Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Pregnant Woman Button

I took an overnight bus ride to Hong Kong last week. The bus is always a bit of an adventure since it's pretty crowded and you never know exactly what you're in for. You get a bed that's just wide enough for someone with a body size like mine to fit snugly between the metal bars of your bed on either side. There's three rows of beds in the bus, and they're stacked two beds high. It's a bit of hassle because everyone must take off their shoes and socks before getting on the bus. Fortunately, I've caught a bit of athletes foot and so I was able to stink up the entire bus with the lovely smell of my feet.

When you lie down in the bed, which is tilted at about a 25 degree angle, you have a good foot or two above your head before the bunk or ceiling above you starts. On this ceiling above you is a vent with broken controls that spews freezing cold air at you, two different light buttons which do not work, and a new, amazing 'mystery' button that I've never seen before. It was amazing. It was a picture, drawn in the man/woman toilet picture fashion of having a human silhouette created out of geometric shapes. But this one was different. It looked like either a very fat, or pregnant woman. Her torso was completely round, so it looked to me more like a pregnant woman than a fat one. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me so I couldn't take a picture. Thinking quickly, I grabbed one of my journals and did a quick sketch of what the button looked like so I wouldn't forget. Now that I'm back at my computer, I've tried using my extremely limited artistic abilities to recreate this button for you. I know it looks funny and distorted, but I assure you the real button on the bus looked extremely similar to this.

After sketching the picture and having a good chuckle to myself, my mind was flooded with curiosity. "What in the world could this button be?" Could it be a button for the bus attendant, like in a plane? If so, why was the woman in the picture fat? To be honest she wouldn't be able to fit down the claustrophobic aisles of the bus. The only thing I could come to the conclusion was that it was for if you were pregnant, and currently needed to give birth. You could press the button, and the bus driver would stop the bus, deliver your baby, and then continue. At this point, I couldn't resist the temptation to press the button to see what happened. I began to press it repeatedly. But alas, like every other button above me, it was to no avail. I was neither greeted with a perfectly round woman with a beverage nor someone to aid me birthing a child. I laid back down, disappointed, and tried to sleep.

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