Suburbanville was a large city of about 4 million inhabitants, and a major transportation hub in its’ own right. The city boasted of having the best airport, the finest train system, best bus coverage, and rightfully so. But things are seldom what they seem.
Mr. Wilkins had been the president of the local delegation of the Public Transportation Workers Union for 23 years. He had seen many changes throughout the years: colleagues coming and going, old buses being replaced by newer, less polluting models, even the new electric trains which were the pride of the city. He had even arranged for a lease system for bycicles when traffic downtown became too much to bear, and many citizens had taken up on it, especially the younger generation.
One thing had not changed though, and that was how rude the average passenger was. They rarely said good morning, and thank yous seemed to be outlawed. They were belligerant, foul-mouthed and you’d say they rarely showered judging by the stink they left behind at rush hour. The thing that really got Mr. Wilkins blood boiling, though, was passengers eating on his cherished public transportation: crumbs, stains and all sorts of trash like plastic bags and cans were left behind every day as a token of the disrespect the average passenger showed towards the pride of the city; someone is bound to clean it up, right? Chewing gum was the worst though; you could find it under every single seat on the buses and trains, and even the airplanes were not immune. It was an epidemic that had to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Mr. Wilkins had approached the Mayor several times over the past few months, expressing his dismay with the current state of affairs and demanding action. Mayor Brunsen would listen to him and nod in silent approval, but could only offer his sympathy and little else: what could he do after all? Mr. Wilkins was right, but Suburbanville had never been known to be the cleanest of cities, and residents’ mindfulness of others would consist mostly of trying not to bump into each others on the busy sidewalks or the traffic jams that marred the city. Everyone was always late for something, and you had better get out of the way, or else.
Mr. Wilkins had tried to reason with the Mayor one final time, to no avail. As he stepped out of City Hall, he watched as a crowd of people elbowed each other to try to get onto an already crowded bus; no one respected the queue, and when the poor bus driver tried to restore some order, he was dragged out of the bus and pushed around by some angry passengers who resented him for not letting them in first. As usual the bystanders did absolutely nothing, except for a few who recorded it with the cellphones, but luckily a police officer was nearby and put an end to the situation.
As the disheveled and frightened driver made his way back into his seat, Mr. Wilkins closed his eyes and roared inside. “No more.” - he thought to himself - “This ends today.”
Harry and Barry had been working together ever since they took their first job as part-timers at Blockbuster. The twins came from a broken family and mostly had to make their own way in the World, with mixed results. They had shared the same womb, but little else: Barry was short and slim and smart, while Harry was tall and broad and dumb as a rock. They each played to their own strenghts but Barry was the mastermind, the one who made sure they could pay the bills at the end of the month.
After stints at Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Walmart, they had found a home with the Suburbanville Public Transportation Deprtament, and they were proud of it too. Harry drove a bus, and Barry was an inspector. They were always assigned the same route, and would spend every waking moment together. Some regular passengers had taken to calling them the bachelor twins and egged them on whenever a pretty young lady would enter the bus. They were both quite homely however, and had not had any luck with the ladies; now well into their 30’s, they had grown accostumed to each other so much they could not live apart even if they wanted to.
That was, until that dreaded day when they were summoned to their manager’s office. He had told them there was a desperate need for ticket inspectors on the trains, and Barry had been placed there instead. They did not sleep that night, either of them. It wasn’t until the dawn made its’ appearance that Barry hugged Harry and tried to comfort him. “Don’t worry, little brother. It’s alright. This is all a terrible mistake, that’s all it is, everyone knows we belong together. We’ll make them understand. One way, or another.”