I was still getting over last Wednesday's bus ride home from Downtown. You know, the one where the bus is SRO, mostly due to the selfish people who believe that their backpacks have a right to a free separate seat, to allow their hands free to flick their fingers at their cell phones. And then a guy and three ladies get on. He looks like the fat guy from Hangover, and he's joking loudly with the ladies, who are trying to get him to control himself. So, encouraged by all their negative attention, he starts singing West Side Story - the whole thing. He doesn't sing that well, but he's very loud. The Jets, Tonight Tonight, but by the time he got to Maria I had to get off the Ship of Fools. He tried to get his women companions to do backup vocals, but they were too embarrassed
So, now, every time I step on the bus, I've been dreading the encore performance of "I Feel Pretty". Well, I was about to learn, there are worse things happening on a crowded buses than choreography in the aisles.
Today's bus was monumentally late - more than 20 minutes. This bus almost crossed the line where it becomes The Next Bus. The bus was Standing Room Only again, though only half full, because of the back pack people. Stinking Room Only, thanks to the bus's air conditioning being broken, or maybe it was set to some boardroom's idea of a temperature that would ensure a sustainable future for the planet. The board-room fat-asses who make such decisions about bus climate should be required to ride in the buses they are controlling. And it stank (stunk?) - - we're talking Cleaning Cages Day at the Monkey House of the County Zoo. The windows in buses no longer open. And oxygen masks do not drop down from the ceiling.
I found a sideways seat near the back and sat down. After I had sat down, a guy on the back bench tells me "Just so you know - there was a guy throwing up in that seat just 20 minutes ago. I think they got it all cleaned up, but just so you know..." Oh, great, The More You Know, eh buddy. I can't wait to get home and burn my clothes. At the next stop, someone in front of my seat got off, and I slid into that seat instead. Someone else sat in the seat I had previously occupied. I counted down - 3 - 2 - 1 , and right on cue behind me I heard "Just so you know, there was a guy throwing up etc.", and the next victim of the throno et vomens jumped up and stood for the rest of the ride.
Meanwhile, the bus which is already running over a half-hour behind, is being over-run by Special Needs. Bicycles coming on and off the front rack. A wheelchair - that means at least two minutes lowering the ramp, clearing out the handicap area, fastening the wheels, folding the ramp back up. That's OK, nothing the bus line can do about the ADA. But, two blocks later, the wheelchair guy wants to get off. Dude, you wheeled yourself for more than a block to get to the bus stop, is a two-block trip on a bus really necessary? You coulda been there already!
Then a lady boards shoving a stroller. But there's already a wheelchair in the handicapped spot, so Baby goes in the aisle. Of course, Baby had to take a dump. As we know, babies have many ways of notifying us of such things. First there is the ear-splitting shriek. How can a baby keep up such volume without tiring or even taking a breath? My head is hurting. And then Baby sends out the second notice - the nostril-melting stench. Back in the vomit section, it's getting pretty hot without the air conditioning. The vomit guy keeps re-telling his story but only after people sit down on the seat. And the baby is still letting out that endless piercing scream.
Finally I was released at my stop. As the bus stank and screamed off into the distance, I did not feel Pretty and Witty and Wise.