Monday, June 12, 2006


Back to the good ol' 5 line ... there were more scammers and fare evaders and just overall problems on that line than any other route I've driven. One of my favorites was a guy that ALWAYS had issues...all of which, not so coincidentally, resulted in his lack of ability to pay a fare.

The first time I ran into him he rushed onto the steps of the bus, nearly out of breath. He said he had to get to the hospital. He had just gotten a call that informed him his mother had died and he had to get down to the hospital right away. I have a heart, I have a mother (who I love dearly!!)...I told him to go ahead and get on the bus. I couldn't help but notice that he got off long before the hospital stop. That was my first clue that he was a scammer.

A few days later, drama man showed up again. Again, he rushed up to the bus with some story that I really don't remember. I was very busy and running behind schedule so, to save time, I told him to just get on the bus.

A few days after that, guess who is at it again. He came rushing onto the bus steps and said he had to get to the hospital. He said he had gotten a call and they told him his mother was in the hospital and he had to get to her right away. I just stared at him for a second hoping he would recognize me. He didn't so I gave him a clue. I said "Didn't your mom die earlier this week?" People on the bus started laughing...I'm sure many of them were regular passengers that knew this character better than I did. He just looked at me with a kind of "busted" look on his face. I told him I gave him 2 free rides this week and there would be no more. I told him if he had no fare and saw me driving not to even put his foot in the door of the bus...he was done. He had played me enough.

Months later, after I had switched bus garages (in part, to get away from the 5 line) you won't believe who I ran into again!! I was driving the 18 down Nicollet Mall in the middle of downtown. Drama man hadn't changed his act at all. He came rushing up the to the door of the bus acting nearly out of breath. He barely looked at me and started his latest story. He said he had just gotten off of the 18 that was ahead of me and the driver didn't give him a transfer...before he could continue his lies, I said "HI!! How are you doin'? I haven't seen you in a while." His face was soooo readable...He looked at me and the "Oh's you...I'm busted again" look was practially written in his eyes. He just shook his head and walked away. He hasn't tried to get on my bus in years.


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