Or is it madam? I want to assure you that I don’t discriminate when it comes to leaving dangerous items on public transport. And in the case of a thermoflask on a bus, it is a most serious matter. As I overheard this girl named Shirley, who was sitting in the back row say, “when you crinkle a wrapper in a silent study room, you become public nuisance number one.” She’s right. Dear sir or madam, when you left your polished gray metal thermoflask on that busy bus, you became public enemy number one. You may as well have left a bomb behind.
You might be wondering why I’ve targeted you or your innocent thermoflask. Dear sir or madam, I have no qualms about thermoflasks. I am quite content for thermoflasks to take buses or trains or ferries or trams. Sometimes I even cheer them on as they ride past on their Tour De P’arramatta, nestled snugly under their riders’ bikes. Which brings me to my original point. Thermoflasks are free to roam anywhere they choose just as my Woolworths free range chicken does before I eat it.
But thermoflasks like dogs, need to be accompanied at all times by their rightful owner. Else who knows whose poor lawns may be targeted next when your dog decides to redecorate the earth? Who knows whose poor ears will be split and deafened when your thermoflask decides to drop the beat? Those bottles seem to have a life of their own and struggle to stay up more than my dear wife after her stroke.
My dear, I love thermoflasks. But I do not love you. You have been a most negligent owner. And you are moments away from becoming a domestic terrorist in my eyes. So I write in an effort to assuade you from the path you’re on. I too, know what it’s like to be young. I was young once. Young man, or woman, listen to me. Or listen to my dear friend Shirley at the least. She sounded wise. As I sat resting my eyes and enjoying the conversations of young people, I noticed that you had left your thermoflask in the back row. Out of the goodness of my heart, I steadied it and popped it upright to give it the seat it deserved just as I steadied myself with my cane. Then the bus suddenly lurched. Again my cane was my stead. But my ears had no one and nothing.
The moment that thermoflask dropped, thunder broke, my eardrums were rent and you became public enemy number one. There is nothing irredeemable in that. With time and a good conscience, I am sure you will take wonderful care of your many thermoflasks in the future and spare many from the curse of lifelong deafness. But as I prepare to see my audiologist tomorrow, I want you to know that you don’t want to be private enemy number one. I am just as good at kicking whipper snappers off the bus as I am keeping them off my lawn. The next time you think of leaving your thermoflask on the bus think again. Sydney is a small place. And you never know where one man and his cane may be hiding.
A Concerned Citizen