Tuesday, August 29, 2006


A guy got on my bus today that I call "Pimpin' ". Not to his face, of course. It's just my lil' nickname for him.

Back in the mid-1980's, he was a pimp. For real. He was into the same thing all the pimps on Hennepin avenue were into....Snake, gator or some kind of skin of their feet. Shoes were the big thing. Had to have skins or you were a Po' pimp. The reason I know all this is simple. I used to go to one of the worst bars in town...Moby Dicks. It was smack dab in the middle of Hennepin avenue in downtown Minneapolis (now referred to as "block E"). I went there after working my office job. I was 18-19 years old (used my older sisters ID to get in). I would wait for my boyfriend to come in when he got off work and by then they would open up the back where the dance floor was and we'd dance all night. The drinks were also the strongest ones in town...Bonus.

Anyway, Pimpin' got on my bus and put some foreign coin in the farebox. I know he's doing REALLY bad nowadays so I just said "Hey, thanks. That could be collectible!" and gave him a transfer. He thanked me about 3-4 times.

A few months ago, I was waiting for a bus on Lake street to take me to uptown to do relief (take over a bus for another driver...He goes home and I start my day). Pimpin' saw me at the bus stop. I don't think he remembers me from Moby Dicks, but he does recognize me from being around south Minneapolis. He was looking like he does these days...The skin shoes are gone and have been replaced with some worn and tattered old tennis shoes that REALLY need a ride in a washing machine. His hair looks like it hasn't gotten any attention for a month or two and his clothes are a filthy mess. He came up to me and asked me for a cigarette. I told him I didn't have one. He then asked me for a dollar. I told him I don't give away money. I told him no one pays my bills but me. Then he cracked me up. He asked me for a TRANSFER!!!! Does he think bus drivers just carry transfers around?? Did I have a farebox attached to my back and not notice?

I had all I could do not to mention the obvious...Seeing how he used to be dressed to impress when he was literally living off the backs of young women and now that he's relying on himself to take care of himself...He's messed up! I REALLY wanted to say:

Pimpin' ain't easy, huh?

Sunday, August 27, 2006


I love messing with people...That's probably why I like my job so much. The easiest targets, and usually the best sports about it, are Green Bay Packer fans. For those that may not know, the Minnesota Vikings football team are their biggest rivals. Both sides have a lot of fun teasing the other side. Though most of my family are Packer fans, I gotta love 'em anyway...We are family.
Go Vikings!

I was driving the bus through downtown Minneapolis the other day and I saw a guy running hard, trying to catch the bus. I waited for him. As he got on, I noticed he was wearing a Packers cap. I said "Man, if I'd have known you were a Packer fan I'd have left you standing there!" Without missing a beat, the guy grinned and pointed his arm straight out towards me with his hand in a fist facing the ground. He said "What's this?" I knew he was about to get me good, but I had to say "I don't know, what?" His face beamed as he said "It's a Viking Superbowl ring!" He got me. (For those non-football fans, it hurts me to say this, but the Vikings have never won a superbowl....YET!!!!)

My brother loves that story...He's the biggest Packer fan in Texas!


The other day on the 6 line a lady got on with her son. He was about 5-6 years old. Quite a character. They were the last ones on the bus and the lady seemed to like to keep talking to me and the little boy would try and cut in and include himself in our conversation. He was a smart little kid...He was doing a great job keeping up with our conversation.

I got to the end of the route and they were still on the bus. They actually had wanted to take one in the other direction to go to their apartment. They had to wait while I had about a 15 minute layover. I ran in to a restaurant to use the bathroom and play the claw machine. I won a stuffed alien...Strange looking thing. Coincidentally, I won a stuffed animal that I felt was more appropriate for a little boy than a little girl.

