A fear that his bus might suddenly be hijacked by revenge-hungry college pupils was enough to stop Wellington comedian Steve Wrigley from using public transport for a few weeks.
His short-lived "phobia" was born in 1993 during his first year at Wellington College when he heard a yarn that after McEvedy Shield once, a bunch of Wellington College senior pupils found a bus full of St Patrick's College boys and rocked it from side to side until it toppled over.
"I was afraid to ride the bus after that out of fear there was going to be some sort of bus-tilting revenge," he said.
"Let's just say I was buying my lunch with my bus fare for the next couple of weeks. Just as well I was able to walk it off every day."
As far as experiences with public transport go, Wrigley's is certainly unique.
But the chances it would win him a new competition Greater Wellington Regional Council looks set to launch in the next few weeks are still slim.
A council committee will tomorrow decide whether to sign off on a public art competition, encouraging people to "artistically express" their experiences with the region's public transport network in a painting.
The most popular ones, as voted on by the public, will then be displayed on the sides of buses and trains.
But, as with all competitions, there will be terms and conditions. Council officers specify "positive experiences" is what they are after, so Wrigley's might not make it.
"Although I don't know if Wellington College would approve of the side of a bus being painted with the backs of 15 schoolboys, in their uniforms, trying to push it over."
The art competition is being proposed as part of a new regional marketing campaign called "It's Your Transport" which aims to remind people that public transport is there for everybody and we all contribute to it through rates and taxes.
Wellington artist and illustrator Dean Proudfoot said encapsulating the public transport system in a painting would be easier said than done.
"The first thing that comes to mind are the different types of people who board the buses and the trains. It a real cultural and socio-economic mix. An interesting petrie dish of the town."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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