The Megabus is terrible but it made me the man I am today

A better man, a stronger man

Life is hard. Full of awkward challenges and obstacles we do well to navigate. When am I going to buy new batteries for the TV remote? Is drinking Coke Zero really a satisfactory substitute when Tesco has sold out of Diet? Will I really allow George Osborne to repeatedly fuck the poor until he can’t see their impoverished corpses from the top of his ivory tower? All are tangible issues I struggle with on a weekly basis.

The reason I am able to tackle these problems is because I have hardened my resolve by repeatedly travelling on the Megabus.

My regular stint was not, by national standards, a particularly hard one. The 19.30 from Cardiff to London is a simple three hour jaunt. I know someone who came to a party in London from Aberdeen on the Megabus. She journeyed for 16 hours, stayed in London for a night, and then returned to Aberdeen the next day. She spent more time in her carpet clad seat than she did visiting her friends. But when it comes to the Megabus, size doesn’t matter. You learn just as much skipping between Nottingham and Loughborough as you do on an Aberdeen-sized pilgrimage.

A baby wailing, a stray dog howling. The screech of brakes and lamplight blinking. When Paul Weller sung those words he predicted the Megabus. Sweet dramatic irony but maybe without the dog bit. All you want to do is sleep off your hangover and hopefully wake up fairly close to your destination. But five infants are crying in unison and the toilet door’s lock mechanism has broken so it opens and slams shut, synchronised with your driver’s use of the accelerator.

Your driver is a hero. He is Charon, guiding you across the Styx to the safe hell of Hades. Their pre-departure sermon is your last rites. They always convince you to put your seatbelt on.

All of these things are part of the Megabus grind. You arrive grizzled, battle hardened, stronger.

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