The tragedy of Hans

Del Griffith: “Meet the Flintstones! …”

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

It was a normal working weekday for Hans. He was at the bus stop punctually in his baggy, faded blue jeans. While waiting for the bus, he noticed the left leg-sleeve split and sweeping the floor. Crossing his leg as he lifted it, he sloppily rolled the sleeve into a bunch just above the shoe line. The right side was left unattended. He felt a small panic when he realized he may have to buy a new pair of jeans. “Where was he ever going to find the same color? And then it won’t even be as faded as this one. It would be all new and …”. His thoughts were interrupted when he saw his bus approach. He noticed a bunch of young school girls queuing up to board the bus. His competitive  instincts kicked in and he positioned himself to make sure he was the first to board the bus.

Hans looked 38, was in fact 28, but had the mentality of a 13 year old. He was 5’8″ tall and weighed 95kgs. His lack of mental development was often masked behind his huge bulky frame. Balding at the crown of his head, he somehow managed to pat his remaining hair down into something of a respectable wig.

Hans clambered aboard the bus with huff and puff while the passengers behind him were treated to a his huge backside. He took a vacant aisle seat. As the bus pulled out, Hans realized that his co-passenger (who happened to be a 7 year old boy with some sort of mental disability) was playing ‘The Flintstones’ on his phone. This irritated Hans as he considered it an invasion of his space. After getting a ticket for himself, Hans turned an angry stare at the kid to make known his irritation. The kid looked at Hans smilingly, oblivious to his anger. Hans hardened his stare. The kid blinked. He then pulled his phone closer to his chest and turned his face away while still keeping a sly gaze fixed on Hans.

Hans grew impatient. Thinking furiously as to what he could do, he struck upon an idea. He fished out his own phone from within his pockets and browsing  the loudest heavy metal song he could find, he began to play it on his phone.  He turned on the volume and leaned back with a smirk on his face. The kid turned and looked blankly at the 95kg bully at his side. After a moment’s hesitation, the kid increased the volume on his phone. Hans did likewise without a missing a beat. The kid retaliated once more and Hans was quick to counter. In the end, the kid was no match.

As the drama unfolded, bus passengers began to overlook the episode. Hans was oblivious to their stares. Two teenagers sitting right behind Hans and the kid were keenly observing the wordless yet increasingly noisy fight. Judging from the school uniform they understood the kid to have some disability. But it wasn’t important, because Hans’ behavior was repulsive enough for them to dislike him. How were they to know Hans, was himself a kid? To teach Hans a lesson, they whipped out their respective phones and began to play ‘The Flintstones’, at the highest volume. This caused Hans and the kid to turn around; the kid in curiosity, Hans in shock. The teenagers winked at the kid. The kid met Hans’ gaze with a wide smile. Hans’ face flushed with anger. He turned back and increased his phone volume to the fullest.

As the minutes passed by, Hans was unrelenting and continued to play, while the teenagers started to loop ‘The Flintstones’. Although annoyed at first, fellow passengers then started to join in one by one, by playing ‘The Flintstones’ on their phone. Now Hans was sweating; he wanted to scream and wail. He wanted his way. Unable to bear the ignominy any longer, Hans got up and made his way to the front of the bus. He got off the bus clutching his phone which was now screaming unintelligible obscenities. As Hans alighted from the bus, the passengers yelled in unison “Yabba Dabba Doo!”.

To be continued…

Note: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


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