Let me set the scene. DayZ, a mod for ArmA II, is one of the bleakest, most brutal video game experiences you'll ever have.
In keeping communication, convenience and supplies to a minimum, leaving players to their own devices in an empty world out to kill them, it gets what makes a zombie apocalypse so appealing to people.
It's lonely, it's dangerous and most of all it's terrifying.
So imagine my surprise the other day when, while hiding in a house in the middle of a town eating my last can of sardines, I hear a car horn.
No, not a car horn.
A bus horn.
You don't see many vehicles in DayZ because you need to repair them to get them running.
To repair them you need parts, then to run them, you need gas.
Yet here was a bus, riding right through town, horn blazing. And it was full of people.
Running outside, I flagged it down, all the while thinking "what the fuck is going on, I am hailing a bus in the middle of the zombie apocalypse". That and "This has got to be a trap, right?"
Nope. It stopped for me. I got on, and wasn't killed. There were around eight other survivors on the bus, and they were having a blast. It was a party bus. A party bus full of dudes, sure, but a party bus all the same.
People were shouting at the driver to do tricks, to take them to specific places, to stop here so they can pick their buddy up, etc. It was the first, and only time I've ever seen during the game where people weren't acting like terrified bags of meat and could instead let their guard down.
Instead of running from zombies, we all laughed as zombies ran hopelessly after us, safe in our metal sausage fest while they groaned and stumbled and eventually died when the driver would get bored and back over them.
All those laughs ended up getting most of us killed. So confident were we that the zombies couldn't get us on the bus that we all forgot about the other faction at play in the game: arsehole humans. Stopping at a dockyard to pick up some food from some corpses, we were jumped by bandits, and those who weren't initially gunned down were finished off when the bus - our glorious party bus - went up in flames.
In fact, the clip I posted the other day was captured almost immediately after the bus blew, and was me and a few other survivors running for safety.
Rest in Peace, party bus. You were the best of times, shielding us temporarily from a game that's about nothing but the worst of times.
Note: Those who are new to ArmA II with this mod, know that party buses are actually a bit of a thing.