And when I say everyone, I mean the seven or eight followers I have that actually read my posts.
Yeah. Don’t worry. I have no delusions of grandeur. Dreams yes, but I know that when it comes to being read on the internet, you need celebrity first. People really don’t give a damn what a lowly bus driver in Florida has to say. However, it is important for you to note, free speech is still alive and well in the Free State of Florida. And I’m a perfect example.
If you count yourself among the seven or eight who actually look forward to my posts, then I’m sorry about missing last week. As I’ve explained in the past, real-life sometimes gets in the way, taking precedence over blogging.
Personally, it makes me miserable when that happens, and the past week was pretty rough as far as attitude is concerned. I know, especially in light of current world events, not being able to write seems a poor excuse for allowing yourself to feel miserable. And you’re right, unless the reason you spend your week driving a bus is so you can spend your weekends writing.
I guess you need to be a writer to understand but, this is my life, or what’s left of it.
PS – Just to give you an idea of my level of sacrifice, as of last month, I could make more money working a register at Walmart than I can driving a bus. This is yet another example of my precipitous spiral downward, fueled by poor decisions and the cruelty of fate. I should probably quit my job and go work for the Walton Family.
On the way home from work the other day, I was listening to the Jesse Kelly Show. If you’ve never heard of him and you’re curious, check him out on iHeart radio jessekellyshow.com. Anyway, he was doing a foot-in-mouth segment and invited the audience to call in. I work a ten-hour day, it was late, and I was listening in my truck on the way home, so I didn’t call. But it did remind me of a funny incident that happened to me.
Years ago, I think it was a Saturday, and the family was hanging out in the living room. We were going through boxes of stuff to give away. Most of it was old kid clothes, some toys, and other miscellaneous items. It was actually a fun time, nostalgic too. That is until I inadvertently screwed everything up.
I had just reached for another box and opened it up. Inside, was a pair of blue jean shorts. This wouldn’t be particularly unique except for one thing, they were enormous. These jean shorts were definitely not kid-sized unless the kid was huge.
I held them up and asked, “Whose are these? I bet I could fit in them”.
The kids looked and immediately started to giggle. “They’re not mine…” “They’re not mine either.” They certainly weren’t going to take credit for this monstrosity.
I giggled too, and joked, “Seriously, I think these would fit me.” Soon there were chants from the peanut gallery. Put them on… Put them on…
Some FYI stuff for context. First, I’m not skin and bones, also, I’m not obese. I do work out and even jog on occasion, but for the most part, I’m a medium build. That said. The wife is a dime (a ten in ‘70s vernacular). She was a ten when I met her, and a ten when we divorced. Now, back to the story.
So I yuck it up with the kids by doing a little back-and-forth. Should I put them on…? No, maybe I shouldn’t… Well, maybe I should, just to see if they fit.
They were laughing their heads off and egging me on. Finally, I make the fatal decision to give the kids what they desperately want. I put on the shorts.
Viola. Not only did the pants fit, but there was also room to spare, except for the crotch, a very important fact to remember. While I could move around in the pants, I couldn’t sit or bend over because the crotch was really tight. I figured they were kid jeans, why wouldn’t it be tight. Still, the shorts were big enough that I could zip everything up.
Okay. There I am, prancing around the living room in these enormous kid jeans. The kids are falling off the couch laughing. I’m laughing too. Then, I look over at the wife, and she ….. She is shooting me with lightning bolts, daggers, and poison darts, all at the same time. Her eyes were on fire. She is so angry that the vein on the side of her neck looked like an inner tube ready to pop. I could see it pulsing from across the room.
I didn’t know what I did wrong, but I figured I better end it now. So I say to the kids, “Okay, that’s enough. We still have a bunch of boxes to go through.”
And to show that I meant business—and to score a feeble point with the wife, I took the pants off right there in front of everyone. Oh, did I forget to mention that the pants were so big they even fit over the pants I was already wearing? Yes, I suppose I did.
Anyway, I hold up the pants, look at the wife, and ask again, “Whose pants are these?”
She looks me straight in the eye and says in that low, simmering, angry voice all women have—“They’re mine.”
Yes. It seems that before I met the wife, there was a period of time when she was obese. A period of time I never knew about.
PS – I’m not saying that this led to my breakup, but I’m sure it didn’t help. And yes, revenge is best served ….. in enormous blue jean shorts.