As I came out, the little boy couldn't take his eyes off the alien. He said I was really lucky and that he never wins out of the machines. As I started to drive, I already knew the little boy was going to be going home with a new pet alien. I asked him if he had a pet at home. He said he used to. His mom finished the story. She told me she is hearing impaired and the landlord made her get rid of her service dog. Apparently, it wasn't one you have to pay thousands of dollars for so it wasn't officially a service dog. She got the dog and was training it herself to do the things she needed it to do, like alert her when someone was at the door or if the phone was ringing.

That just seemed so wrong to me. To top it off, she said the landlord had a dog himself!! Selfish people suck!

Anyway, as they were getting off the bus, I told the little boy I thought he should have a pet. I showed him the tag on the alien and told him it said "pet alien". I asked him if he ever had a pet alien before. You could see the excitement and anticipation in his eyes as he said "no". I told him he should have THIS pet alien. Take him home and give him a name. The little boy took the alien and his eyes couldn't have gotten any brighter. He was speechless but, as I started to close the door to drive away I heard him say "Thank you!".

He made my day.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Had to laugh. There was a guy on my bus last night that seemed to be trying to impress the two girls he was sitting with. I pretty much ignored them, but it's strange how your brain clicks in when something hilarious is about to happen. It's like it knows to tell your ears to listen...Something funny is about to happen!

The guy was probably about mid-20's, as were the girls. When my ears picked up I heard him say " It's true!! I remember! I was in the eighth grade. I was 16 and taking drivers ed at the time. I remember!" He seemed to be so proud to have been taking drivers ed, the concept of being in eighth grade at sixteen years old totally flew over his head. He sounded as if he were bragging. I couldn't help but laugh quietly out loud at the picture in my head of this kid a foot taller than his classmates sitting at his desk raising his hand. Of course, he would have been prepared to give an incorrect answer...Seeing as he'd already flunked at least THREE years of school!!

Comedy...It's EVERYWHERE!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Felicia (see earlier post) got on my bus again the other day. As usual, she slid in behind someone that was paying their fare. When I turned and saw who it was, I told her to get off the bus. She totally ignored me and sat down and started asking people for money and transfers. I told everyone not to give her anything and told her, again, to get off my bus. When she realized nobody was going to give her anything, she strolled out the back door.

Some lady in the front asked if I knew that girl. I explained that she never seems to ride the bus, she just asks for money and transfers so she can go and buy some crack to smoke. The lady asked how I knew she was really on drugs. I almost laughed. Stevie Wonder could see it! The girl looks like Felicia the crackhead on the movie "Friday". (That's where I gave her the name from) I just explained that last time I had her arrested for panhandling on the bus, the officers took away a crack pipe and took her in for warrants. The officer also said they had been dealing with her for many years. He told me if he showed me her picture from before she started doing drugs that I would never recognize her. She was a beautiful girl at one time.

Bus riders, do everyone a favor. DON'T let your inner niceness talk you into giving money to people that get on the bus and have short fares or flat out ask for money. It is because people think they are doing a nice thing and giving them money that they continue to do it. I've had people ask others for money and when I told them panhandling was not allowed on the bus, they pulled out a bunch of money and paid their own fare! Or when they find out they aren't going to get a transfer with a short fare, they pay the rest of the fare. They are just seeing what they can get away with.

If you want to give away your hard earned money, give it to a reputable charity. That is the right thing to do and your money won't go to the drug dealers or the liquor stores!


There is a guy that rides my bus sometimes that amazes me. His name is Eltune. Actually, I knew him before I started driving the bus. My last job was driving a forklift and running injection molding machines in a plastics factory. Eltune worked there as a temporary worker. He worked a little slower than most, but his work was always done to perfection. One thing that used to drive everyone nuts was his thing with clocks. Each machine had a clock you could program to show all the time. He would put the clocks on all the machines in his area. It made time go by very slowly to be staring at the clocks all the time so most people would turn theirs off.

In talking to Eltune on the bus, I noticed he is somewhat of a savant. His specialty seems to be dates. He'll ask you when your birthday is and can usually name at least 4-5 other people with the same birthday. He rambles on and on with facts about certain people, usually presidents or other famous people.

