Unlike the good old days, when worst-case scenario might be the stranger sat next to you falling asleep and dribbling all over your shoulder, (in consequence, i’ve always considered the best form of defence to be attack and i’d always advocate being the one to drool first!), however in these more technologically advanced days, annoyances on a long journey from which there is no escape, tend to be of the electronic kind.
It’s funny how things that we’d normally pay absolutely no attention to become incredibly and murderously annoying impositions when forced to share them whilst incarcerated on a bus trip. Take, for example, the chap sat in the seat opposite – studiously fiddling with his mobile phone for the best part of an hour and completely oblivious to the effect it’s having on those around him. Mobiles are, for the most part, fairly inoffensive critters, but why, oh why, would anyone in their right mind fiddle away with those stupid DTMF tones enabled? Beep, beep, boop, beep, boop, barp, beep, BARF! STOP IT NOW!… they’re just not necessary, they serve no useful purpose if you’re a human being that’s listening to them and there is absolutely no reason in the world to inflict them upon the rest of the bus for a whole damn hour!
Not that they’re the only nuisance you’re struggling to contend with. There’s the woman behind you doing something terribly important with her laptop. There’s only one thing more frustrating than having to listen to the annoying beep every time an inept typist hits the wrong key, and that is knowing that the said ham-fisted laptopper could simply mute their speaker and continue to type badly in utter silence. Of course, if they did that, you’d also be spared that incredibly annoying fanfare type thing that Outlook blurts out every time a new e-mail arrives, which for this particular woman appears to be once every three seconds… obviously she’s very popular, but it’s certainly not with any of her fellow passengers!
Let’s not forget the brat in the seat in front whose earphones are broadcasting to anyone who doesn’t care to listen in that horribly tinny and high-pitched manner that only cheap and nasty earphones can, the greatest hits of Britney (i want to stab you continually until you die horribly and in great pain, with extremely sharp and pointy, poison-tipped) Spears!
All these electronic annoyances are satisfactorily rounded off with a bit of good old-fashioned human irritation as the woman just down the bus intermittently, but with astonishing regularity, interjects with her dry, husky cough that has you willing her to die as rapidly as possible, from TB, or whatever it is she’s suffering from. Either that, or take a drink, stop breathing or do anything… but just stop coughing!
Oh for the convenience of sl! Not that sl isn’t devoid of its own annoyances, but at least in the virtual world i can easily escape most of them.
In my ideal real world, i’d have a HUD incorporating all of the useful goodies that i’m used to having at my disposal in sl. How about audio controls that permit me to fade out the background chatter and bump up the volume of my own conversation? It would allow me to switch off sound altogether too – bliss! Of course, i’d definitely have a mute button and i’d mercilessly target the worst offenders with that particular ultimate deterrent – for a start, all jackhammers would become noiseless and screaming kids would no longer blight my life.
An added bonus would be ‘busy’ and ‘do not disturb’ modes – handy in so many situations. Also high on my list of ‘must have’ options would be derender, which i’d routinely apply without mercy to electricity pylons in the countryside and market researchers in the street. My rl HUD would also put an end to my days of getting lost and wandering around for hours, trying to follow maps that bear no resemblance to anything in the vicinity… instead, i’d have lovely cheesy beacons everywhere, and nice red arrows to point me in the right direction. With added radar and minimaps, shopping would be a doddle, as would avoiding objectionable acquaintances in the vicinity!
Ask most people what parts of sl they’d like incorporated into rl and i dare say most would say teleporting or something flash like that. Not me, just give me an off-button… who needs teleports, when you can take a nice, peaceful bus ride?
Thank you, driver, for getting me here
You’ll be an inspector, have no fear
I don’t want to cause no fuss
But can I buy your Magic Bus?
The Who – Magic Bus