Physics and gravity - Mark's Story


In 1982, I lived in Abbotsford and caught the bus along Hoddle Street and Punt Road to get to work at the Alfred Hospital. One morning I had to raid my gambling tin to extract the bus fare in one, two and five cent pieces. The driver was less than impressed with my present and slapped my hand away, spilling the little coins across the floor of the bus. I didn’t pick them up; just sat down and enjoyed the ride.

The next day, the same driver stopped the bus and opened the back door to exiting passengers but refused to open it for me. I grabbed the hand rails on the side of the entrance doors and hung on for dear life as the bus departed. Knowing a bit about physics and gravity, I figured that it would be imprudent to let go once the bus had gathered a bit of speed so travelled thus from Vere Street to Victoria Street, where the driver was forced to stop and let me on.

Being 19-years-old and probably permanently affected by the night before, I can’t recall much else about the incident — there were no mobile phones with natty cameras to record this heinous crime for tabloid TV — but I do know that the interminably slow moving peak hour traffic probably saved me that day.