I started thinking about buses one day. I’m not sure why, but then I started thinking about that Who song which led me to exploring the history of the bus.
Yeah, that’s how my mind works and boy, it’s exciting inside my head some days, as obvious from my thinking about buses.
A Brief History of Buses
I found out that a guy named Blaise Pascal, which is weirdly close to the word, blasé, also French, meaning, “apathetic to pleasure or excitement as a result of excessive indulgence or enjoyment.”
I can picture Pascal, after a week of excessive indulgence.
“Que puis-je faire? Je suis fatigué et j’ai besoin d’un bus et d’un chauffeur,” he says, pensively and with defeat (because there was no bus then.) And then, a ampoule française (French lightbulb) goes on over his head and he exclaims, “Je vais inventer un!”
For those of you who do not speak French (I don’t either, but Google’s English to French translator is great and that’s what I used, so I’m certain it all makes sense to a French person or someone who actually knows French), here is the translation of what Pascal was thinking that day:
“What can I do? I’m tired and I need a bus and a driver. I’m going to invent one!”
And so he does in 1662 (at least the beginning of the thought of a bus to carry more than a few people) and it was called a carriage. All the other over-indulgent people could flag it down, after an evening of excessive indulging, without stumbling around on all those cobblestones in Paris.
Fast forward to a businessman, Stanislas Baudry, in Nantes (another French city & French guy) in the 1800s who invents the omnibus (Latin word for “for all”) because he had to figure out a way to take all those over-indulging, blasé French guys from the bathhouses (he also invented bathhouses since steam technology was big at that time) back and forth. It (the bus idea) caught on and not just for people who liked bathhouses, but everyone.
According to my extensive research, he made some serious coin by doing this since the bathhouse “bus” led to his inventing the omnibus which expanded into Bordeaux, then to Lyon and finally to Paris. Each bus held 16-20 people and he charged 25 centimes which if you’d like to do the math, 1/20 of a franc equals 5 centimes. I’m not doing it, so if you know the answer, please list in the comments below.
Mainly the middle-class used it (since rich Parisians had their own method of transportation) and no drunks, dogs or poorly-dressed Parisians were allowed to ride on the omnibus. The conductor had the say on this and of course, women weren’t on board (literally and figuratively) at first either. But they eventually did get on the omnibus. Single females were discouraged from traveling alone, because you know what that obviously meant.
“Sacré bleu, femme, pensez à votre réputation! Descends de ce bus maintenant!,” the conductor would say, waving his hands in a dismissive French way.
Translation: Holy sh*t, woman, think of your reputation! Get off this bus now!
After that, came the double decker buses, steam buses, trolley buses, trams, then motor coaches, electric buses, hybrid electric, fuel cell, compressed natural gas (NO! sounds dangerous), Gyrobuses (no longer here but energy came from flywheel energy storage — I know!), and finally diesel-powered buses, which are what most buses are today, according to Wikipedia. I’m not a bus expert, just a curious bus researcher.
The aforementioned buses are most likely out of order, but I figured I’d better get to some kind of point (if you’re still here) after reading my riveting exploration of how buses got started, in the first place.
A Long Strange Trip
Thanks for getting on board with me and my bus story. If I invented a bus, I’d make it a magic one where anyone who boarded automatically had to say hello to all the others on board. Make eye contact. Smile and acknowledge. Texting wouldn’t work while you were on it, nor would any other forms of social media. We’d all have to talk and listen. No selfies until after you got off the bus. You’d have to actually enjoy the moment you were in. Once you left the bus at your stop, the bus would pause so that you could take a selfie, put cute happy emojis with it and send it out to all your “friends” where hopefully they would “like” it.
Everyone would look to the bus in order to work things out.
Also, whenever you spoke on the bus, you’d sing. (It’s a magic bus after all). Even if you try to sing “angry,” it still makes people smile. Maybe if we sang to each other, we could smile at each other more often.
Just a thought.
I want it, I want it. But apparently I can’t have it. I think that’s why eventually we all become, well blasé, about the whole thing of trying to communicate. Communication takes effort and the willingness to understand.
* * *
If you could invent a magic bus, what would yours be like?
And yeah, here’s the Who song. You had to know it was coming.
Great Post! I could use a decompression bus – some place to just unwind, kick back and relax. Lots of soft places to sit as well as lay down, warm, comfy blankets, amazing pillows, etc. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂
Hi Craves! How are you?? Wonderful to hear from you—I appreciate it, especially since I’ve not been active blogging or commenting on my fellow bloggers posts. Your magic bus sounds great. I love pillows, lots of them. :).
Hope things are great in your world and thanks for stopping by. Happy Day to you too.
Doing well. I have not been as active blogging lately either. I received a promotion a few months back at work so learning and training takes up a good amount of my time lately. Take Care ((((((hugs)))))))
Well that’s great! Congrats on the promotion.
I found this interesting a post worth reading
Hey Joanne, just one of my weird ramblings…ha! I’m glad you enjoyed and thank you for taking the time to read and stop by.
I always enjoyed losing myself, staring out the window of a bus. So peaceful to allow your imagination to dream away. Boy you really did fall into a rabbit hole here, eh Ms B?
Great to see you posting.. always a pleasure. ( so interesting)
Buses aren’t used that much around here. I miss the LIRR and Grand Central. My brain is a rabbit hole. Sometimes it comes up with a glimmer of brilliance, but most of the time, it’s just a deranged rambling. Despite that I always THINK it’s good, but it doesn’t always turn out that way. I keep trying though and I guess I get credit for that.
Been writing a lot and decided to give this shot again—thanks for coming along on my meandering, weird rabbit-holed rambling. I hope you were still awake by the end. Ha!
Thanks, as always, my friend.
it was a brilliant and educational ramble, my friend. I enjoyed every word and was wide away at the end 🙂
I wouldn’t say brilliant, but a lot of photoshopping went on. Ha! I know what you meant…I was agreeing with you about going down a rabbit hole, my thought flit here and there and spiral, at times.
If that’s a sign of brilliance, then I should be considered an Einstein. 😂🤪😉
***** AWAKE not away
Freudian slip, I’m thinking. Kidding, really.
My mind is also like that! Cheers to you researching buses – which is something that I haven’t done. Meanwhile, if it wasn’t for buses, The Hollies would have had this hit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFPu83ggTlM … Hi Brigitte!
Hi Frank! Thanks for taking the time to read. I’ve not been as receptive and that’s because I’ve been busy. I post when the mood strikes, and it’s always a meandering sort of thing. I’m glad you understand it. ha!
Most of the buses here seem to be mainly for advertising. I rode a double-decker when we lived near NYC and I hated it because we made the mistake of riding on the top tier during August in Manhattan. Too hot and too slow.
Many vehicles on the road are like buses and usually there’s just one person in it. :).
Hope you and yours are well!
I like it when an email surprises me with your post.
What a nice thing to say, Frank. Thank you!