What is a lunch loop?
The day started uneventfully. My first loop is typically slow with only a handful of passengers boarding or disembarking. That means very few stops and a reasonably quick loop. For those who don’t already know, a standard route starts and stops at the same point. We call that point a transfer stop. Passengers use it to change buses and continue their journey. So, for obvious reasons, we call a one-hour trip around the route, a loop.
Just a little more background is needed before we dive in, bear with me. There are no bathrooms on the bus, so if you have a problem using public facilities, driving a bus will challenge your kidneys, bladder, and bowels.
Because we have a schedule to keep, drivers use public bathrooms close to bus stops. We simply pull up to a stop, secure the bus, and jump out to take care of business. Passengers wait patiently because, well, they have no choice.
Okay, I think that’s enough back-story for this episode.
Our story begins on what we refer to as the lunch loop. You might think the lunch loop is when you take lunch, but that would be wrong. The lunch loop is the loop you complete just before you take lunch. My lunch loop was from noon to 1:00 pm.
I began my lunch loop with an empty bus, and the first few stops along the way were empty, so it was a good time to make a pit stop. There’s a fast-food restaurant (which I will not name) that is conveniently located near one of my stops, and as you might guess, I use the restroom frequently.
I went in and began to use the urinal. I’ll spare the particulars. Suffice it to say, I was in the process of using it as intended when I heard some loud grunts and groans coming from the toilet stall next to me. I figured I better hurry before being overwhelmed by the impending stench. But I’m a bus driver, and we have, by necessity, large capacity bladders. The grunts and groans grew louder until finally, there was a crescendo that faded to a long moan and then silence.
As soon as I could, I finished up and washed my hands. That’s when the guy in the stall started talking to himself. The voice sounded the same, but the words were two different sides of a conversation that went like this.
“Wow, that was big.”
“Told you so.”
“Deep. The last time I did something like that, I literally passed out.”
“Really? How long were you out?”
“About fifteen minutes, I almost had a heart attack.”
I finished washing my hands and went to the hand dryer. It took forever to warm up, probably because I was trying to hurry. I wanted to avoid the stench, and the crazy, lurking in that toilet stall just a few feet away. As the fan began blowing hot air, the door to the stall opened, and two guys walked out. They pretended not to see me as they exited the restroom.
BTW and FYI, they were restaurant employees … and they didn’t wash. Think about that next time you throw caution to the wind and tempt the Junk-Food-Profits. See what I did there?
As if that isn’t enough for one lunch loop, later, I pick up a guy with a bike. He takes his time putting it on the rack and shorts the fare, but its Friday and I let him ride.
Time for some more back-story.
You would think that most people about to have a private telephone conversation would say something like, I’ll call you back when I get off the bus, or I’m on the bus now, so let me call you back in a few minutes. But you’d be wrong; they not only take the call, they speak with their outside voice.
That should suffice; on with the story.
My passenger’s phone rang, and he answered.
No, I just got on the bus.
No, we can’t. I won’t be home for like half an hour.
If we do, we’ll be late.
I had to take care of some stuff. It took longer than I thought. I’m coming home now and we ….
No, you’d have to reschedule the appointment.
I already told you. I had stuff to do. Damn!
You know I have a life too! I have things to do and it takes time. Why does it always have to be about sex with you?
It’s always about sex … Bro. Damn Bro! You need to start respecting me, Bro.
Don’t say that Bro. That’s fucking so disrespectful. Bro, Bro, if you want to fuck, you better start respecting me and you ain’t doing it right now.
End of call.
In conclusion, the undeniable fact remains as always, they really don’t pay me enough.
PS – My passengers already know not to use profanity on my bus. Usually, it’s just a loud outburst, and if it doesn’t stop immediately, I’ll stop the bus. But by the time the shock of his X-rated call subsided, and I could say something about his language with a STRAIGHT face (see what I did there?), we were at the transfer stop.
I’ll never be woke enough.