Friday, September 5, 2008

There's no 'pet' in public transport

It's not easy being a top-drawer transport bureaucrat. One day it's not enough trains, the next day, it's too many passengers.

These very real transport challenges aside, every now and then, the unusual and bizarre aspects of public transport appear, such as the correspondence that crossed my desk from the improbably named Barking Mad. They are animated by the belief that pet owners have a 'right' to use public transport and other public spaces (like parks, beaches, etc) with their pets and that the rest of 'us' need to accommodate their needs.

They also seem to believe that, since 88% of disabilities are invisible, public transport operators need to allow people with 'companion animals' on to their vehicles, with not a lot of evidence that they are trained appropriately or otherwise not a hazard to others. Oh and also that the monolithic 'we' of the transport world need to change the Transport Act to take the needs of pet owners into account.

What is interesting is that Barking Mad underline the way that the world of disabilities is not one big, happy special needs family. In my work, I've become aware of a very real hierarchy of disabilities. Many deaf people don't believe they're disabled, they just use a different language. The wheelchair people are fighting off the demands for 'their' spaces on trains, buses and car parks from the morbidly obese and elderly who use 'gofers' and other motorised mobility aids. And of course, every other disability group hate the blind (thanks to all those top bloke diggers blinded by gas in WWI, the Blind Pension in Australia is the only disability pension without a means test).

Yes, dealing with nuffies who think their choice to own a dog means the rest of us should shove over is just part and parcel of the rich and varied life of a public transport bureaucrat. In times like this, I refer to the wisdom learned from the Basil Fawlty school of management: "This transport system would run perfectly well without any passengers".

Of course, in the light of record high patronage and overcrowding on public transport, how we're ever going to get people with companion animals on board is another question all together...

90 comments:

Boogeyman said...

Are these the same nutters that demand that children in public parks be fenced off so their animals can run free? A demand that, as I understand, some councils in Sydney have acquiesced to.

Those terrible, terrible blind people. As if it isn't bad enough that they hog the most functionally debilitating handicap for themselves, they also get an untested pension. What is the world coming to?

squib said...

Our trains have got signs that say 'no lawnmowers'

I was an inaugral member of our train service's customer service council. We got together once a month and whinged about what was wrong with the trains and they gave us free mini quiches and made us feel special

Loose Shunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Loose Shunter said...

Squib,

I only wish we had such success in banning domestic items from PT in Melbourne. I have personally seen washing machines, refrigerators and, presumably, the contents of a room in a share house being moved by rail on my line.

I once laughed myself senseless watching a gawping slackjaw trying to push his shopping trolley with a TV in it through the ticket barriers at Box Hill station.

Colleagues report that on the upper reaches of Melbourne's Hurstbridge line, it is not unknown for small horses to be moved by trains, especially around Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge.

squib said...

I didn't really think people did that. I thought that lawnmower sign was a bit OTT. Maybe not!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Our trains have got signs that say 'no lawnmowers'

Where on earth do you live, squib?

squib said...

Fremantle, WA Ramon. There's a $50-250 fine

Boogeyman said...

I think they need to qualify this a little.

Hand-pushed mowers should be fine on the train, but people with ride-ons can bloody well use the roads like every else.

squib said...

I imagine that whipper snippers are a bit of a grey area

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Came across this in my reading today

Salmonellosis – bacteria are found in animal faeces. Infection is caused by eating contaminated food or handling infected animals. An infected person may also spread the bacteria to other people or surfaces by not washing their hands properly.

Dogs are disgusting cunts.

squib said...

Dogs rock!!

As for cats, they can give you Toxoplasmosis which can make you skitzoid AND make you drive badly

Kerces said...

In Paris (and probably the rest of France too) you're allowed to take dogs on the train as long as they are in a bag. Though I did spend one trip with quite a large and very stinky dog seated between my knees (belonging to the man opposite me).

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Gee, I wonder what Perseus is doing this fine weekend?

Melba said...

i've been wondering the same, ramon. i hope we get a full report of all activities.

WitchOne said...

We better get a full report, my holiday sucked, GF got sick and I spent so much time in emergency and then driving her to Melb for specialists. I need some reassurance here! Someone got it on right??

wari lasi said...

I was sick as a dog on Friday and Saturday and the internet was down at home. Now I wake up on Monday morning and am wondering how a bloke I don't know from a bar of soap went on the weekend.