In yesterday’s post, I hinted at a second entertaining story courtesy of my passengers, and here it is.
But first, let me set the scene. It was a clear and crisp day. The kind of day people pay good money to experience during Florida’s winter.
FYI—For all you northeast liberals: I’m a conservative, and just like everything else I say, I just lied about the weather. The truth is the weather sucks. Also, mask and vax mandates, Joe’s build back better (or for worse) plan, and defunding the police, are huge successes. So stay right where you are, and keep on voting for politicians like AOC and Joe Biden.
Now, back to setting the scene:
My bus is a full fare bus which means $1.50 buys you a seat. There are qualified discounts, but first, you must qualify. We also have free-fare bus routes for people who live in certain areas. For this story, we’ll say that people from Tim-Buck-Too (fictitious) qualify to ride these free routes, but again, the route I drive is not free, so that doesn’t apply.
My route is a big loop, approximately one hour long. On this particular loop, I arrived at one of my stops with an empty bus and slightly ahead of schedule. One passenger was waiting to board, so I knelt the bus and opened the doors.
Big Red, as we will affectionately call him for obvious reasons (he’s big and has red hair), boards my bus and feeds a dollar into the farebox. Then, he continues to his seat as though he paid the full fare. To do it right takes practice because you need to do it fast, and in one swift motion. It’s the first rule of bad ridership. If you don’t do it right, you have to stop, allowing the driver an opportunity to catch you shorting the fare. Big Red was an expert, and as such, made his way to the rear of the bus. He figured that he got away with it again (Dumb driver), mistake number one.
I waited until he got comfortable in the back seat of my 40-foot bus. Why? Because I’m not as dumb as I look and this isn’t my first rodeo. “Excuse me, sir. The fare is $1.50.” Big Red pretended not to hear me—standard operating procedure for experienced riders. But I wasn’t deterred and repeated, “Sir, the fare, it’s a $1.50.”
“Oh. I didn’t know. I never rode the bus before, and everyone said it was a dollar.”
Mistake number two, I know he’s an experienced rider but I played along. “No sir. This is a full-fare bus and it’s a $1.50.”
Big Red didn’t like being challenged like that, so he forgot the second rule of bad ridership; when the driver expects you to come to the front of the bus for any reason, always walk as slow as possible. Remember, the driver has a schedule to keep. But Big Red let his temper get the best of him and charged to the front. “Since when is it a $1.50? I always pay a dollar.”
Mistake number three. He just said that he was a new rider. I ignored this mistake as well and pointed to the front of the farebox. “What does it say?” When Big Red finished reading, he just stood there like a statue. So, I repeated, “What does it say?”
He hadn’t figured out a response yet, so he told the truth. “It says a $1.50 but ….. Oh. Wait. What if I’m from Tim-Buck-Too?” If he was a new rider, how would he know about Tim-Buck-Too? Mistake number four.
I looked him straight in the eye and said, “I don’t care if you’re from Pluto. This is a full-fare bus.”
He shot back with the smartest-ass answer he could muster, “What if I’m from Uranus (pronounce your anus)?”
I’m an experienced driver, and insults like this don’t really faze me one way or the other. So I said with a smile, “Then you’ll have to get off my bus.”
He wasn’t expecting that response, especially attached to a big smile. It caught him off guard because he was trying to anger me and it didn’t work. He paid the 50 cents and went back to his seat wondering what the hell just happened.
Here’s another FYI. Drivers are still required to wear Biden-Masks even though passengers are not. How does that make any sense? I don’t know. Anyway, I repositioned it so it could finally serve a function, help hide my laughter.
By the time we got to the end of the route, Big Red wanted to get off the bus to smoke a cigarette before continuing. The route ends and begins at a transfer stop where we wait five minutes while passengers change buses. On his way off the bus, he stops and asks, “Is it okay if I go smoke a cigarette?”
I’m still trying to hold back laughter, “Sure.”
He didn’t realize it, but the joke was on him and every time he opened his mouth, I had to struggle not to laugh. He saw that I wasn’t angry, and for the life of him, he didn’t know why. The more he thought about it the more he started to worry. Then, he realized that he was physically off the bus and earlier I mentioned something about him having to get off my bus. I could see it on his face. He was really confused and getting more concerned by the minute.
