I’m Disturbed

Okay, stop laughing.  I realize you already know I’m disturbed.  What I meant was:  I’m bothered.  Alarmed.  Perturbed.  Ruffled.  Unnerved.  (Yeah, and addicted to my thesaurus, but that’s a post for another day.)


Last week I was walking past a transit bus shelter near our house.  Some discarded packaging lay on the bench inside.  Apparently one of our fine upstanding citizens considered himself* too important in the grand scheme of things to dump the wrapping in the garbage can only a few feet away.

But that wasn’t what rattled my cage.  No, it was far more subtle and sinister.  As I neared the shelter, I caught sight of the label on the packaging:  “MACHETE”.


So tell me.  If you needed to go out and buy a machete…

Now don’t get ahead of me; I don’t have issues with the need for a machete, even in a large urban area like Calgary.  A machete is a perfectly valid purchase.  It’s a tool.  Hell, I have one.  It’s under the bed…  Um, never mind.

Kidding.  I’m kidding, already!  (It’s actually by the back door.)

Anyhow, I’m not arguing the need for a machete.  And I realize not everyone who requires a machete necessarily owns a car.  In fact, there’s a logical argument for the possibility that if he could afford a car, he’d probably buy a chainsaw.  Or a katana, I guess, depending on whether he planned to cut down rampant underbrush or unwanted neighbours.

But my question is:  Why would he take it out of the package before boarding the bus?

And if you were the bus driver, would you seriously consider stopping to pick up some machete-toting dude?

“Oh, well, he’s carrying a big honkin’ sword that’s capable of cutting my bus in half with a single stroke, but that’s okay.  He probably needs it to chop his compost.  Gardeners are nice people.  I’m sure it’ll be fine…”

Yeah, right.

Here in Canada, it’s not technically illegal to carry a machete, or any kind of bladed tool other than automatic knives like switchblades.  I’ve personally schlepped a pair of axes down the sidewalk in small-town Manitoba without raising too many eyebrows (long story).

But since our laws also contain handy-dandy catch-phrases that prohibit “weapons dangerous to the public peace”, I’m thinking our proud new machete owner might have some ’splainin’ to do unless there was a patch of jungle near the bus shelter.  I didn’t see one, but maybe our intrepid machete-master cleared it before I arrived.

So let’s think about this for a moment.  I prefer to believe our transit bus drivers possess a modicum of common sense.  I’d like to think they wouldn’t allow some machete-wielding freak to get on their bus.  It’s enlightened self-interest if nothing else.

But if there had been a kerfuffle of any sort, I would have read it in the news.  We’re a tough bunch of rednecks around here, but I’m pretty sure a machete on a transit bus would rate a couple of lines near the back of the paper.  But no.  Nothing.

So somewhere in our fair city, there’s a guy who thinks it’s a good idea to carry an unsheathed machete on a transit bus.  And there’s a bus driver who’s okay with that.

I’m disturbed.

And I think I’ll bring my machete the next time I take the bus.  ’Cause one machete-wielding freak obviously isn’t enough for this town.


*Note:  For brevity, I used masculine gender throughout.  I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge the culprit may have been female.  Heaven knows there are days…

34 thoughts on “I’m Disturbed

  1. Pingback: Only In My World | Diane Henders

  2. If you must know, I unwrapped the machete after I got off the bus. Only a disturbed person would think of boarding public transportation with an exposed machete. Where’s the element of surprise in that?


    • That’s got to be it! Either snowboard or skateboard is a possibility here, and I prefer to think the wrapper belonged to an accessory for an extreme sport that doesn’t involve screaming and bloodshed. Well, not for the innocent bystanders, anyway. I guess if it didn’t involve those things for the participants, it wouldn’t be a sport. 🙂


  3. See. That’s the trouble with machete-weilding sociopaths today. . .No consideration for the environment. Not to mention our overburdened municipalities picking up after irresponsible citizenry. And think of overflowing landfills. So the next time you see a frenetic crazed killer with machete riding a transit bus, be sure to give him a piece of my mind for me! Sorry for my rant but it just irks me when when bloodthirsty lunaticts think that just because they hack people up into pieces that they can flagrantly disregard the law and indiscriminately litter. What next?!! Drinking out of styrofoam cups? I say, nip this lawlessness in the bud.


    • Right! Spoken with all the passion and fervour of a brave man living thousands of miles away who WOULD do it himself, dammit, if only he was here.

      I’m inspired, but I think you should send me your address so I can pass it on to the next crazed lunatic I encounter. I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to deliver the lecture in nearly such a stirring fashion as you. I’ll just send him over your way instead.


  4. Hi Diane

    Come to Texas, we have people who do this with guns … but seriously, bus riding will never be the same again.

    I did like the line “Gardeners are nice people. I’m sure it’ll be fine.” I’ll try to remember it if I get stabbed/cut in two.



    • Yeah, gardeners are nice people: “I have a machete, and you’re compost, sucker!” 🙂

      And I’d prefer being confronted by a machete to being confronted by a gun. Although… if I’m allowed options, I think I’d prefer to be holding a gun when confronted by a machete…


  5. I find that the machete conveys a healthy balance of romance and fear. It’s probably less unwieldy than a sword, and packs more of a wallop than a Bowie knife or a stilletto.

    But you’re right, why would anyone think it was a good idea to just brandish a machete out in the open? I don’t imagine a bus driver would stop, let him on, and say, “Good afternoon, sir! And where are you and your very shiny, sharp little friend going today?”

    They’re not kidding when they say truth is stranger than fiction. You can’t make this stuff up.


    • Too true. I’m sure i’ve misinterpreted the situation somehow; it’s just that I can’t figure out a more plausible explanation. And you’re right, a machete has just the right jungle chic vibe. 🙂


  6. Diane, I’m disturbed with you, for several reasons:
    1. I didn’t realise machetes came in packaging
    2. Like you, I can’t believe someone is wielding one wherever they may be
    3. This is the second post I have read this evening that features a machete
    4. Litter louts always disturb me
    Even though I’m in a whole different country, I’ll be on my guard the next time I take the bus.. you never know!
    Thanks for the warning! 🙂


  7. Maybe there were no recycling receptacles nearby, and the machete guy didn’t want to litter on the bus before hacking away. You can get kicked off the bus for littering. 🙂


    • To be honest, I prefer the machete. You can see it a block away. You know how some poisonous frogs are brightly coloured to warn potential predators they’re dangerous? Yeah, like that.

      “Hello, machete. Maybe I’ll take a different bus.”


      • It’s nice to be able to choose whether or not to get on the bus with a weapon-wielding potential psycho. Stay safe out there : )


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