Riding the bus can be an unpleasant experience. Waiting at a bus-stop can be even less pleasant. Stuck out in the cold, anxious about getting somewhere at the appropriate time, and if you are picturing me via Croftie's imagination, you see a young man beseiged by a tide of lustful, impossibly attractive bus-stop girls putting on lip-stick and perfume, each plotting to steal away her man at a moments notice.
On Monday, despite the absence of Croftie's Sirens, the uncomfortableness of Bus-Stop was kicked up a few notches. I was exiting a bus in Hyde Park and saw a peculiar ad on the side of the bus-stop shelter. Normally these ads are for blockbuster movies or face creams or the occassional museum/culture cache. But this ad was different. This ad was made of a series of squares with sides about one foot long. Each square had the image of a place, all dark and gloomy and gray and washed out and scary looking with a word in the center. There was a creepy park bench, a street corner, the area right out front of a bar, the library and I'm pretty sure the image of an oil derrick. Reading the words your eyes visit each terrible place. The individual words spell out something like this:
To the many places you might encounter a sexual predator please add this.
Now I first inferred the sentence to be suggesting that Bus-Stop itself was the final hang-out of the sexual predator. The thought horrified me. Why would anyone make an ad like this? I feel awful enough for young women who have to wait out in the middle of nowhere for a bus full of degenerates and perverts and now they have to be constantly reminded of their unfortunate plight every time they sit down and look to the left at the big scary ad? Then I realized that the last square of the add wasn't gray and gloomy but highlighted and bright. It was a family room of some anonymous suburban residence. The ad was for domestic violence/child abuse.
Far from make me feel better, this realization actually made me feel even worse. What's more? I'll never visit an oil refinery ever again. Nowhere is safe.
Labels: goings on about town