Sunday, July 6, 2008

Hobarts Next Top Bus Driver

I'm probably not qualified to assess the inner life of Anne-Maree Cooksley, let alone Vilimaina Davu, but the one thing I do want to say is, as much as I will never criticise minor celebrities for making the most of their life (except for Corey) and hanging out at premieres, I am, for the first time, completely over any kind of show where 12 people are reduced to 1 through a process of judging and bitching. I completely hate the fact that having told all the young girls to suck it up and be brave, Jodhi Meares didn't host the live final of Australia's Next Top Model because she was too scared, but I more hate the fact that the show is just rubbish to begin with. And I hate there's going to be 20 new "top model" style shows. How much modelling work is there to go around in Australia anyway? Target catalogues and Ralph Magazine won't fill themselves? Oooh, snickerpuss. And what chance is there that the winner of "Football Superstar" will actually be at Sydney FC in three years? It's like when Andrew Shue got a Major League Soccer contract, got booed off stage at his introduction, and vanished into thin air. I'm totally over it, and not in a snarky "I read the Age, what happened to scripts and actors" way, it's just too much, and anyway, Australians whether judges or by public vote pick the wrong winner (Demelza? I mean? Really?).

There is one area though that could probably benefit from a reality TV show - Hobarts next Top Bus Driver. Tasmanias public transport system is pretty awful to begin with - we don't have any trains, so you have to get on a bus. The buses are old, exclusively Metro, and filled with bogans (no mogans). The back seat on any of these buses is pretty horrendously and exclusively filled with local "characters" or kids who put the word "fuck" into any song (as in, hey hey, you you, I wouldn't fuck your girlfriend by Avril Lavigne) while playing songs loudly on their IPODs. It's probably fair to say I find getting on a bus to be quite a terrifying process, but this isn't because, like say, on a London bus, there's an undercurrent of potential violence late at night. The only undercurrent on a Hobart bus is extreme annoyance and discomfort. And that's before everything turns into a horrible Ben Elton routine and you get stuck next to the bus lunatic, who to my eternal shame usually supports Collingwood and has interesting opinions on whatever government is in power.

However, the real problem in Hobart is the bus drivers. I'm not exactly Tiffani Amber-Thiessen in my job, but they are exclusively and uniquely grumpy, especially with foreigners, people who don't have the correct change, or Australians who do have the correct change. The reason this stands out is because in Scotland, as much as we have a reputation for grumpiness, the bus drivers are part of the local community. There was an uproar in my home town when I was there on holiday that Wee Wullie had been moved from one bus to drive another one, as Wee Wullie loved cake and there was no way that the new driver would appreciate the cake as much. In fact, Confessions Of A Window Cleaner style, the bus drivers in Scotland weren't just part of the local community, they were servicing the local community if you get what I mean. In fact, they were hit on every single journey by a single mother or an older woman of some kind. I can't imagine any bus driver in Hobart either picking up, or being a beloved figure, and if they are, I'm certainly not going to be able to name them. In fact, if a single mother hit on any of them, they'd yell at them to sit down. And at the end, you have to say "thank you" as you get off the bus, to complete silence. It's not really fun and games on a Hobart bus. Haven't these people seen On The Buses and what offer?

The worst is the guy who drove the Hobart Coaches bus to Kingston - man, that guys face when they made him wear a party hat at New was fizzing.

So if there is one industry where, to quote Tyra Banks, "you wanna be on top", and we could do with some perky young thing to pep up the grumpy old industry, it'd be the bus driving industry. I can just see Demelza being fitted out for her green Metro sweater and batting her eyelashes at customers. It's not like if you put any job up for grabs on a reality TV show you'd be short of applicants, they could fly Wee Wullie over to teach the bus drivers here to be friendly, take advantage of free gifts and favours, it could be hosted by Stephen Lewis (Blakey from On The Buses), it would combine bitchy judging and catfighting (or male catfighting like Soccer Superstar) and, of course, bad car crashes as the drivers learned to steer a bus around the streets of Hobart. Set one episode in Gagebrook where they have to pick up our biggest bogans, and I'm sure it would be a great TV show. Just to tie everything togther, "Behind the Wheel", the behind the scenes expose with bonus footage, that'll be hosted by Anne-Marie Cooksley. Everyone, as they say, will be a winner.

Well, anything is better than Mamma Mia the Movie...

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