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February 21, 2013

Bus stories

My old bus to work had this guy name George who would get on about 5 minutes into my ride. He was probably in his late 70s, and always had a newspaper and a shock of pomaded white hair that stuck up in the back. The moment he got on he would start regaling the driver in an outside voice with everything that was wrong in the world. Most of his sentences either started or ended with "I tell ya..." and he had lots of theories about President Obama. Like how the reason he wants to take all our guns away is so he can round up all the Jews and send them to Siberia without any citizen resistance.

George was pretty sure most people were out to fleece him most of the time. He was also pretty sure our country and our world was going to hell in a handbasket and would tell anyone who would listen. Everyone on the bus wanted to listen; George was pretty sure of that.

I always wondered if George had an actual destination in downtown or if riding the bus was what he did to socialize.

The bus driver of my old bus to work would respond to George, but Driver never acknowledged my "Good morning!" or my friendly smile or my "Thank you!" when I got off. He just stared at me. Poker-faced. When I returned from France with a broken foot, I hobbled up to the bus with my walking boot and my crutches and looked up at him hopefully, expecting him to lower the ramp. Instead he regarded me icily. I gritted my teeth and hopped up the steps as best I could.

My old bus to work had a stop across the street from a Salvation Army center, which brought an infusion of colorful characters for the last six minutes of the ride. One time a couple of guys had been fighting at the stop, and when the bus arrived one of them managed to punch the other into the bus while Driver yelled, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" but did nothing to stop it. We had to sit there for another 10 minutes post-altercation while he phoned in a report. I don't think George was there that day.

There is nothing interesting about my new bus to work.

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