The sense of injustice heightened as it dawned on me that there was no guarantee I would get on the next bus either. I did, but when we got to Monkton, a woman and her dog were refused because I was on already with Rosie. It seems all the drivers have had the memo then. When. I got home I looked up the Stagecoach ‘rules for carriage’. The only reference to dogs was this - “One accompanied, well-behaved dog which will not be a danger or a nuisance for other customers or our staff is allowed to travel with you on our buses at the discretion of the driver.” That could be a description of our Rosie and no mention at all of ‘one dog per bus’.
That’s when I made my mistake. I should have left it at that. Instead I fired off my angry email - ‘no other bus operator has such a draconian rule; safety of driver and passengers is already covered by rules about driver discretion and the need for dogs to be under owners’ control at all times; and, in any case, the rule doesn’t say what you think it says.’ I got a reply from Stagecoach’s Head of Rebuttal of emails from Grumpy Old Men (or something like that) setting out the research and careful data analysis on which their policy was based. Well what she actually said was she had once been on a bus where two dogs started to fight (obviously not a Stagecoach bus).
Perhaps I should have left it alone, but on the other hand, to paraphrase the late Dr King “Injustice to a dog anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ To be honest Rosie didn’t seem that bothered about being put off the bus - just slightly bemused at why the bus trip was so short. I was the one left seething.
Anyway I hope you can see what I have done here. I have managed to write 400 words describing feelings of being stressed, helpless, drained, frustrated, angry, exasperated, excluded- without a single mention of the dreaded ‘B****t’ word.