Monday, March 22, 2010

Bus Report #498

Sunday afternoon I went out for a walk, and got to the 44 O'Shaughnessy stop at 6th and California just as a bus was scheduled to pass by. I thought I would take advantage of the quick across-the-park ride, so I waited with a few plastic-bag-laden shoppers for the bus to arrive.
I got on and sat near the back.
We had smooth sailing most of the ride.
The weather was beautiful, warm, with bright sun and fresh air, and the park was full of people riding bikes, swing dancing, heading to the museums and just out for the afternoon, kids and dogs and picnic baskets in tow. It was so picturesque, Disney couldn't have done it better.
We pulled in to the stop by the De Young. The driver hadn't been letting people in through the back of the bus. She had already yelled at one man for getting in through the back.
So the front doors open and a crowd of people filtered in.
An older man and his child bride came on through the back door. The driver immediately said, "You need to enter through the front door, sir, ma'am, please come up here and show your transfers."
The child bride dutifully marched to the front and flicked her Fast Pass at the driver.
Her husband, a slow-moving, cranky-looking man, also walked to the front, where he sprawled out in a seat.
"Sir, your transfer or Fast Pass," said the driver.
The man sucked his teeth and scowled. "Man, you need to just let it go, my Diabetes is acting up, I just need to sit down, just let it go."
I know I was not the only passenger who, in that moment, knew we would be sitting there for a while.
The driver had every right to ask for his proof of purchase, I had no problem with that, but she did bait him a little.
Soon the two of them were shouting back and forth.
He called her a bitch, told her again and again that his Diabetes was 'acting up', that he needed to sit. Meanwhile, his child bride sat perfectly still and quiet and did not do anything to break up the argument.
"You're going to have to get off this bus and take the bus behind me," the driver said. "I will not have anyone talk to me like that."
The child bride wordlessly slipped out of the bus.
The man lurched to his feet and went up to the front, so that he was right in the driver's face, threatening her, going on and on about his Diabetes, how he hadn't done anything wrong, how she was a bitch.
The driver said, "Do you talk to your wife like that?"
I thought, of course he does.
He finally got out, spent some more time yelling at our driver as she shut the door and drove us off.
In the back of the bus, people were shaking their heads and murmuring to each other.
The man sitting next to me said, "Can you believe it?"
I said, "He should have just paid his fare and left it alone. If he was so sick, how did he have the strength to argue so much?"
The girl sitting across from me said, "She was egging him on, though."
"She was," I agreed.
Our driver was still upset. "He had no right to talk to me like that," she said, to all of us. "I don't have to take that kind of abuse."
I was relieved to finally jump out the bus at 9th and Irving. The day was just so lovely, I didn't need bus drama to ruin it.


Blogger sfmike said...

I would have thanked the bus driver for doing her job and being brave. She may have provoked Diabetes Dude, but as you pointed out, on her bus you didn't enter in the back. I wish there were more like her.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Me, too, sfmike! I did thank her when I got out the bus, hope other people did, too.

8:18 AM  

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