Gus rolls out of bed with a half-smoked rollie stuck to the side of his stubbled face. He gives his grizzled body a sniff and can detect trace amounts of deodorant from last weeks application of Brut body spray. Satisfied, he skips a shower and dons a pair of flogged out green shorts, his TransPerth button-up and his crusty TransPerth cardigan that still proudly displays a stain from the time a smackhead vomited on him at Galleria.
Gus sneaks out of his Maylands duplex without making eye contact with his wife who is halfway through eating a can of Campbell’s Big Eat with her scabby hands. Having avoided a ratchet encounter with his beloved missus, he heads straight for the local deli and gets to the business of shovelling down the matter at the darkest corners of the bain marie. He drags his feet as he heads to his car with all the enthusiasm of ScoMo at a Rugs-a-Million fire sale.
At the Bus depot, Gus is surprised with some good news, he gets to drive the glorious City to Fremantle route (whatever they want to call it now). On the road, Gus decides that he will be merging and fuck any driver who thinks differently. His bus starts cutting into a drivers path like a green metal wave of vehicular destruction. The driver is forced to apply his brakes and honks his horn. Gus raises his middle finger and gives him the Midland salute while mouthing some semi-coherent abuse through his gritted teeth.
Gus’ first passenger is an Asian tourist who commits the cardinal sin of trying to pay his fare with a $50 note. Being a man of many scents but few words, Gus lays down the law, “exact change or git off”. The tourist pleads his case. “I said exact change or GIT OFF”, he bares his teeth like a rabid dog and in the process exposes a set of chompers you’d expect to see in the mouth of a British anti-fluoride campaigner with a crippling addiction to liquorice allsorts. The rotted teeth and stormy demeanour are enough to scare the tourist off. A personal victory for Gus.
Gus must think his brake pedal is black because he American History X’s the shit out of it at every opportunity. In fact, his only smile of the day came when he applied the brake and sent a woman’s groceries flying across the bus floor, “toss that salad ya cow”. He careens down Canning Highway with all the care of a drunk furniture removalist and maintains an atmosphere of danger in the bus cabin like he was Kecunto Reeves in Speed.
Although Gus looks like he could fall asleep at the wheel at any moment, he is actually quite alert. He spots a rat-tailed cretin blaring Ozzie hip hop from his phone and tagging down the back. “Oi”. Gus slams on the brakes and pulls over into an emergency lane. It takes him a few moments to zip-up his shorts and comes bustling down the aisle. Gus roars, “GITTT OFFFF my bus you little dick-licker”. He is met with the sounds of applause.
“Fuck off all of yas”, he grumbles under his breath as he hobbles back to his throne. A reluctant hero.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?