Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Bus Plunge of the week

Originally uploaded by Uncle Mikey.
When I worked at the Daily Texan, the University of Texas newspaper, I was the Wire Editor. Basically I read all the stories coming from the wire services and looked at most of the pictures they'd send over on the fax-y thing that had a fancy name. Back in the day I guess you had to read the stories as they came across on the teletype. tearing them off and having someone type it into your system, but by 1983 it was all done on computers. And many of us smoked at our desks, indoors on university property. Try that nowadays.

Anyways, when you look at every story that comes over the wire every day for a few months, you really get a sense for how many people die in sad and ridiculous ways. I remember in particular a guy getting stabbed to death with a frozen wedge of cheese, and I can also remember about fifty bus plunges. Just about every day, it seemed, some old rickety bus would lose its brakes at a hairpin and rocket off a cliff at the next one, killing everyone. I don't know how the liability thing works in other countries, but I think most victims' families were happy to get a decent burial out of the bus company, much less restitution.

So next time you get invonvenienced by a bus on your way to work, or have to wait for a late bus, just remember that in a distant place, some poor souls are sharing their last seconds on earth with a screaming busload of strangers, and probably wishing they lived here instead of there. I will blog any bus plunges I see, so keep your eyes peeled.

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