Friday, January 18, 2008

She stepped off the bus out into the city streets

Yes, it's another episode of People Who Annoy Me on the Bus. These people make it so delightful to use public transit. Of course, after 6 months of riding the bus twice a day, my patience is starting to wear thin.

1. Flossing Guy. Fortunately, I've only seen him once. We were both walking to the bus stop in the morning and as we walked, he was flossing his teeth. I kid you not. Do people not learn from their mamas that things like flossing and applying deodorant are what you do in the privacy of your own bathroom?? When he was done flossing he just dropped the floss on the sidewalk. EWWWWW. And no, this wasn't a homeless guy, or someone who might not have had a bathroom to floss in. He was a Computer Professional, with an expensive laptop bag and everything. Just plain nasty. I'm glad I haven't seen him again.

2. Smoking Spitting Guy. This guy rides the same bus as me on a regular basis. He's quiet and unobtrusive which is the best kind of bus co-passenger. Until he got off the bus today and started walking in the same direction as me. He lit up his cigarette and then proceeded to snork and spit at every crosswalk while we waited for the light to change. After two traffic lights worth of spitting and foul cigarette smoke, I chose a different route. Unfortunately as I got closer to work, we ended up at the same intersection again. Ewwwwww.

3. Oh My Gosh, I Have to Pay?! Girl. This is actually not just one girl, it's several people. They get on the bus in Redmond in the morning, during rush hour, and seem thoroughly confused that they are expected to actually PAY for their bus trip downtown. They stand in front of the fare box, blocking everyone else, while they fumble in their purse for their wallet, and dig out money to pay the fare. Sometimes they ask the driver if he has change. What?? If you were smart enough to consult the bus schedule, were you not smart enough to also see how much it costs, and make sure you have the fare handy? The other 20 people in line, who do this EVERY DAY, are not amused. Or sorry for you. At least stand to the side while sorting out your personal problems, wouldja??

One thing I love about riding the bus: I have noticed people reading books in Spanish, Russian, some Eastern European language, Chinese, Japanese, and (of course) English. I still love that the bus I ride comes frequently enough I never have to check the timing. I just show up and wait for the next one and I've rarely waited more than 10 minutes. I also love that my bus never smells like pee. (Which I can't say about the buses that run within downtown Seattle.) And I LOVE the (almost) yearly Poetry on Buses competition. 2007 was an especially good year.

Yay for public transportation. What new transit stories do you have for me?


  1. Maybe you have seen the "Flossing Guy" but you didn't recognize him without a piece of string sticking out of his mouth.

  2. We tend to get a lot of #3 on our buses. Especially when it's cold and raining and there is a long line of people waiting to get on the bus that is 10-15 minutes late already. My theory is: if you've been waiting with the rest of us, why didn't you take the time to get your money/pass in your hand before you saw the glowing yellow sign that announces the bus?

  3. @jenn - Yeah, you're probably right. I'm glad I don't recognize him becaus I'd probably make a rude face if I did.

    @dawn - Grrr. I think these people are related to the ones who pay for their groceries by check, and wait till they get to the front of the checkout line to start looking for their checkbook.


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