I'm with you Witchie (figuratively speaking of course), I hope he "got it on" as you so quaintly put it.

You went on holidays with a brand new baby? And you wonder why you didn't have a good time?

Perseus said...

I don't want to talk about it.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Oh dear.

Perseus said...

Actually I'll talk about it a little bit. She came down with her best friend.

I was thinking: Artemis is coming down for the weekend and I'm going to woo her with my charm. Oh, and there's some other girl coming but I'll just go into denial about that.

The friend was thinking: I'm going away for the weekend with my best friend Artemis, and we're staying at some old guy's house. They've been flirting, but no way on Earth is my best friend going to get with some old guy who takes DRUGS 3 times a year.

Artemis was thinking: This is way too hard, so I'm just going to get really, really drunk... for 2 days.

The rest of the town was thinking: Oh shit, the pub's closing early. We've heard Perseus has people down. Party at Perseus's when the pub shuts!

**

It was a fun weekend, and there was touching and kissing, but sexy action was out of the question. Artemis has invited me to a family BBQ.

I might just give up. Too hard.

Boogeyman said...

I got to the two stars and was waiting for the bit where Perseus's party ends up like that scene in Eyes Wide Shut.

Maddy said...

but perhaps now that she's done the 'safe' visit accompanied by friend, she will feel more comfortable about an unchaperoned visit? My sister used to do that to me sometimes - drag the little sister along to stop her from doing something impulsive.

wari lasi said...

Do the family BBQ Perseus. I think you said before it was a long term venture. Me, I haven't spoken to my Baguio for 3 weeks tomorrow (but who's counting?) but I know she misses me.

Your situation sounds promising and I concur with Maddy re the deliberate chaperon thing. And maybe it's just me but I think kissing can be more intimate than sex.

Perseus said...

Oh, and I forgot. The plump chick from 2 doors up, doing 1st year philosophy was thinking (at the after-party): Wow, this guy has the best book collection I've ever seen, and he may be 19 years older than me but I'm really drunk so I'm going to have sex with him...

And I was thinking: Rw, get the hell off me, can't you see I'm trying to pick Artemis up?

And Artemis was thinking: I'm really, really drunk.

**

I'm all talk. Of course I'll go to the family BBQ.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Of course I'll go to the family BBQ

Good man.

I had a ripper of a weekend - if anybody's interested.

wari lasi said...

Well done Ramon! I was sick on Saturday but went out for lunch yesterday and all three of my kids (the two white ones and the brown one) remembered me on Father's Day. Pretty hard for Emma to forget, she lives with me, but at least she came in to my room at 6:30, woke me up and told me she loved me. It was nice. Then she was a complete shit this morning and we had a big fight (as big as you can with a 7 yr old girl!) before she went to school.

Perseus said...

Did you have a ripper of a weekend because the sun came out which means we are getting closer and closer to cricket season?

Perseus said...

Oh, and on the weekend I got a nice email from a lurker to this site (hello, you!). You know, I just assumed it was the 15 or so of us here and nobody else, but if there's one lurker, maybe there's more. I asked why she doesn't join in and she said she was 'thin-skinned' but I argue that even at our most violent, we're still just a bunch of strangers existing only in the form of bytes and keystrokes.

So to any or all lurkers reading here... stop being pansies and join in. Garn.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Did you have a ripper of a weekend because the sun came out which means we are getting closer and closer to cricket season?

In part Perseus, although it pissed down most of Sunday.

It started on Saturday night with Rockwiz then a doco about the making of 16 Lovers Lane.

Then a sleep-in on Sunday (Fathers' Day), a home cooked roast chicken for dinner and Doctor Who.

Woot!

Perseus said...

Ah yes, happy father's day Ramon.

I got a furball from my cat for Father's Day.

That was a ripper episode of Doctor Who last night. Best this season I reckon.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That was a ripper episode of Doctor Who last night.

Right so - largely lifted from Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat.

My cat tried to bite me for Fathers' Day - but then again, she tries to bite me most days.

squib said...

I kept repeating everything mrsquib said after watching dr who

Wow was I annoying

Boogeyman said...

My son, who has slept happily with the lights out for 8 years, developed a fear of the dark after Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. Two months later and he's nearly over it now.

