A man holding a signboard gets on the crowded bus. His voice is loud, louder than the conductor’s, and he hustles the passengers along much as the conductor normally would. He settles in and then:

“Nais ko lang pong ipamalita na may news black out po. Ako po’y isang guro ng electronics, at may nadiskubre po ako na ikinagalit ng mga propesor ng Mathematics at Engineering. Baligtad po ang sign ng mga atom. Ang positibo po ay negatibo. Ang nakadiskubre po kasi ng electrons na si Alessandro Volta ay nagkamali sa paglalagay ng sign.”

And so on.

He gets off a few stops later, but not before reminding us: “Tandaan po natin, flat ang mundo!” He then holds up his signboard as we drive past him.

The entire bus is silent for perhaps a couple of seconds, and then the bemused murmurs begin.