Hemingway, Mimosas, and a Soiled Bus
I like to sit toward the front of the bus so I can hear the radio conversations between the dispatcher and the drivers. It’s actually interesting if you’re into transit gossip. You hear about accidents on the route, police activity, construction updates, and when someone is raising hell on one of the buses. And sometimes, like one evening last week while riding the #92 Taylor Ranch Express, you get a compelling story that sticks with you for days. That night I heard a story over the radio that rivals Hemingway’s famous 6-word story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
By the way, if you haven’t taken the #92, do yourself a favor and find a reason to come to the westside at rush hour. The bus is usually a newer model, the seats are rarely stained, it never gets over half full, and it’s a social club of regular riders and drivers. This bus is where I realized there is such a thing as “bus friends.” (Well, they're not my "bus friends." I'm too busy eavesdropping on their conversations to make small talk.) Plus, if you're lucky, you'll get a WIFI signal. It's so luxurious that sometimes I catch myself looking for an attendant with a tray of mimosas.
Sorry, I digress. One evening last week I was listening to the happy hour chatter of the commuters when the dispatcher came over the radio. I missed the route number, but he told the drivers to, “Keep an eye out for an elderly woman, straight gray hair, carrying a bright shopping bag and a walker in two pieces…she soiled herself and a bus. Recommend you don’t pick her up.”
Man, that's a lot to take in, and people will gravitate to different details of this scene to try to piece together her story. But damn, can you think of anyone who ever needed a ride more?