Good to see Doctor Who doing its job and scaring little kids witless. The writer of that episode (and some of the best episodes of the previous seasons), Stephen Moffat, is taking over as executive producer from next season on.

So hoorah for many more years of kids hiding behind the couch, sleeping with the light on, etc.

Perseus said...

Did anyone notice a scene last night with Billie Piper suddenly appearing on one of the train video screens mouthing, "Doctor! Doctor!" with no audio, and then never re-appearing?

The relevance of that? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

squib said...

Rose is trying to contact the Doctor to let him know that the Large Hadron Collider under the Franco-Swiss border is going to be switched on four days from now and it will destroy all the universes

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

and it will destroy all the universes

Anything which can stop Kylie Minogue popping up again in Doctor Who is a force for good.

Boogeyman said...

Did anyone notice a scene last night with Billie Piper suddenly appearing on one of the train video screens

Haven't you noticed her popping up every few episodes this season?

I'm not giving you any spoilers, but I think her original contract included ongoing 'face time'.

Puss In Boots said...

My weekend sucked too. My boyfriend was a hit by a car while riding my motorbike. Stupid women drivers in 4wds not looking where they're going. She just pulled out of a t-intersection with about 20m visibility straight into him. Didn't even look to her right at all, which was the direction she was turning.

The only upside is that the bike is a write off, so there's $10k for my holiday. Yay.

And then we had to make up some story to his parents on Sunday about how he was injured, because they don't even know he has a bike licence. Fun fun.

Perseus said...

Jesus. Is he alright?

Puss In Boots said...

He seems to be at the moment. Mostly soft tissue injuries, and a neck strain from trying to keep his head from hitting the road. He's getting more x-rays and scans today to make sure. Although he looks to be developing a ptsd, so I'm monitoring him to make sure he gets treated before it gets that far.

Could have been a lot worse if he wasn't a better rider - he hesitated before he went past her, because he thought she looked as if she was pulling out, but then she stopped so he assumed she'd seen him and kept going, but then she just accelerated into him just as he got in front of her. Stupid woman. Still, if he hadn't hesitated, he would have been right in the middle of her bumper, and probably ended up with broken bones and more severe injuries. So just as well, really.

Her excuse was that he "must have been in [her] glasses frame, so [she] didn't see him." How thick are her glasses??

eat my shorts said...

I thought last nights Dr Who was a bit lame. All that talking gave me a headache.

Next week looks like it will be better.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

EMS, why aren't you off teaching Australia's future leader?

eat my shorts said...

It be school holidays my friend. Our future leader is probably pissing about on MySpace or some such.

I just finished reading a paper for one of my uni modules that was nearly 60 pages! WTF is up with that?!

Srsly, instead, I could be pissing about on Facebook or some such.

Boogeyman said...

EMS, why aren't you off teaching Australia's future leader?

Our future leader is coming from Tasmania?

Our future leader is a Green?

Noooooooooooooooo.

eat my shorts said...

They don't like the Greens up this way, Boogeyman.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

We're not that fond of them in Preston, either.

eat my shorts said...

Hobartians like the Greens.

WitchOne said...

Puss, ptsd? Hope he's ok.

Pers, we have lurkers?? All we talk about are ongoing cyber kissy face situations between members and your potential sex life! With the odd headline thrown in.

Are we that interesting?? Wonder if the lurkers lurk regularly or just occasionally?

Boogeyman said...

They don't like the Greens up this way

No, that's not true - your state has four in state government, and foisted two of them upon us federally.

You lurrvvv the Greens down there, nyerrr.

Puss In Boots said...

Sorry - post traumatic stress disorder.

I think he'll be ok. He just needs to stop obsessing over it, I think. Which might be easier said than done.

(in small voice - I don't mind the greens...)

eat my shorts said...

Blame the pulp mill. That's what we all do when anything goes wrong.

Spilt milk? *Shakes fist at pulp mill*

Ladder in stockings? *Shakes fist at pulp mill*

You get the idea.

eat my shorts said...

In my very first vote I chose Green just to piss my Dad off. Heh.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I sometimes have nightmares where I accidentally don't vote Labor.

And there's that weird one about Alexander Downer.

eat my shorts said...

I think everyone has nightmares about Alexander Downer. Including Alexander Downer himself.

