Monday, April 30, 2012


This morning, when I left my apartment, I headed straight for the laundry room.  This was because I thought I may have left my sunglasses there on Saturday, when I was doing laundry.  They weren't there.

As I was preparing to exit my apartment complex in quest of the bus stop, I realized that I hadn't packed anything for lunch.  I headed back to my apartment to quickly grab some bars in wrappers so that I could still make the bus in time for work.

I made it all the way to the bus stop.  I saw the characteristic pattern of red-in-the-front-with-one-white-stripe that signifies a UTA bus '02 or newer.  And I realized I didn't have my bus pass.

I was strangely unangry with myself as I headed back home.  When I opened the door for the fifth time that morning, commutergirl asked me, "Are you having a bad morning?"

I said, "I'll keep trying until I get it right."

I usually allow myself ten minutes to walk from my front door to the bus stop.  But I made it from the bus stop to my front door and back in time to see the red-in-the-front-with-one-white-stripe of the bus after the one I had been planning to catch bearing down the road toward me.  I walk faster than I thought I did.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


The other day I was on the 811.  The 811 is quite long.  On long bus trips, people like to be able to spread out a little bit.  Have some room to themselves.  This is why some people bitterly dislike the 811.

Since, on those intermittent occasions when I ride the 811, I usually get on at the first stop, I make sure to move over so that someone will be able to sit next to me.  Because, as uncomfortable as having to hold still in a seat is, it is much better than standing all the way to Provo (people do . . .).  Some people sit in the aisle seat when they first get on, because they think that will get them the seat to themselves.  Eventually, they all cave to the social pressure.  Whaddaya know, people do have consciences about some things.  Interestingly, even though I always try to make room for another person, and perhaps because I am rather a large chap, the seat next to mine is almost always the last one to fill up.

Except, the other day on the 811, there was this guy sitting with his legs crossed.  I don't know if you've ever attempted this, but it requires that your body be at an acute angle to the back of your seat, with your legs extended well into the other seat's space.  This is fine, as long as no one is sitting in the seat next to you.

But when someone came and sat down next to him, he didn't budge.  Didn't move over.  Didn't uncross his legs.


The other man ended up sitting with his legs sticking out into the aisle; I can tell you how comfortable that was for him.  If it had been me, I probably would have said something.  Or sat in the seat regularly and crunched the other guy's legs against the back of the seat in front of us.

I want people to get the message.  It's because I care.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I am by nature a very detail-oriented, exacting, snarky, difficult-to-live-with sort of person.  Riding the bus has helped mitigate this personality trait, to the general relief of society at large.  Where once I would have judged people up and down in my head, I now realize that most people out there are just muddling through, just like I am.

The other night, a man was running for a bus I was sitting on.  He waved animatedly at the driver to get his attention, to let him know he was coming.  Of course, the bus I was sitting on was stopped at a TRAX station and wasn't going anywhere for several minutes.

The man loaded his bike onto the rack on the front of the bus, then boarded, panting, and took the seat in front of mine.

After we pulled out, he began almost constantly checking his watch (which was fifty-three minutes slow).  He pulled out a 201 schedule (we were on the 200) and began earnestly perusing the Saturday timetable (it was Tuesday).  And then, when his stop came, he confidently pulled the cord and got off, collecting his bike off the front of the bus before walking his bike away (not riding it).

I had many opportunities to feel superior to this man, but I decided against it.  He seemed to know what he was doing when he got off the bus.  Maybe he really did need to know the 201 Saturday schedule for future reference.  Maybe he was conducting an experiment in temporal disorientation.  I don't know.  All I know is, he was just trying to muddle on through.  Just like the rest of us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Recently, someone graffiti-ed the notice that was taped to my bus stop sign about service adjustments for the Salt Lake Marathon.  I had two thoughts about this.

1.            Thank you for covering up the information that people need to know how they're getting around next Saturday.

2.            You do realize that the marathon is next Saturday, right?  Meaning your contribution to society will last, at most, a week.

Don't people think about these things?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Have you ever been part of a conversation that evolved from freelance accompanying to anal cysts in about thirty seconds?

I have.  And I'm not explaining.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I was waiting for the 209 the other day, when a car drove by, as many cars have, and as many cars will.  This car, however, was different.

It contained a young hooligan in the passenger seat, who, as the car went by, looked me right in the eyes and shouted


(Thank you, CeeLo Green, for your inimitable contribution to the venerable institution we call pop music.  Without your help, this post would not have been possible.)
 I can't imagine why our little friend could have wanted to do this, other than for the satisfaction of making me jump (which I did, since people don't usually yell obscenities at me while I'm waiting for buses).  He doesn't know me, that I know of, and I know most of the people I've offended, I think.

I found the whole incident somewhat absurd; I only mention it at all here because, afterwards, I thought to myself,

Hmm, that hasn't happened to me since I was a missionary.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


The two incidents I described in the two preceding posts, coupled with many others, have led me to develop an analogy that I will now share with you.

The freeway is like that boyfriend or girlfriend that we've all had, or heard about, that is manipulative, or needy, or maybe just so immature that you can't stand to be in the same room with them.  Then, when you confront them about it, or threaten to leave them, they promise to change.  And then, they don't.  It happens over and over and over and over and over again, until you either decide to get out of the relationship anyway, let the shrapnel fall where it may (and it usually falls quite a lot in these cases), or die.

The freeway, every few years comes back to you and says, "Don't hate me!  I'm bigger now!  I've added new lanes! new interchanges! new technology!  I'm not congested anymore!  You can drive on me without hating your life and/or developing sciatica!  Please, please, please, come back!"

And you believe it, when the freeway says this to you.  So, you come back.  And then, a few years later, it's congested again.  It needs to be expanded again.  You confront it again, and it promises to change again (all it needs is a few billion dollars).  And then it changes again.  And then it goes right back to the way it was again.  And again.  And again.

Please, America.  Get out of this relationship.  It's taking you nowhere.  

Pun intended.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Another day on the 817 Southbound, not unlike the day mentioned in the previous post, found us in danger of snarling traffic (or, should I say, ravenous traffic) near the American Fork Main St. interchange.  Though there was no announcement made, this 817 also made a detour on State St. to avoid the nasty trafficness.

Despite the traffic and the fact that we made a lengthy detour, our bus arrived at BYU just one minute after scheduled time.  A lot happens between Sandy and Provo on the freeway.  So to only arrive one minute late with a detour is quality work.  I doubt most regular commuters could do it so well.