Thursday, March 29, 2012


Bus talkers are like cats.  They seem to know exactly when is the worst moment to pay attention to you, and they enjoy taking advantage of your weakness.

Case in point: the other day I forced myself to work because even though I was sick, I wasn't sick enough to not go sit at a computer for several hours.  The end result of which was that I went to work, but I was beastly tired by the time it was time to go home (I did stay home from school the next day, because when I woke up and started getting up, my whole body rebelled, and I didn't want to go out in public with flailing limbs like that).

So I'm sitting on the bench at the 39 bus stop at the TRAX station, and the following ensues:

Talker: [Righteous indignation regarding the bus schedule]

Me: [Noncommittal comment]

Talker: [The weather]

Me: [I don't mind it]

Talker: [You must be from Utah then]

Me: [Darn tootin']

[Pause occasioned entirely by my one-word answers, followed by renewed courage on the part of my conversation partner]

Talker: [Happy question about something]

Me: [One-word answer]

Talker: [Happy question about something else]

Me: [One-word answer]

[It bears mentioning that I haven't made eye contact with him since he started walking toward me from halfway down the platform]

Talker: You don't really seem like a bus person.

Me: [I feel like saying something really snarkity-snark-pants right now, but I'm too tired]

Under other circumstances, we probably could have had a reasonably pleasant conversation.  But if someone is visibly tired and stressed and is sidestepping your every effort to have a conversation, don't keep trying to have a conversation.  Good night.


  1. Commutergirl read this and said, "Darn tootin'? We already know you're from Utah; you don't have to prove it."

  2. Something like this happens to me at least once a week. Sometimes, when a talker is really set on maintaining a conversation with me, I pretend to get a call. Or when a homeless person comes up to me and tells me—among other things—that I should come to him when people "cause me trouble," I pretend to get a call. And then I maintain a conversation. I've gotten quite good at it, I must say. I think one day it'll make me go crazy. The joys of waiting for a 228 on 400 West.

    And might as well share another bus anecdote, because (let's be real) who else am I going to tell this? I was on a 209 this evening. As the bus pulled into the stop at around 2000 S. 900 East, I was thoroughly stunned to see another 209 pass us going the same direction. Several other passengers made murmurs of discontent, which is understandable (I was okay, as I'd rather be in an '09 than an '01). I can't recall this happening since riding the ten-minute-frequency-during-peak-hours 22 as a wee one. Well, it turns the weekday outbound schedule for the 209 goes like this: one bus leaves the EOL at 5:04 pm and another at 5:10 pm. Rather strange, eh? I wonder how that scheduling came to pass.

    Well, while I'm at it: I rode by the Meadowbrook Garage on a 35 on Wednesday and saw bus 12044 (a hybrid) and 12045 (a standard diesel) sitting on the south side of the lot. Didn't know we'd be ordering so many buses this year. Who knows—maybe this year will mark the demise of the '99s.

  3. Huh. And here I was thinking 12025 was a big deal--I rode that bus today (yesterday) and thought, wow, that's a lot of '12's already. I guess not . . .