. They warn Be Drink Aware.
What does that mean? If you’re drinking whisky, which I do, then you are aware it is whisky, and I for one would be very angry if milk shake came out of the bottle.
Anyway … you are now leaving the SIDE-LINE NOTE and re-entering the main body of the article you were reading. Please read carefully and be Grammatically Aware and Cognisant of what you are reading.
As I was saying, this woman told me I was interfering with her Bingo game by my reading aloud. Even though her cell-phone was calling out numbers loudly for her to cross on her Bingo card on the screen.
I ignored her, politely, and continued reading. You can ignore someone politely by pretending you do not understand their language.
She said, “Are you an idiot?”
I immediately turned to the right page in the book and read: I – Iguana.
She turned the volume on her cell phone louder. There were numbers being called loud for everyone to hear. Fortunately, we were the only two people on the bus. As well as the driver of course.
I picked up another book and started reading louder:
1 – 1 Apple. 2 – 2 Bananas. 3 – 3 Cats. 4 – 4 Dogs … and so on.
She raised the volume on her cell-phone louder, rather than move elsewhere on an empty bus. I read louder and faster until I reached number 100 then started again.
That’s when the bus driver stopped the bus and threw me out the bus. To be fair, he also threw the woman off the bus too.
I’ll never take my wife shopping with me on the bus again.
SUPPLEMENTARY SIDE-LINE NOTE: I did try to break the habit of reading aloud. I tried and tried and eventually I learnt to read silently.
Days later, in church, the usual reader was absent. The priest asked me to do the readings at Mass. I approached the lectern and read silently. He was most upset and asked me to leave. He did the readings himself.
You can’t please everyone in this world. Why try?