280 Stops

A novella for the Internet about the 11 bus.

- Seven -

Mr Andre De Jong

Outward appearance

Dominated by his not-quite-untidy-enough-to-be-accidental shoulder-length hair and a goatee which might belong at Glastonbury or in a design studio, Andre (he hasn't used his last name in over two years) looks every bit the urban hipster. He looks uncomfortably at the seat fabric.

Inside Information

It's the latter; the goatee. Andre was happily living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn until last month, when the directors of his studio panicked that the famous borough had jumped the shark and, after staggeringly little research, chose to move the creative department wholesale to The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham, England.

What they are doing or thinking

Andre, like the other three senior designers at Zaphiks, were on a mission to make contact with the vibrant cultural scene that the internet had seemed to promise. He drew the bus project. At the same time the director initially responsible for the move is sat in the office looking through portfolios for junior staff. In a minute, he'll look at twitter. The other directors are on a fact-finding trip to Detroit's up-and-coming Eastside; the other area the web identified as a promising replacement.

After contemplating the loss of all his favourite non-franchise coffee bars, Andre has just sent a tweet, describing the bus, its passengers, the city it travels in, the post-motor industry world and - most significantly - his employer in less than flattering terms. The glow of editorial success that came from cramming all these sentiments into 140 characters which led him to press send and the pleasure of the iPhone 3GS's tweet sound has now been replaced by the fear of being alone and unemployed a long way from home.