Transportation Tuesday: It’s Not Like It’s Illegal

Scene: Morning bus. Stopped at a transit station.


Ready… and action.

SECURITY OFFICER: Bus fare! Everyone, get out your bus fare!

[Everyone scrambles for their wallets and lanyards.]

SECURITY OFFICER: Show me your bus fare please. Show me your bus fare please. Bus fare please. Bus fare… [People fumble around]

ME: [Of course, my wallet decides to magically envelope itself in my pocket.]

SECURITY OFFICER: Bus fare please.

ME: [Fumble. Twist. Pull. Push. Pull again. There we go- oh, no, pull to the left. Ok, there we go.]

[Note: When under pressure, time seems to stretch like Joan River’s botoxed face.]

SECURITY OFFICER: Bus fare, sir?

NOVEMBER: [Pulls out bus pass]

SECURITY OFFICER: [Squinting] That’s expired.

NOVEMBER: [“Duh” expression] No, it expires the end of November. [Lifts pass higher, as if the officer were bat blind]

SECURITY OFFICER: No, that expired November of last year, sir.

NOVEMBER: Huh? [Pulls pass back, scrutinizes it incomprehensibly. He looks like he’s tasting gym sock hors d’oeuvres.]

SECURITY OFFICER: I’ll have to ask you to get off the bus please.

NOVEMBER: [Walk of shame]

METH HEAD: [Mutters as SECURITY OFFICER leaves] [bleep]ing Nazis. They’re all [bleep]ing Nazis. God damn. [bleep] [bleepity bleep] What [bleep] .

[Maybe we should add another “bleep” for good measure.]

[The bus is now in motion again.]

METH HEAD: [Picks up cell phone. Doesn’t bother keeping his voice down.] Yeah, hey, what is up, man? Yeah these bus cops are [bleep]ing Nazis, man. I swear. It’s [bleep]ing ridiculous. Yeah? Oh [bleep], man. How much meth you take?

[Everyone around him is visibly uncomfortable. Avoiding eye contact at all costs.]

METH HEAD: 120 mg? I take 80 and I still get [bleep]ing high. I’m high everyday. I got the good stuff. I built up an “ee-mew-nity,” I take so much. The meth gets me so [bleep]ing high.

ME: [Dum-de-dum-de-dum, reading a book and minding my own business]

METH HEAD: [bleep] We got to get together. I got the really good stuff, man. Yeah. [bleep] Ah, hell yeah. No [bleep]ing way! [bleep] No [bleep] . Yeah. Yeah. Uh-huh. A’ight. I’ll see you in like an hour, man.

Amy Winehouse, rest in peace

Do not insert joke of poor taste here

Moral of the story: Just say “no.”

Or if you say “yes,” be quiet about it.

And get your bus fare ready. People have places to go.

Transportation Tuesday: I Like Your Earrings

Scene: The seat behind me. Back of the bus. Morning.


Annoying Girl Laughing at You


Like A Cholo



GANGSTA: [Gets on bus]

IMPULSIVE TALKER: Hey, are those diamonds? [Points at GANGSTA’s earrings, half carat Dollar Tree studs that sparkle like an oil-covered baby seal]


IMPULSIVE TALKER: [A little louder] Hey, are those diamonds?! Hey! Are – those – diamonds???!

GANGSTA: Why you wanna’ know, foo? Huh?

IMPULSIVE TALKER: Geez, I was just asking. You don’t have to be an ass.

GANGSTA: Ey, I don’t needa’ take that sh*t from you. I don’t need to take that kind of sh*t from you, b*tch.

OTHER PASSENGER: She was just asking a question.

GANGSTA: Shut up, man. Why don’t you mind your own business?

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [scoffs] Don’t be rude! I’m telling on you. [Gets up and walks toward the front of the bus]

GANGSTA: You need to grow up, b*tch! [Mutters in Spanish]

ME: [Thinking] Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh.

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [To bus driver] The man back there is using bad language. He’s being rude. I mean RUDE.

DRIVER: [sighs, wondering why he has this job, oh yeah, because job position on the Magic School Bus was already taken] I’ll talk to him.

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [Struts back triumphantly] I told on you.

GANGSTA: You need to learn how to grow up. [Mutters in Spanish again]

ME: [Thinking] Fight, fight, fight, fight!


Unfortunately, no physical fighting occurs. Darn. Although I think I could hear the daggers flying through the air from IMPULSIVE TALKER’s eyes for the rest of the bus ride.

Jersey Shore sucks

Still better than "Jersey Shore"

Transportation Tuesday: Preview

I don’t take the bus because I want to be green. I don’t take the bus because I like the smell of cigarette smoke and body odor. And I most certainly don’t take the bus because I like waking up two hours early to get to class on time. (If there’s anything I value more than the sanctity of my olfactory system, it’s sleeping.)

I only take the bus because I don’t have a car and I’m broke.

No, this is not a smear campaign against public transportation. Public transportation is great. It is a cheaper alternative to driving. I’d rather pay $6 a week for bus tickets than $60 a week filling up my gas glutton Hummer. On the bus, I can finish the homework I procrastinated on (not that I procrastinate), read a non-academic book (What’s Your Number is almost as bad as the movie), or people-watch (it’s only creepy if they catch you staring). It’s fun, like the adventure of someone who hardly has a life…


Yes, it hardly smells like a Hallmark candle and the [lack of] elbow room is deplorable, but let me tell you one thing: It’s a heck of a lot better than “Jersey Shore.”

Bobby Moynihan as Snooki

Google search: "Jersey Shore Stupid"

The greatest upside of public transportation is the front row seat to live, unscripted, reality entertainment. It’s true that people from many walks of life ride the bus, not just the people (like me) who can’t afford to drive. However, crazy people with enough spare change in their pocket inevitably ride the bus. And boy what a ride it becomes.

Thus begins the new segment “Transportation Tuesday.” Each Tuesday will bring a written, word-for-word transcript of one of my wacky experiences while using public transportation. Well, perhaps it won’t be exactly how the incident occured, but it will be close enough for the sake of laughs and your reading pleasure.

Here’s an unsavory taste:

WOMAN WITH LARGE NOSTRILS: [Digging for gold in the mines of Mt. Left Nez, while talking on phone] “Yeah, Cheryl? Yeah, I’ve got the charger. I’ll be there in 10 minutes. Meet me there.”

ME: [Directly to her left, trying to dodge the nugget rockets]

WOMAN WITH LARGE NOSTRILS: [Snorts] “Well, tell Gary not to slap the meat next time!” [Guffaw, guffaw, snort] “He’s so stupid…”

ME: [Thinking] Look out the window. Pretend she’s not doing what I know she’s doing. La la la, la la. Happy, sanitary place.

Yeah, riding the bus is a dream.

Do you ride on public transportation to/from school? Or at all? Share your experiences in the comments below.