Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rhymes with "At"

Just when I thought September was going to be the most normal month in the history of the 22 commute, today happened.... It began with a baby yelling "BA BAAA! BA BAAA! BA BAAA! BA BAAAAAAAA!! MAMA BA BAAAAAA!!!!..." Okaayyy, just give her the baba already. Once the child is plugged, a little peace, until three older teenage boys walk on the bus quietly chanting something. They proceed to the back and sit their sagging pants in a row. Quick pause then one starts rapping loudly, and the other two join in every other line before merging into every lyric together. I saw one lady roll her eyes and I heard an annoyed, "psshh" from the seat behind me. As for me, I did nothing but enjoy the music of the 22 that went something like this:

You know I wanna smack that; tap that
Going to attack
Don't F with da Brat
You know where I'm at

Only in my head, some homeless guy shouts "Yer on the bus; SHUT UP!" The homies exit at the next stop...just as the token drunk guy stumbles on. He sits down right in front of me. I get a gusting whiff of gin, just as he leans his head forward and stretches one hand back over his seat for stability. He is swaying somewhat and it looks as if he is dizzy. I am now torn as to whether I want the bus driver to go faster and get me off the bus quicker, or slow down so this guy doesn't ralph right in front of me. Not surprisingly, he gets off after two stops, and I'm saved. Speed up bus driver!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Times a Changing?

The bus has been eerily normal this month, hence the lack of posts. A lot of the regulars I used to see on the bus, I haven't seen for awhile. The elderly white woman who speaks in old-fashioned Korean radio, the drunken slurrer who has passed out at every other bus stop on my route, the younger gal who bobs her head as she argues with no one...nowhere to be found. What happened? Is it the under construction QFC and Whole Foods that'r changing the face of the neighborhood? The newly renovated KFC and Taco Time? (That KFC really does look sharp now.) Does it have to do with dealership row closing down? Last week I saw something I've never seen on my bus -- a yoga mat. A very healthy-looking woman got off the bus clearly ready and on her way to yoga class. She's a very different breed of commuter than I'm used to, and she was odorless too. I dunno...don't want to make any predictions but one day I may be writing about the snobbery of the 22 over its sour stench.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Protecting the Innocent

My bus pulls up to a regular stop on its route today, comes to a complete stop, and opens its doors to waiting victims of the bus. There's a man standing at the edge of the sidewalk looking like he wants to board, but when the doors open he stands in place, unmoving. So, bus driver closes door and slowly pulls away. Okay, lemme tangent real quick -- if you are waiting at a bus stop alone, the next bus that comes by, regardless of whether it's the one you want or not, is going to STOP for you because the bus driver doesn't know better. Bus drivers cannot read minds! If it is NOT the bus you need, please don't wait for the driver to pull out of traffic, stop and open its doors before you say, "No thanks." Because our big hunk of slow-moving metal now has to wait for ten cars to go by before merging back in traffic and it'll take the next five minutes to accelerate back up to speed before stopping for the next idiot who doesn't wave our bus along. WAVE the bus to go by, or shake your head noticeably. These are the appropriate forms of denying a ride on the bus if you are alone at a bus stop. We who are suffering on that bus that smells like feet don't care for the additional three minutes wasted just to get a close-up of your face, thankyouverymuch. Back to the story: Bus driver begins to pull away and I'm annoyed for reasons just explained, then suddenly it's like the man on the sidewalk snaps into consciousness and he runs after the bus, waving his hand frantically, so bus driver pulls over again. Guy gets on in a huge huff and yells, "I guess you gotta be real fast around here!" I'm thinking: Or just sober. Then he calls the bus driver an idiot, mumbles a few things and gets off the bus two stops later, but not without threatening to report the driver first. I roll my eyes, not too worried this guy even has access to a phone or Internet. But as I depart, I tell the bus driver I saw the whole thing and I would defend him if the guy complains. It's good to have friends on the inside.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Someone Who Does NOT Ride My Bus...

This post is not at all related to my bus blog, however, I just can't help taking this chunk of space to brag about my 16-year-old nephew Dan Jr. He is currently in Veracruz, Mexico pitching for the 16U National Team. Today, they play their first game against Panama. I don't even want to think how my brother, Dan Sr., is handling it. "Take a pink pill Dan, and relax." Thank goodness my dad, Grandpa, is there to help. I'm also told Dan Jr. just accepted a verbal offer for a full ride scholarship to OSU. He chose that over UCLA, Stanford, Cal State and a couple other offers, apparently. He's been scouted by colleges since he was 14, and now the pros have their eye on this kid who is 6'5" and pitches 95 mph. GO DAN! Patrons of the 22 are rooting for you!!



Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bitter & Sweet

A frequent rider boards the bus again today. He walks on, sits down, pulls the cord and gets off at the very next stop, which is one block away, downhill. He does this every time. This guy is very capable of walking the 50 or so steps it would take to get to his next stop. It's not like he walked far to get to the bus stop, because I know for a fact he lives right behind it. I see him sitting on his apartment balcony, shirtless and smoking his cigarette almost every day. He is probably 100 pounds overweight, greasy hair and his belly hangs far lower than the hem of his shirt. As soon as he sits down an unpleasant odor fans in my direction, so now I'm happy he's getting off at the next stop. His stomach and his arms are covered in scabs, some larger than silver dollars. So now I'm really happy he's getting off at the next stop, and I've decided I'm no longer hungry for dinner. It could be a skin disorder, yes, and if that's the case, I feel bad, but not so bad considering he could've chosen a longer shirt. By the looks of him, lack of proper hygiene is a contributing factor.

On a lighter note, a teeny chihuaha got on the bus today for the second day in a row. The doggie owner walks on with carrier in one hand and chihuaha in the other, he sits down and dog licks his hand. He is too cute! And he looks so fragile. I think: My cat would eat this poor puppy for lunch! (I snapped a phone pic of it pretending to text, of course.)

Kitty with a chihuaha tummy ache.