Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Lord Of The Flies Experience

I have encountered feral children and lived to tell the tale.

My nightly bus route begins at the beach, and as I've mentioned before is frequently full of boisterous kids heading home. Tonight when I got on the bus it was particularly packed, and the entire back end was full of a large group of very noisy kids about 13 or 14 years of age. I had a seat near the front so I put my head into my book as per my usual travelling routine, and tuned everyone else out.

Until we got about halfway between my work and home, and the bus driver spotted a couple of the kids up the back smoking. They were sticking their hands with the ciggies out the window, trying to avoid being seen and smelled, but not smart enough to realise they were in full view of the driver's side mirrors. The driver stopped the bus and called out to the two kids that were smoking that they could get off the bus, or the bus would sit there until they did.

Then all became chaos. Shouting. Threatening. Everything except owning up to their bad behaviour and some contrition. After about 10 minutes of sitting there, which felt like an eternity, it was adult against child. The front of the bus versus the back. Reasonableness against anger and agression. The kids tried every weapon in their arsenal, and when they finally exited the bus that included some physical violence towards the bus and the driver.

Individually these kids were obnoxious little toe rags, but en masse they were a force to be reckoned with. It was sobering to see the anger on both sides of the divide, it doesn't take much it would seem for the stresses and frustrations of a hot work day to push some people close to their edge. To his credit the driver kept his head, and as soon as the kids were off the bus he rang someone (the depot or the police, I'm not sure) and gave a full version of the events.

I had to smile to myself though when one of the kids pulled out what was obviously his Big Insult and called the driver a poofter. Ah yes, the great Aussie insult! Sigh.

[Pics from the 1963 movie version of "Lord Of The Flies".]


thombeau said...


The Other Andrew said...


NannaPeter said...

Ah, the joys of school holidays! And it's fantastic to see that old insult alive & well.

Jodie Sorrell said...

I always like it when someone shouts 'poofter' as the insult and the insultee cries back, 'yes, and proud!'