When I voted Labor last year it really pissed my brother off. He didn't talk to me for a bit. Then he was forced to because his birthday was coming up and he had to tell me what he wanted for his present.

This year, I'm going to get him an AC/DC t-shirt from Chickenfeed. Just in case you were wondering.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

That's some good work there comrade.

I mean about the voting, not the AC/DC t-shirt.

eat my shorts said...

Do you mean about who I'm voting for, or the fact that I can use that to piss members of my family off?

Because the pissing members of my family off is really just a happy by-product of the electoral process.

They were selling the AC/DC t-shirts for ten bucks (and these are the really good bogany ones that are black and would go well with acid-wash jeans and ugg boots), I figure that's a cheap way to annoy the little turd, so don't knock it until you've tried it.

Jamie said...

Just avoid the nuffies with the puppies, the washing machines, the lawnmowers, the people who don't cover their mouths when they cough, the selfish twats who force their way on to your peak-hour train with their bikes and monster backpacks, all the dreadful private school kiddies and the general filth of your average train and drive.

hang the expense to your hip pocket and the environment and travel happy...

WitchOne said...

Sorry Jamie, you're wayyyy off topic now. Back to the actual topic, Pers' potential sex life.

And the Greens.

Yes, I'm obsessed. Problem?

wari lasi said...

Things have certainly gone pear shaped when you're actually off-topic by going back on-topic.

I don't hate the greens per se, it's personal, I hate Bob Brown.

Perseus, when's the family bbq?

patchouligirl said...

An invite to meet the family is a good sign. She is being cautious, taking it one step at a time. Would you like her as much if she had sex on the first date?

I went to two parties on Saturday, a 2nd birthday party and an 18th. Both had been elaborately prepared, both were affected by rain that day and the 3 days previous. The 18th had further unscheduled dramas when the power went off at 9pm for 2 hours, but we left at 9pm as my 17 month old was also running low on batteries by then. The high point of the day was when he ate a red iced cup cake and did a good impersonation of batmans joker.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I hate Bob Brown.

You're not Pat Malone in that one, Wari.

WitchOne said...

Hang on, Pers knows the family, the younger sister is a stalker (sorry, I mean fan) who managed to join the band.

Who cares about a family BBQ? They've known each other for ages, she needs to just sleep with him NOW!

Deprived much?

Mr E Discharge said...

I hate Bob Brown.

The man has single handedly set the Gays Rights movement back by decades.
What sort of role model does he present to the young people considering a career in homosexuality?

Son:"Mum,Dad, I'm Gay"
Mum: "oh, like that nice Mr Brown"
Dad: "Proud of yer, son"
Son: "On second thoughts, I'm going to start a concreting business."

Imagine what Mardi Gras would look like if Bob Brown were the archetypal Gay man.Welcome to the Darlinghurst Dull Fest.

Boogeyman said...

Imagine what Mardi Gras would look like if Bob Brown were the archetypal Gay man.Welcome to the Darlinghurst Dull Fest.

I always wondered why the Mardi Gras didn't feature an Accountant Pride section demanding rebates on arseless business slacks.

wari lasi said...

we left at 9pm as my 17 month old was also running low on batteries by then

My 7 year old rarely makes it past about 730. You've got a toddler with great battery life if you ask me.

Alex said...

Yes, this site does have lurkers. I'm one of them. The reason I don't comment is, well, frankly I'm a bit dull - in every sense of the word.

I'm especially fond of Ramon's insights into the political sphere. You see, a few years ago I stopped watching television due to lack of interest. After a while I started following politics. I find the characters interesting and the story lines engrossing. But since I'm coming into it without any real sense of history or backstory I often find it hard to spot bias, spin or misinformation in news articles. Which is why I like Ramon's stuff. I like seeing news articles being picked apart and I like the fact that his bias is very much up front.

Also, I usually get a laugh from Boogeyman and Eat My Shorts. Though she doesn't seem to comment too much anymore.

Anyway, keep up the good work. I'm going back to lurking now.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Thanks Alex.

The cheque is in the mail.

Perseus said...

"well, frankly I'm a bit dull - in every sense of the word"

Yeah, cos my life is full of wonder and intrigue. Not.

Dude, don't lurk, serious... join in.

eat my shorts said...

Aw, fair suck of the sav Alex! I commented heaps yesterday.