We were talking one day and I found out he is from the same town as my mother. It's a very small town in northern Minnesota. If there are 2000 people there, someone must be having a big party. The town is so small that when we'd visit our grandparents there, it would be in the newspaper! I found out he knew some of my relatives that still were living there when he was there. Not only did he KNOW them, he knew their birthdays!! I was shocked.

Eltune also knows little facts about places in Minneapolis. One time, we were driving down a residential street and he pointed out a house that apparently had exploded at one time due to a gas leak. About a year later, he pointed out the same house and told the same story. Another time we were driving by an area with small businesses. He pointed to one and said there was a shooting there in 1960-something and someone was killed.

He also did something pretty amazing one day. He got on at the beginning of one of my routes just before I was about to start out. He asked how far it was to the other end. I told him I really had no idea, I never paid any attention to that. He told me he would figure it out and let me know. Before we got to the other end, he told me what he came up with. He was within half a mile of the correct distance!

Eltune is truly one of my more interesting passengers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I was driving the 18 route down Nicollet Mall yesterday. From my first trip by 12th and Nicollet at about 6:30AM to my last trip past there at around 1:45 PM, there was an old guy standing on the corner talking to some invisible person. He was wearing some rather filthy, tattered clothing and appeared homeless. Just to see how "gone" this guy was, I'd smile and wave at him while I sat at the stoplight. His face would light up and he seemed to come back to reality for a moment and he'd grin and wave back.

The entire day, he was holding a coffee cup (the to-go type insulated disposable ones) and standing by the water fountain. The fountain is a collection of various sizes of cylinder shaped pedestals ranging from probably about 5 feet to about 20 feet high. The water comes down on the outsides of these tubes to a pool of water at the bottom. Then it flows around the multiple tiers like a creek. The area most often has homeless people that are drunk and/or drinking hanging out there. More than I'd care to admit, I've seen them use the fountain as a toilet.

I was talking to another driver about the old guy down there ALL day on the corner. He told me that the guy uses the cup to drink...Get this... Out of the fountain!! I almost blew chunks. That was just disgusting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I am one of those people that believes there should be consequences for your actions. Unfortunately, things don't always work out that way.

I was driving the 18 one day. This route happens to go right past my bus garage. I was having a pleasant conversation with an older lady when I heard a ruckus in the back of the bus. I looked in the mirror and saw a big teenager standing and holding his girlfriends purse while she was beating on some other teen boy. I got on the microphone and tried to break it up as I called the control center and pulled the bus over. It just so happens, I pulled over in the bus stop across the street from the bus garage.

The girl heard the phone "beep" as the control center returned my call. She said she was going to get off the bus, but seemed to be more interested in hitting the boy a couple more times. As I spoke to the control center, she and her boyfriend got off the bus. They walked right past the front window so she could flip me off. She had her name on a nametag on her shirt from the department store she apparently worked at...Real bright, huh?

The kid didn't want an ambulance and didn't want to press charges. He was obviously scared of the chick. The control center said that since he didn't want us to do anything that technically there was no crime so I should just proceed on my route. I was pissed!! I told them I would press the charges for him and the crime DID happen and was caught on tape so there would be no problem proving it. They insisted that if the victim wouldn't cooperate, there was nothing they could do. I was to continue with my day like nothing happened.

I am STILL angry about that. So, what we learn is, if you intimidate your victim to the point they are scared to death to press charges...You can get away with anything. There are no consequences for anything you choose to do so just go ahead and do whatever you want...Just be sure to instill the appropriate amount of fear in your victim.

That is ridiculous. I was so mad, I told the control center that if I had known they were going to let her just walk away I'd have AT LEAST pepper sprayed her! At least there would have been SOME consequences for beating up on the kid!


I've had people from other parts of the country get on my bus. It is always interesting to me to compare service and fares from other places.

