Getting Hit by the Girlie Bus: Scotland 2007

Have you ever gotten hit by the girlie bus? Chances are you have. Especially, if you are friends with me.

The idea of the “girlie bus” originated back in early October 2007 by a skinny Englishman named Ryan. Back then, Ryan was a fresher – new to the University of Edinburgh and to the city— who had the misfortune of living in the flat below us.* We meet Ryan during a drunken (him) Fresher’s Week fiesta in which he so very eloquently informed us that the “English never lose” over and over and over again. While Ryan most certainly lost that night—something that we never reminded him about at least once a day—we’d like to think that he “won” a trio of lovable, if not a little crazy, American friends.* We did everything together— from open days around Edinburgh, sneaky trips to Starbucks, nightly movie watching parties etc. And while our other flatmates primarily remained objects of pure entertainment, Ryan became like family, our little brother, our fourth partner in crime for all our crazy and boisterous ways. Now, not every moment was like some Norman Rockwell painting. We definitely had some sibling squabbles and none were as spectacular as the morning of our trip to Loch Ness. The day that shall be henceforth known as the origin of the “girlie bus.”

Our day began at 4AM, a time that no respectable living human being should ever have to wake up at. Now, a person upon being told that they must be somewhere at a certain ungodly morning hour (typically between the ranges of 3AM-7AM) has two choices. Option #1- Set your alarm and hope for the best. Or attempt to forget about waking up by overconsuming highly caffeinated beverages. Option #2- Forget about sleep, and just stay out all night so you don’t have to wake up. Now on that very morning, the three of us chose option #1. Ryan, being younger and therefore, more capable for pulling all-nighters, chose option #2.

As a result, our morning went like this.

We wake up and curse our enthusiasm for quintessential Scottish touristy moments.

Ryan, full of way too much energy and life, celebrates the fact that he gets to take a trip on a train.

We stumble down the darkened, hellish cobblestones adorning the Royal Mile towards the train station.

Ryan skips down the cobblestones while commenting on the beauty of Edinburgh’s dawn.

Now, Ryan, still in his slightly inebriated state, missed the memo that the three of us, despite being perpetual perky at most hours of the day & night, are not morning people. Instead, he decides that he will share his last night adventures with all of us, individually, at 4 in the morning.

Ryan started with Steph, who is undoubtedly the most non-morning person out of the three of us as evidenced by our later trip to Belgium. Now I can’t say for certain what transpired between Steph and Ryan, however I can confirm that not a word was uttered before Ryan came gallivanting towards me.  I luckily have experience many a early morning rowing practice and therefore was able to muster up my best “look of death.”

Ryan ended up walking side by side with Sarah. Now Sarah, or “Mama Sarah” as we like to call her, is probably the nicest of the three of us, and Ryan probably thought that while Steph and I were silently whimpering during his tales of drunken debauchary, Sarah would surely be receptive to his amazing stories. Unfortunately, what he didn’t contend with was the fact that it was 4 in the morning, and the only people receptive to 4AM stories are other drunken people. Or rowers, but everyone knows they are crazy. Anyways, after listening for a couple of minutes, Sarah finally couldn’t take it any more and exclaimed, “Ryan, it’s four in the morning. It’s quiet time.” Ryan in a stunned, if not hurt, manner, looked at the three of us collectively, and then sauntered off to join the rest of our flatmates walking ahead of us. Hanging back, we starred at each other, grateful for Sarah’s speech, but also questioning whether or not we had been too harsh on Ryan. “Nah” Steph replied” “It’s 4 in the morning”

Ryan, smart boy that he is, recognized by this point that we are not morning people and left us to sleep it off on our four hour train ride to Inverness, and reconvened with us on our quest to find Nessie- the Loch Ness monster, but on the train ride back, he couldn’t resist but give us his own version of what it is like to talk to the three of us.

Normally talking to you lot is like trying to cross the Street. Every time I take a step forward, a girlie bus whizzes by and runs me over. Then when I stand up, the doors fling upon and knock me down again. And then when I I finally think I can’t get knocked down again, people exit the bus and trample all over me.

But at 4 AM the roads are clear and I can finally cross the street.

And henceforth, the idea of the girlie bus was brought to fruition. The official definition being:

Girlie Bus (noun) to get constantly and empathetically interrupted by a group of people; wherein one person starts the story, and the rest of group will interjects when the first person stops to take a breath or bite to eat.

Also: Girlie Bussed (verb); I just got girlie bussed while trying to tell my story.

In addition to the girlie bus, there is the:

Girlie circle (noun) where on person will start a story, another person will interrupt with a side tangent only to be interrupted by another person with another side tangent (etc), and will ultimately conclude when the first person interrupts with the concluding part to the original story.

Note: The idea of the girlie circle comes from our Norwegian flatmate, Axel in an angered attempt to get us to stop talking and let him contribute to a story. In his words: I hate talking to you three. I’ll start a story and the moment I stop to take a breath one of you will interrupt with something completely different and then another one will interrupt that person with another pointless story. Just let me finish my freaking story. Sorry Ax-man, when you take a breathe, we take that as a sign that you’re done with your story.

* The Us/American friends refers to my two roommates Steph and Sarah.

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