WitchOne said...

Right Alex, and the rest of us?? Just fillers I assume.

Arse.

Okay, that was unfair but if I get a bite it was worth it.

Perseus said...

Oh, I'm filler.
I'd beat Alex in a dull-off.
I work all day, sometimes at night (I'm still at work now), check this blog regularly then go home.

At night I feed the cat.

On Sundays I like to watch Doctor Who.

Out-dull that .

Alex said...

"Right Alex, and the rest of us?? Just fillers I assume."

I thought it would be a bit rude if I just came out and said that directly. If it makes you feel any better, I'm sure that people laugh at you too from time to time.

WitchOne said...

oooooooh, I like you.

And just for the record, I'm fucking hilarious, at least I would be if he put out.

Alex said...

"Out-dull that ."

Easily. For starters, you have a cat to feed. Secondly, I'm sure most would agree that watching Doctor Who is less dull than watching Lateline - which is about the only thing that gets a run my television these days. Lastly, aren't you in a band or something? Not looking so bad by comparison now, huh?

Perseus said...

Yeah but our band is in hiatus because our bass player left to pursure a career in music.

Perseus said...

Pursue. Not pursure.

And now that you've made 3 comments, 1 of which was confrontational and you already have an enemy, you're in.

Your lurking days are over.

One of us, one of us, one of us.

WitchOne said...

This is why lurkers lurk, because the second they comment we drag them in and never let them go.

I suppose they wouldn't be lurkers if they commented would they?

I'll go back to dribbling quietly now.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

because the second they comment we drag them in and never let them go.

Very true.

I remember, lo' these many years ago, coming across a site called The Spin Starts Here.

"What-ho" I thought - coming over all Alexander Downer for some reason "this looks like a bit of a wheeze, I might leave a comment or two".

After that, things got a bit out of hand.

patchouligirl said...

You've got a toddler with great battery life if you ask me
He goes to sleep around 9pm and is up around 6am, so I'm scared to put him to bed earlier as I dont want to be up at 4am. He has a nap (anything from 1 - 3 hours) in the middle of the day, so he exists on around 11 hours sleep a day. Forget that stuff about babies sleeping 16 hours a day, I must have got the insomniac.

Perseus said...

I lurked at TSSH for about a year before making a comment. I stupidly used my band's name as a name, thinking nobody would know, but instantly 3 people asked if I was in that band.

I changed the name to Perseus and made a second comment... something about Tom Cruise being good in Magnolia, thus setting my lowbrow tone for years to come.

Boogeyman said...

coming over all Alexander Downer for some reason

Was this the same dream where Downer was also strangling you?

And you thought Perseus's Palin-love was disturbing.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Boogey, I don't know whether to laugh or vomit in horror.

Boogeyman said...

Do both - I did. Cleanse the palate and the soul before lunch.

Was he wearing the fishnets?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

He was wearing nowt but a cheeky smile, Boogey.

Boogeyman said...

Were those his South Australian cheeks that were smiling so broadly?

And did he offer you a white jar and mention that he was the member for Mayo?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

mention that he was the member for Mayo?

Not any more, he ain't.

The use-by date for that Mayo has well and truly passed.

Boogeyman said...

The use-by date for that Mayo has well and truly passed.

Mayo was looking rather Green at the by-election.

I wonder if Downer's replacement also likes Liberal applications of Mayo.

wari lasi said...

Boogey and Ramon, enough already, the Mayo double entendres are ruining my appetite.

Alex said...

I think I'm really going to miss Downer. His antics always gave me a chuckle. Actually, between Brendan Nelson, Tony Abbott, Bill Heffernan, Wilson Tuckey, Barnaby Joyce, Helen Coonan and that little bloke who's the shadow environment minister, the coalition almost continuously gives me something to chuckle over. So far, all Labor's given me is Peter Garrett and Belinda Neal. Then again, it's only early days yet.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Bow down chaps, we now have the former Foreign Minister joining us.

Mr Downer sir, a pleasure to have you on board.

And by-the-by, First Dog on the Moon has a chilling carton in today's Crikey about the hideous distopian world in which owls rule.

I get the chills just thinking about it.

Kerces said...

Actually Ramon, I was about to ask if you are secretly First Dog and trying to recruit Crikey readers to your owl hate by scaring them with the possibilities...