Monday, September 21, 2009

All I Want...

I've been wanting to make a post about the types of people who ride the bus, but it's going to take a lot more to put it together than I originally realized. So that isn't what I'm posting here. This is about just one type of bus rider.

The Cute Kid.

Yes, some kids are cute. Some aren't so cute. Some are the devil incarnate. Thankfully, the one who rode the bus with me yesterday was the cute kind.

She got on the bus with her parents a few stops north of me. The girl was dressed in her Sunday best. I found out later that it was her 3rd birthday yesterday. She was very quiet and shy, but her mom had no problems telling the story of how they came to be riding the bus that way.

All she wanted for her birthday, her mom said, was to ride the city bus downtown and have cake. So that's what they were doing.

You know what? Maybe for my birthday, I want to ride the city bus downtown and have cake. To me, it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to want on your birthday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Post-Happy-Hour Bus Ride

Sometimes you run into people on the bus who just want to talk to you. Sometimes, when you get on the bus, the talkers are already there - and already talking to each other.

This evening, the latter was the case. Two men, sitting in the row behind the back door, were having a conversation loud enough for the entire bus to hear.

Guy #1 mentions that he grew up in Indiana, near Lake Michigan.

Guy #2 says he grew up near the Finger Lakes.

Guy #1: I know the Great Lakes, man, but I don't know nothin' about these tiny lakes.

Guy #2: Is 44 miles long tiny?

Guy #1: Where are those lakes? I know Superior and Erie...

Guy #2: They're in New York!

Guy #1: Man, I drove from Indiana to New York, through Cleveland and Ohio, even went into part of Connecticut for a while...

Guy #2: [loudly, addressing the whole bus] Hey, has anyone heard of the Finger Lakes?

Third Guy, clearly on his last nerve: YES!

Guy #2: See, everyone's heard of it!

At this point, Guy #2 has given up and starts talking about the Vikings. Guy #1 continues to mutter about the Finger Lakes for at least another 15 minutes.

I'm 90% sure these two men didn't know each other before riding the bus today. They'll probably never speak to each other again. But they were loudly arguing on the bus over whether or not something called the Finger Lakes existed. Now, if you've ever looked at a map of the state of New York, they're pretty hard to miss - like Guy #2 pointed out, they're far from tiny.

Of course, my favorite part was the third person chiming in on the conversation. I could tell that he had been listening to the entire conversation. He was so clearly annoyed with these other men that I could almost hear him rolling his eyes. Priceless.

It amazes me, sometimes, what people find necessary to discuss in such a public place as the bus. It never ceases to amuse me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some People's Parents...

I should not have started this blog on a Friday. I don't ride much on the weekends. I took Monday off from work, and this morning's ride was uneventful (as mornings often are). I did use the park-and-ride to get to the State Fair on Sunday, but that was also routine - nothing really to write about.

However, I do owe my new, faithful readers a story, so I'll tell one that happened a while back.

I was riding the number 10 bus into Northeast Minneapolis. It was the afternoon, and the bus was starting to get crowded. This by itself is not out of the ordinary - nor is it unusual to find kids riding the bus with their parents. On this bus was a crabby kid with a crabby father. The kid was around 4 years old, if I had to guess - somewhere in between toddler and kindergarten, based on his size. The kid was sitting on the floor of the bus, near the front. The father lifts the kid up by his arm and throws him into a seat to get the kid out of the way of people getting on and off the bus. Immediately, the kid starts wailing. When the father lets go, the kid slides off the seat and returns to the floor - laying down in the middle of the aisle on a busy bus. It's getting to the point where there are few seats left, and people are standing as they ride. As more people get on the bus, the father doesn't try to get the kid back into a seat. Instead, he angrily shouts, "Don't step on my kid!" to anyone who tried to get by.

Yes, sometimes kids are crabby. Sure, they don't always want to do what you say. But, for Pete's sake, don't let them lay in the middle of the aisle on a rush hour bus. Take your kid off the bus, let him get over his tantrum, then take the next #10 that comes along. You never know when someone is going to stumble and accidentally step on your kid. We're not used to there being anyone down there.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I don't have a car. It's not that I don't drive or that I can't drive. I just don't want the expense of owning a car. These days, it's not cheap. When I got rid of my car 4 years ago, I did some math and learned that I saved over $5,000 a year by not having a car. I work in downtown Minneapolis, and I live in the outskirts of the city limits. In this town, you don't need a car if you know how to get around.

My primary mode of transportation is the Metro Transit bus system. I take it to work every morning and I ride it home every night. I take it to my parents' condo by Loring Park. I'll take it to the mall at Christmas time for some shopping. I ride the bus to the salon where I get my hair cut. I'll take public transportation to downtown to see a movie or attend a sporting event. It's how I get around. And I love it.

One of my favorite things about riding the bus every day is the vast number of people I encounter on a daily basis. This blog will chronicle those people I meet, and tell the stories of experiences I have on the bus. Believe me - there's a lot to tell.

Happy riding!