Our base fare is $1.50 during non-rush hours and on weekends and $2.00 during rush hours. That includes a transfer for 2 and a half hours in which you can go in any direction on local buses (express is 50 cents extra) or you can transfer to/from the train.

We do have reduced fares for senior citizens and kids 6-12 years old. They only pay 50 cents during non-rush hours but have to pay a whole fare during rush hour. Kids 5 and under are free with a paid fare. (limit 3 per paid fare)

People with limited mobility and the proper I.D. to show it pay 50 cents all the time.

I would be interested in knowing how all this compares with fares elsewhere. Do you get transfers? How late and how often do your buses run? Are you satisfied with the service you get or what changes would you make?

I don't know if he still visits, but I had a visitor to this site from Australia who said he only had TWO bus routes where he lives. I know I won't be looking to move there anytime soon! Stuff like that is interesting to me, though. I'd appreciate your comments.


I drive a couple routes that go through the light rail station on 46th and Hiawatha in south Minneapolis. I'm trying to picture in my mind how the hell the guy on the bike "accidentally" rode in front of the train and got hit and killed. Just can't picture it.

Even if he was blaring his Ipod, there are barricades that lower with flashing red lights on them! How can you possibly not notice that? You would have to take the extra effort to drive around them, so you HAVE to know that they are there. Is it possible he didn't know WHY they are there? Highly doubtful.

Don't get me wrong. I feel terrible for the guy and even more for his family. I just don't understand HOW a person gets hit by a train unless they are pushed in front of it, are suicidal or have EXTREMELY poor judgment of time and space. I know there is a serious problem with people out there with the "me first" attitude, but that can't be it. Heck, if it is I'll be the first one to step aside and let you go first...And I will not be second!

Saturday, August 12, 2006


A lot of the routes I drive are within the south side of Minneapolis. I lived there for many years. (Now I live on the north side...Which has a very bad reputation, known for having the most murders in the city so far this year, though a lot of great people live here.) In fact, my first house was on the south side. I got the house and lived there through most of my mid-20's.

When I lived south, it was mostly black and white...Literally. Now it seems mostly Mexican and middle eastern. Though I may not be ethnically-correct, I see pretty much anyone with a scarf on their head as Muslim. Just tonight, thanks to TIVO, I watched a show called "30 Days" in which a Christian guy lived with a Muslim family for 30 days. It was very educational. I didn't realize how close our religions are. We both pray to our God. The big difference seems to be that I (being raised Catholic) was taught that Jesus was the son of God. Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet and they pray through Mohammed instead of Jesus. However, we both believe in one God.

Being that Muslims are blamed for the tragedy of the World Trade Center bombings back in 2001, they are very much feared and persecuted in our country today. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the United States. Many were born and raised here, as I was. They feel the same way most other US citizens do about the massacre that took place on that day. After watching that show and talking with the Muslims that ride my bus every day, it seems terrible to me that they are "profiled" because of their clothing and religious beliefs. If you don't believe me, dress in their traditional clothing and see how people look at and treat you.

I just don't think it fair that a few nuts with bombs have made a whole spectrum of people be discriminated against. Heck, as a catholic, there have been more than a few nuts claiming to believe what I believe that have been murderers too! Those of you from Minneapolis, remember the lady a few years back that threw her kids in the river to "save" them? What about the lady in Texas that drowned her own FIVE kids because she didn't think they were acting the way her christian views allowed? Didn't the guy who blew up the Murrah building, killing a bunch of people including all the kids in the daycare there, claim to be a Christian?

My point is, every group has its' nuts. Let's not hate each other because of the nuts.

Friday, August 11, 2006


There is a man that often rides routes 18 and 21 in South Minneapolis that is known by many as The Preacher Man. Recently, he was given an award by the city for helping out a police officer in need. The officer (I think it was a sheriff deputy) was wrestling with a man he was trying to arrest and Preacher Man stepped in to help restrain the guy. He got a black eye out of his very successful attempt at being a good Samaritan. The real kicker is...Preacher Man is about 70-80 something years old. I forgot his exact age, but I know he is an elderly man.

