Good Ol’ Xmas Cheer… At The Bus Stop
It’s been a slow winter for bus tales, but here are two quick takes…
I was standing at the stop waiting for my bus when I heard a few people around me gasp and mutter incoherently to each other. Being someone who loves a potential train wreck of a human being (from a distance, of course), I look around and my eyes quickly meet upon the subject of onlooker discussion. A woman in her mid-40s was coming down the sidewalk. She was totally blind as evidenced by the walking cane and the other signs that show that she’s not merely “legally” blind or partially blind. Nothing necessarily odd about a blind person, except for one thing: she was carrying a BABY! So, this woman is coming down the walk, head locked in one direction, completely sightless, rattling her cane in front of her, and clutching a young toddler. Questions: is this HER baby? Do blind people kidnap? How is this okay? If not hers, who the hell puts their child in the care of a blind person? Do they know she’s wandering the streets of Burlington with this baby, able to run into a car or any number of defenseless scenarios? Someone call SRS, for cryin’ out loud!
The other item was also quick and almost not even caught. Having lived in big cities, I’m used to people generally keeping their racism to themselves. For the most part, I have no real problem with people having their own views on race, though I also don’t subscribe to many of them. I also realize that it’s probably smarter in a post-PC culture to keep it shut, merely as a survival tactic. But, the less socially aware… oh, let’s just say white trash and get it over with… are usually pretty candid (and LOUD) about their feelings. So, at the stop, some portly woman in her 30s screamed at the top of her lungs, “Why don’t you go back to Harlem, you fucking NIGGER!” Imagine the shock on the faces of the hippie/liberal/Seven Days-fed types on Church Street when that little outburst came. Always fascinating to witness in action the redneck/liberal dichotomy that is Burlington. White trash and white guilt collide! It really is the main show on our downtown thoroughfare. Pull up a bench and take it in, if you’re local. It’s schadenfreude on tap.