Past the Yellow Line

November 12, 2009
By Jackson Vanfleet-Brown SILVER, San Francisco, California
Jackson Vanfleet-Brown SILVER, San Francisco, California
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I feel like I'm supposed to be a robot, like the people who ride my bus would rather that I be a robot. If I were a robot, people wouldn't be inconvenienced with having to treat me with human compassion. The robot wouldn’t care. When people lifelessly flash their passes at the robot as they get on the bus, the robot wouldn't be insulted and it wouldn't feel purposeless. Because it has no feelings and its purpose is so obvious it doesn’t need good-willed people who say thank you when they get off to uphold it. The bus would be on time because the robot would be programmed NOT to stop for the people who just barely miss the closing doors. And although they frantically hail, buckled over and panting like sorry unexercised creatures, the robot would feel no pang of guilt as it drives away. The robot would—
[naive passenger interrupts, asks redundant question]
The robot would have no self-consciousness and no inhibitions. The robot would not be intimidated by the jeering adolescents in the back who no doubt feel invincible amongst their friends. The robot would unhesitatingly laser every single one that, thinking he can get away with it, tries to sneak on through the back door, and so people would have to climb over fried corpses to get out, perhaps taking better notice of the signs that say explicitly ENTER THROUGH FRONT DOORS ONLY. The robot would feel no frustration. It would use an electric prod to manage the blank-faced, inexperienced people who clog themselves in the front of the bus. It would selectively zap the unsuspecting ones -- the ones listening to their iPods -- so that the others, taken aback by the subhuman convulsioins, would cautiously move further in, towards the back, and PAST THE YELLOW LINE. By replacing bus drivers with robots the bus will finally be what it deserves to be -- a raft of rolling machinery, nothing else -- and people can enter and exit it completely without grace although no longer with disregard for the rules. And bus drivers like be at peace with ourselves. We can ring bells for charity or massage feet -- just do something society appreciates more.

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