Around this time of year you'll often find Sydney Buses driving around the city festooned with lights, packed with tinsel, groaning under the weight of plastic baubles all in an effort to promote Christmas cheer. I had always stared in wonder at these great festive beasts as they passed me by, thanking various deities that I had never had the occasion to ride in one.
Well yesterday my time finally came. Waiting at the bus stop a merriment mobile pulled up and, being tired and vulnerable, I was compelled to get on. It was intense. Every window was covered with drawings by local schoolkids interspersed with red and green spraypaint blotches, and from the roof hung cellophane lanterns, smiling Santas, candy canes and glittery paddle pop stick arrangements that all but obscured the emergency equipment sharing the space. Some twirly X-mas coloured thing with a reindeer on top would hit me in the head every time the bus cornered too sharply.
As my eyes slowly adjusted, to my amazement I found myself smiling uncontrollably. Under flashing lights, between poorly drawn gingerbread men, commuters sat stoically dismal; defiant in the face of excessive ornamentation. This one-sided battle between man and environment was nothing short of beautiful, the decorations' combined struggle rendered absurd by the commuters' defences, falling like water upon a duck's back. (Where the duck was made of metal and heated to a point that the water would evaporate before even making contact.)
It was a truly a triumph of the human spirit - spirits so crushed and compacted that they were as hard and resilient as diamond.
Ho ho ho.