Bet some of you even forgot about the “City Bus Tragedies” category, judging by how long it’s been since its last entry. Well, take your seats and hang onto the bars because it’s time for yet another ride on the tragic bus…
My only recent bus tale involves an inebriated and lecherous old man, and the two ladies who had to endure his advances. At first, the lush, sitting nearest the front entry door of the bus (read: the place into which he naturally fell after entering the vehicle, no doubt), merely leered at the two gals — who oddly chose and then stuck with his adjacent seats for over 20 minutes. He then began babbling in a nearly inaudible voice to them as they in turn tried to ignore him — but are STILL sitting next to him. He intermittently leaned into one of them to make some incoherent points that were definitely important to him and no one else. Needless to say, the one-sided conversation was largely about his drinking, which is no doubt a topic in which he excels. At the very least, it’s pretty obvious that this man, who is probably in his sixties but looks more like he’s in his eighties, has driven around the alcoholism block quite a number of times. Cut him and he probably bleeds Jack Daniels.
The ladies were between the ages of 55-65. The older gal, perhaps even in her early-70s, was a well-weathered gal who was fooling no one with her dyed jet black hair. Her insecurity was as obvious as her white-haired roots. Her friend had the fading scent of meth mama on her but is now chasing after normalcy by her telltale wardrobe that is obvious to both myself and, no doubt, Dr. Hannibal Lecter… were he to be an actual person, of course. Yes, good bag, cheap shoes, etc. Always able to spot white trash attempting to improve their station with the ever-reliable mixed results. Eh, good on ’em, I say.
I should mention that the rest of us passengers — about 10 or so — are all trying desperately not to bust out laughing. Everyone sees what’s going on, including the two guys between me and the three unwitting players on this sad little stage. Those fellas were biting their lips and practically crying to hold it all back. In fact, they almost got me to break at one point when they looked back to see if I was noticing the same thing they were. Trust me, it became the joke of the ride almost two towns ago.
So, Drunkie gets a little brave after about 15 minutes of yammering at a whisper to these ladies, who are wavering between scared shitless and giggling to themselves about the whole sordid affair. Then, Drunkie makes his move. He slides his right hand across himself and over the older woman’s right wrist to her own hand, trying in turn to hold it. She pulls her folded arms away and tells him firmly (but not firmly enough, in my book) to stop it — but neither woman STILL moves away. Drunkie does a whole lot of exaggerated hand gestures to express that everything is a-okay and no big deal as the other passengers (including me) continue to suppress the laughing urge. The bus driver, who appears to have been down this road with Drunkie before, gives him the standard ultimatum, and the latter behaves until he gets off at the liquor store. Yes, the liquor store. What were you expecting, the snowboarder shop?
The second the doors shut, the entire bus explodes in laughter. I don’t mean scattered snickers and polite chuckles, but full-blown, hysterical audience outburst. And it went on for a few blocks. The bothered ladies had managed to get off at the stop before Drunkie’s, so they didn’t get to enjoy the collaborative a-bomb of mockery, some of which they’d duly earned. The driver kept his usual unaffected composure. But, on the inside, you know he’s seriously in stitches!
I have come to the conclusion that I must see Drunkie again. May a future stupor of his land him by chance on my bus, so that his pitiful grasps at joy can bring smiles to all of us bad people. And next time, I’ll get a picture or two. He is, indeed, a sight to behold.