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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In The Future, I’ll Wait for the Next #17 or This is a Gag, Right?

“I’m here!  I’m here!”

I wave my arms wildly, an early-morning commuter in need of medication.  I’ve run two blocks, skidding along an iced-over sidewalk, and now stand on the edge of the street I must cross to make the bus.

I can see it coming.  It is three blocks away.

And I can’t cross.

There is just one car on my side of the road – and there he goes! – and four cars immediately following the bus.  I wave my arms, smile at the driver.  There is a stop directly across the street.  There is no one standing there, but if he will stop, I will be able to cross in just seconds and he’ll still be on time…

If he will stop.

He looks at me.  Then looks away.

And I watch in disbelief as he shoots by me. 

The faces on this side of the bus turn as one, their eyes sympathetic.  Aww.  She rides the bus every day…

Stunned and leaning toward angry, I cross the street.  The bus continues on, takes a right-on-red two blocks later and disappears from my view.

I start the long walk up Broadway, up the hill to await and board the 10.

The lawless 10.

I am so going to write a letter of complaint.

I sigh.  While the Number 10 bus has given me much to write about in the way of odor identification and child-rearing do’s and don’ts, I am not in the mood.  It’s early, it’s 19 degrees out, and I’m going to be late.

This is not how we do things around here.

Twenty minute later, I am standing at the bus stop at the top of the hill.  Wind-blown, I watch the man next to me smoke the filter of his cigarette.  I admire his dedication to wringing every last cent out of it, try to keep my frown to myself as he eventually tosses its remnant to the sidewalk.

The 10 arrives at last.  It’s warm inside, and I am thankful. 

This particular bus is one where the bulk of the seats face inward rather than forward-facing.  I sit next to a young man who appears, slumped and disdainful, to be gripping an invisible ThighMaster between his knees. 

My sitting down has forced him to pull his knees in further than he likes.  He expresses his dissatisfaction with a disgusted “pfffft”.

The instrument that would measure my level of caring does not yet exist.

On the bright side, work is less than a 15-minute ride from here; and whatever the 10 has to offer, I can take it.  I remove my hat and gloves, studiously avoid looking at the man across from me.  I look down, look inward, look away, but strange movements from him catch me off-guard; and against my better judgment, I look at him.

And look away.

Picking his nose with his thumb - his thumb! - I can see what will happen next.  Horrified, I look away so quickly that I cause other people to look.

And also look away.

I am prohibited, primarily by my mother, to describe exactly what it was that man was having for breakfast.  Suffice it to say that, for the first time ever, I gagged on the bus.

And I rode the rest of the way with my eyes closed.


50 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

What a start to the week....ick!!

Pearl said...

Delores, my mother would've freaked.

Simply Suthern said...

Theres a man that will never be hungry. Good thing he doesnt appear to be the sharing kind.

CarrieBoo said...

I swear bus drivers do that for fun. The only good thing to come of public transit, is your wonderful tales, Pearl. Otherwise, yes, gag and shiver.

SherilinR said...

his THUMB?! i'd say it's taken years of practice and stretching the nasal passages to make that even possible.
the consumption of boogers makes my stomach heave.

Pearl said...

Oh, Simply, it was the hideous cap on a dis-satisfying morning...

CarrieBoo, thank you. In some ways, public transportation is a reminder of the many things that are RIGHT with our lives. *shudder*

Sherilin, his thumb! Surely he receives points for individuality somewhere. Not with me, but somewhere...

Joshua said...

Ahh, I see. The classic nasal miner. Also...blech.

Pearl said...

Joshua, "blech". I like that.

Silliyak said...

Could have been the inspiration for "Green Eggs and Ham" at some point in the distant past?

St Jude said...

I'm sorry but what is it with men, transport and picking their noses. Look out of the car at any red light. Yuck. Well I suppose everyone should be grateful he ate the damn thing and didn't smear it all over the seat for the next unsuspecting passenger. I think I just made myself ick!!

Andrea SunnyDays said...

E-ew. I'm glad my lunch isn't done for another few minutes. That way I have time to read something else less disgusting...

But still, a good bus story!

jabblog said...

Ugh! Ugggghhhh!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How awful to miss the regular bus and end up on the "special" ride.

Pearl said...

Silliyak, oh, he's inspirational, all right!!

St. Jude, I hear you. It's not the first time something like this has transpired on the road...

Andrea, now that it's written, I must admit I'm sorry for having done it. This is possibly the worst thing I've ever written and kind of feel that I've let people down! HOnestly, it's really not THAT kind of blog!!

jabblog, :-( I know. I'm sorry!!

Green Girl, the rest of the week will be a breeze! :-)

bill lisleman said...

You can trust that the #10 will give you blog material.
You can also trust that your followers will reading your funny words.
"The instrument that would measure my level of caring does not yet exist." I will try to steal that line. An expression so worthy of a Monday.

Shelly said...

Oh. my. goodness. I have seen 8th graders do that on occasion, but a grown person... they must be missing a social nicety gene.

