Bus Report #723
Tuesday afternoon I caught the 22 at my usual stop, and zoned out while riding toward home.
At Church Street a man got on. He was babbling and shouting, not to anyone in particular, and he slid in to a seat in the front of the bus, and kept yelling and gesticulating wildly at the passengers nearby. He had bulging eyes and thick curly hair, and dangly plastic earrings.
Most people ignored him and left an empty seat on either side of him.
At McAllister an old man and a middle-aged woman got on. The woman had a Clipper card and the man had cash, so she stepped in front of him to tag her card.
The old man yelled at her for doing so. "You are rude!" he screamed at her.
He sat down beside the babbling man and continued to berate the woman.
She apologized several times and I thought that would be the end of it. I would have just moved to the back of the bus, but she didn't - instead, she sat down right next to the old man, and continued to respond to his ever-louder, ever-scarier accusations.
The driver didn't do anything, not at first.
But as the man's voice grew louder, and as the babbling man started shouting, too, the driver told the two of them to quiet down.
It was useless.
The woman tried apologizing again, and then said, "I really don't see what the problem is."
At that, the old man raised his umbrella and threatened to hit her with it.
Everyone froze for a moment.
The driver yelled back to them to cut it out.
The old man slowly lowered his arm and put down the umbrella.
The babbler laughed, babbled some more.
The woman just sat there.