Jason Porath

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Date: June 6, 2004

UBT 3

I forgot one of the bus tales, which happened awhile back. I emailed Erin and my parents about it, so I’m going to just paste that email here:

So.

I get up at 5:30 every morning to get to work by 8, generally having enough time to get to the bus stop by 6:30. I got to the bus stop at 6:15 today, figured I was fine. The first bus was 15 minutes late. Okay, I can deal with that. Get on the train, everything is fine.

Then I get to the last leg of my trip, in the Valley, and everything goes to hell.

It starts with me stepping out to the North Hollywood bus station, and seeing my bus — number 426 — pull in and let people off.

“Oh good,” I think. “I’m right in time.”

I proceed to watch as the bus driver gets out and smokes for 30 minutes. They are allowed to take a 20-minute rest break every 4 hours of work. He just chose to do his in the middle of rush hour. You know, when everyone is trying to get to work on time.

After watching every single other bus for the entire terminal come and go (often twice), the 426 pulls up and we get on our way.

Two blocks later, the driver stops over to pick up a person in a wheelchair. This is his first time picking up someone in a wheelchair, so he breaks out the manual and makes sure he’s doing everything right.

Well, evidently the manual said nothing about parking too close to the curb, because the mechanism to lower the ramp for the wheelchair gets stuck, and the entire bus is trapped on the curb like a beached whale.

At first he just presses the same button for 5 minutes, trying to get it to work right.

Then he tells everyone to get to the other side of the bus, so we can try to tip it the other way, and get it off the curb.

Finally he has all of us (this is around 30 people, men, women, and children, half of whom don’t understand english) get off the bus and PUSH THE BUS OFF THE CURB. This thing had to have weighed around 5 tons. It wasn’t moving.

While all this is going on, the next 426 comes by and I get on that. As we’re driving off, he finally manages to get the ramp free, and the poor wheelchaired woman was able to get onto the bus.

I was a half hour late to work.

Gah.

Uncanny Bus Tales 2

Lot of UBTs for one day, but I did ride 7 separate bus lines today, so I guess it’s only natural…

1)I sit down on a bus I don’t normally ride and across the way from me are two Mexican teens, whom I take to be brother and sister. The girl is fairly pretty, boy is couple years younger and chubby. I glance over their way, trying to figure out their relationship, when the boy notices me doing so. Maybe he thinks I’m checking out his sister/girlfriend/whatever, so, in response, he starts licking her ear. Big, long licks, like on a giant lollipop. She starts giggling, and takes his arm and chomps into it. I just turn away and look forward for the rest of the ride.

2) I get on the subway, and 6 sorority girl-types (a little older; probably working women) get on board, in party dresses. They all have tall dixie cups in their hands, and are drinking what I take to be alcohol. At least, I hope it was, because I shudder to think that 6 perfectly sober people would hoot, holler, and shriek, pretending that the train was, in fact, a roller coaster. And these girls were -LOUD-. I was wearing my very expensive noise cancelling headphones, playing music, and I could hear them clear as day. I can sleep through fire alarms with those things on. I turned up the music to an almost painful volume, and closed my eyes, fantasizing of ways to kill these bitches. They even flirted with every guy who came in five feet of them. As I’m getting off the train, I catch one of their eyes, and I flip her off. She alerts her comrades, who all get very shocked, and start screaming obscenities as the train sent them careening towards Union Station.

3) …and as I get off the train, going up the stairs, I pass a girl with full face makeup. I think it was tiger makeup, but I didn’t want to stare. Maybe the circus is in town.

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