It was time for me to stretch my legs. As I got off the bus, I walked past him and started to make my way down the loading deck towards the security guard. Big Red saw this and panicked. Then, he did the only thing he could. “Driver! I’m sorry about that Uranus remark.”
I turned back, “Why? I thought you meant it as a joke.”
Big Red was at a loss. “Uh, I did.”
“Well, that’s how I took it. If you didn’t mean it as a joke, you’re walking.”
“No. No. It was totally a joke.”
I wasn’t trying to get the security guard’s attention, I just happened to walk in his direction. He looked at me and asked, “What’s that about?”
“I’ll tell you later.” And then, I walked to the other side of my bus and cracked up laughing until it was time to go.
In case you missed the joke, when my passenger posed the question, “What if I came from Uranus (pronounced your anus)?” He quite literally called himself a piece of shit.
A Big Red Piece of Shit.
Sometimes, the hardest part of my job is keeping a straight face.
It was a somewhat slow news week, so my political muse was nowhere to be found. Let’s face it, Joe Biden falling asleep during meetings or reading the teleprompter instructions as part of his speech, just isn’t newsworthy anymore. How sad is that?
Fortunately for us, my passengers came to the rescue.
Let’s start with the most recent episode of passenger outrageousness.
I picked up two old ladies on an errand to someplace or another, the actual destination is irrelevant. Of the two, one seemed to be the caregiver (supervisor) of the other. We will call the caregiver Matilda and the other Gertrude. I don’t know their real names and (for legal purposes) these names are fictitious.
Mattie and Gert finally get themselves seated after only five or six minutes. When it comes to the elderly or children, I try not to move the bus until they sit. FYI, I was on schedule before I picked them up.
Of course, it didn’t take long before Mattie shouts, “Are we going to make it to the mall on time?” Keep in mind, she was seated in the middle of a loud, crowded bus, and I heard the question clear as a bell. But I chose to ignore it because passengers aren’t supposed to talk to the driver, especially when he’s driving.
For Mattie, rules are no obstacle whatsoever. She simply turned up the volume a few hundred decibels and repeated, “Driver, are we going to make it to the mall on time?”
“No ma’am. We’re now five or six minutes late.”
Gert chimes in, “What did he say?”
“He said we’re five or six minutes late.”
I expected Gert to go ballistic, but she didn’t. She just said, “Oh.”
About a minute later Gert says something to Mattie that was completely garbled. Mattie ignored it the way I initially ignored her. And just like Mattie, Gert was not deterred. With the volume turned up a few notches, Gert says, “My ass is slimy.” The whole bus heard it except for Mattie, who happened to be sitting right next to her.
“What did you say?”
“My ass is slimy.”
“My ass is slimy.”
“Your ass is shinny?”
“No! My ass is slimy.”
“Your ass is grimy?”
“MY – ASS – IS – SLIMY!”
And that’s how they left it for a minute or two. Then, Mattie shouts out, “How did your ass get slimy?”
“I don’t know. It just is.”
That wasn’t good enough for Mattie. “How do you not know how your ass got slimy? I’d know how my ass got slimy — if my ass was slimy.” Mattie shook her head in disbelief. “How do you not know? You gotta know.”
“I already told you, I don’t.”
“You gotta know.”
Gert tried to defend herself, “How the hell am I supposed to know? I can’t see it.”
“You don’t have to see it to know. You can feel it. How did your ass get slimy?”
“I – DON’T – KNOW.”
Mattie wasn’t satisfied and attempted to delve deeper.
“Did you pee yourself?”
“Did you shit yourself?”
“Well, it’s got to be one or the other. Which one is it? How’d you get a slimy ass?”
Gert defended, “You think you know everything. Well, you don’t. You’re wrong. It doesn’t have to be one of those. Maybe I just got a slimy ass.”
“You can’t just have a slimy ass.”
Gert was enjoying Mattie’s frustration, and when I looked at her in the passenger mirror, she was looking back with a shit-eating-smirk. And then, I had a BDBE, Oh God.
Mattie couldn’t hold back anymore, she burst out, “You’re lying. Either you pissed yourself or you shit yourself, and you’re too stupid to know which is which.”
Gert shouted, “No. I’m not stupid. You’re stupid. I’m not lying either, and I can prove it. I didn’t shit or piss myself. I did both.”