Pearl, can you create a sign of social etiquette for the bus? And include that on there? At the very least, it would give them a target to flick them upon, instead of...instead of...oh, I just can't say it.

vanilla said...

You've finally written a post that is not even funny, it is so disgusting. Burned the image into my brain. AAAACK!
Mining this for the "Pearl," though, I find I will have to steal this:

The instrument that would measure my level of caring does not yet exist.

kt said...

OMG Pearl, I pray you never miss #17 again!

jenny_o said...

I feel your pain and share your gagging! He should be drug out into the street and shot, yes he should.

And let me just say I join the others who loved the line:
"The instrument that would measure my level of caring does not yet exist." ... Priceless! I will think that in my head at every opportunity - and there will be many :)

Sioux said...

Hey, he's a recycler! He's gone green (or yellow...or brown).

R. Jacob said...

I looked at my thumb. I peeked at a nostril. It would be like giving nose birth!

Pearl said...

ACK!!!!

For the first time in 1354 posts, I feel I owe everyone an apology. :-(

A bad post about a bad morning. Yuck.

Sorry, everyone!!

skoots1mom said...

nasty...just nasty.
Once I saw an acquaintance of mine do this...and it changed my relationship with her forever.

jenny_o said...

Maybe I'm only speaking for myself, but I think you presented this in a delicate enough way that you do not need to feel apologetic. I felt more sympathy for you than revulsion at the act. Heck, anyone who's had a kid has to have seen this kind of thing themselves, if only to correct it :)

mrwriteon said...

I'd have gagged, too. Now, about that bastard bus driver ... no, you've already thought about whatever I could say.

Susan in the Boonies said...

You made me laugh out loud. Again.

Pearl said...

For some reason, I do actually regret writing this. :-) That's never happened to me before.

On the other hand, I did write a lovely letter to the Metropolitan Transit Commission yesterday.

He should've stopped. And he absolutely could've...

Jono said...

Breakfast boogers! Sounds like the gorillas at the zoo. Or is that feces flinging? Aaahh, the joys of public transportation.

That gentleman's lady said...

Awwwwww. Bad bus driver!!!!!!!

And eww..

Let's hope there are far fewer 10s.

Pat Tillett said...

Yak!
Hurl!
Puke!
On the other hand, why waste good protein? I just threw up a little bit....

Roses said...

Ugh. My Monday sucked too. Thank the Gods it was swiftly replaced by Tuesday.

JohnD said...

" ... The instrument that would measure my level of caring does not yet exist. ... " - Love it! I'll pinch that and use it! Almost as good as "Here's a dime. Call someone who cares!"

Symdaddy said...

D'you remember those oysters I wrote about?

Very much the same as what that guy had for breakfast.

Linda Sue said...

The number 10- what a wealth of Juicy bits! Next time you should take your camera and take ninja shots - we will call it #10, ART! You will be famous and make a lot of dosh!
The crusty side of Pearl.Yeah, I think you're on to something really cool!

Belle said...

I feel for you, Pearl.

Gigi said...

Oh Pearl, as disgusting as that man was - don't apologize, the writing was still as perfect as ever. That line - yes, the one everyone else is raving about - caught my eye as well. I'm printing that sucker off and hanging it on my cubicle wall tomorrow!

vanilla said...

Oh, please Pearl, you have no need to apologize. We love that you share your life with us. Can't all be beer and skittles!

The Elephant's Child said...

Feeling unwell here. Part of the rich tapestry of life on the buses it is true, but a part I would unpick and replace if I could.

Shelly said...

Actually, this was pretty funny. You can really edit those slice of life events. You can't pick and choose what others do...

Shelly said...

Should be "can't edit..."

Austan said...

Bastid bus driver!
And EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

Tempo said...

Oh, so you have them over there too...

alwaysinthebackrow said...

I have been trying to come up with the appropriate payback for the driver who drove past you and who is fully responsible for you having had to witness that. Oh, and for this post, as well!
I vote for a smear campaign.....you know what I mean......

River said...

Oh yuk!!
I'm reminded of a four year old who tried to talk to me at the checkout recently, while also doing the picking and eating thing, I tried so hard not to look at him, answer him, or vomit into the groceries. I'm sure his mother thought I was rude, while I wished she would stop his excavating process.

Pat said...

Ooooooooh!
And all because of that bus driver. A pox on him and his house!

the walking man said...

Maybe he uses his nose as his refrigerator and he was getting the last of Sunday's chicken dinner out of there...it wouldn't have been to gross unless it was mashed potatoes, then all bets are off.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

Oh good--another bus story. I LOVE the bus stories. This one made me gag too and laugh as usual. Sorry you were late. Do you have to work late too then to make up for it?
Rosemary

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Pearl, you just observed humanity 'at work'. Never apologize for being an astute observer. Great post, miserable bus driver! ":)

Diane said...

I have it! The Solution! We put the #17 driver on as a passenger on the #10. Riding by thumb. So to speak . . .

Sarah said...

Ack! Ick!