Monday, January 30, 2017

I Applauded My Bus Driver This Evening...

Since I had the use of Donn's vehicle for a month, I haven't been riding the bus recently.  The day after I returned the car I had a couple of jobs that required I ride the 208 bus, to travel efficiently. I am still working at one of those houses, the other owners having returned.  In the late afternoon, I catch the bus at Glenwood and 29th, disembark at Broadway and Elder; then get back on at Broadway and Cedar after caring for the hens and cats.  I ride the bus back to Glenwood and 29th, and walk two blocks home.  A thin, tall older woman usually drives the bus I use - and today was no different.  She greeted me with a grin, and wished me a "Good evening," when I left.
   I caught her on the way back, and we laughed, and said, "Long time - no see."  I took a seat four rows back and settled in.  Most of the people on the bus were under 25, and I'd guess that several were teenagers.  The stop before I get off the bus is a major one, and several people disembarked.  There were three people waiting at the stop, who might, or might not be, possible riders.  One man got on, used his pass and sat down.  The other two people did not move at all.  The bus driver closed the doors, and started to ease the bus away from the stop.
  A man, who had been engrossed with a cell phone, immediately banged his fist on the closed front door and began to curse.  The bus driver stopped and opened the door.  The man turned back to his cell phone and turned his back to the door.  The driver started to close the door, again, and the man turned around and started yelling again.  The driver re-opened the door, and said, "Well, then, get on."  The man then bent over and grabbed a bike that had been lying on the ground.  He very slowly and deliberately moved to the front bumper of the bus, rolling his bike beside him.  When he arrived at the front, he kicked the bicycle carrier, which was folded up (since it wasn't in use).  Then he pulled it loose and let the rack fall into place, after which, he kicked it again.  Then he picked his bike up and dropped it into place.  He moved it back and forth several times, and finally dropped the tire loop into position.  Then he walked back to the door of the bus, and said, "Just a minute."  He then sauntered over to the covered waiting area and grabbed a cardboard case of 24 Dr Pepper sodas.  The handle broke as he was boarding the bus, and he just managed to get his hand and arm under the bottom, preventing a bursting box of 24 cans flying everywhere.  The man was cursing the entire time.
   The driver called out, "Come on in, or get your bike and go!"   The man continued cussing at the top of his voice.  He came up the steps and dropped the cardboard container on the seat, and then he sat down.  The driver said, "I need to see your pass, or you need to pay the fare."  - Everyone else on the bus was turning their heads back and forth, as if we were viewing a tennis match. -  The man yelled, "I had to put my drinks down, first, you bitch!"  The driver turned in her seat, and said, "You owe me an apology, mister."  He didn't say anything.  "You pay, or show me a pass, and apologize; or you get off the bus."  I stood up and started clapping.  Peoples eyes were dancing back and forth between the two. Finally, the man showed his pass, and started complaining that he was having troubles with his girlfriend.  She said she didn't care, it didn't pertain to her, and she still needed an apology.  I applauded again.  He stood there and finally said, "I guess....  I apologize."  She nodded, said, "I accept that," and started to pull the bus out into traffic.
   Then the man exploded again - "It's not my fault!  It's that bitch of a girl-friend! I...."  She stopped the bus again.  She said, "You're a nasty trouble-maker. You did the same things this morning, and you did them this past Friday.  I can refuse to drive with you on my bus.  Do you know I have that right?"  He said, very quietly, "I'm sorry."  She put the bus back into gear and we started to move again.  As she pulled out into traffic, he suddenly yelled again, "It's all that bitch's fault! She-" and the driver cut him off.  "That's none of my concern," she said.  She looked ahead, and he turned scarlet and screamed, "I've got fucking AIDS!"  She glanced at him, and said, "That's not my fault, either.  Be quiet."
    We finally traveled one block and made the turn onto Glenwood.  I stepped up to the front door to leave, and I patted her shoulder, and said, "I support you. If you need a witness, I'm here."  Then I looked at the man as I was going down the stairs.  I said, "Mister, you are a menace to normal society.  You should be locked up, evaluated, and placed on medication, or locked away."  Then I walked home.  I think the other riders got more than they expected on the 208 this evening...

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