A couple years ago, Preacher Man got on my bus when I was doing the 18 route. As usual, he sat in the peanut seat to chat with me. He gave me what looked like a cut out piece of a red bandana that he said had been blessed. He told me to keep it with me and God would look over me. A lady got on with her leg in a cast up to her knee. He put a piece of the cloth in the ladys' cast and told her it would help her to heal.

Preacher Man is a very nice ol' guy. He may be kind of a flirt (he's asked me out to dinner a few times, and I'm SURE I'm not the only one!) but I think that comes out of his loneliness. He is single and has no kids. He says he has no other family here either. I feel kind of sorry for him even though he doesn't seem to feel sorry for himself.

When I read in the paper and saw on the news the story about Preacher Man helping out the police, I really wanted to do something nice for him. I went to my manager at work and suggested that we give him free bus rides for the rest of his life...Kind of like an honorary retiree or something. I was quite disappointed when my manager didn't share my enthusiasm for showing Preacher Man how much we need and appreciate the GOOD citizens of Minneapolis. My request was denied.

I was happy to see that the police gave him not only an award, but something he is SURE to use...Lots of Minneapolis Police shirts and hats and things. I have NEVER seen him wearing anything but clothes with the Minneapolis Police logo on it. He takes great pride in supporting the local police.

I really just wish my company would reward this great person with something else he would most certainly use and appreciate...Free bus/train rides for the rest of his life. I even tried to push the fact that he is elderly and even though he is a VERY frequent rider (multiple rides daily) his age would limit the actual amount of years they would take a "loss". I even mentioned that it would be good advertising and good public relations, but had no luck.

I guess I will have to settle with letting the Preacher Man know I tried and that I did write this blog so others would know what a great guy he is and that he is appreciated.

Thanks, Preacher Man!!


Even though I drive the city bus full time, It is still interesting to me to hear stories about what happens on the bus. It is amazing what people do, Even when they know there are cameras recording them.

If you are a bus rider, I welcome you to sign on to the comment section and tell any interesting things you have seen or heard on the bus. Give everyone a little background detail like how large or small the area is (population) where this happened, Were you involved in the situation and how things turned out (if you know)....stuff like that.

Thanks for sharing!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Lady #1 from my previous post got on my bus yesterday. As usual, most of the talk was negative and hinting for "donations" for the dog.

Her latest is her complaint that one of the drivers has it in for her. She claims this driver is pointing her out to gang members and telling other people that she is a racist. She asked me what she should do about it. Honestly, I find it hard to believe any of her claims. I told her to call in and have them pull the security tape from the bus so the supervisors and managers could talk to the driver. Heck, if it IS true...She could be put in danger. If not, then the driver could be cleared of these accusations. Either way, I felt I HAD to say something to ease her mind, not to mention get her on to a different subject. I must admit, she really rubbed me the wrong way when she said "What do I need to do to have something done about this? File a lawsuit? Contact the news media?" Why do people think that every problem, real or imagined, can be solved with a lawsuit? Do they think the media has nothing better to report on? Sometimes I just don't get it.

The good news is, I had a fairly decent layover so the dog got to come out and stretch his little hairy legs. Cute dog. I do feel sorry for it though. It seems scared of its' own shadow.

I have the next 5 days off, but hope to come online and tell some of the other things that have happened on my bus in the past. That's one thing about this job...You never run out of stories!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Saw a pretty sad and gross thing today.

I was driving the bus and ahead of me in the street I saw what I thought was a dead bird with its tail feathers waving in the breeze. As I got closer, I saw it was actually a squirrel that apparently was hit by a car but wasn't quite dead. His leg was going up and down, up and down. I purposely went around it.

After I drove around it, I thought I really should have run it over to put it out of its' misery. Then I wondered if "Thou shall not kill" applied to this situation or not. (My mind works in mysterious ways).

What would YOU have done?


Yep, that would be me. I seem to be a magnet for loser-type guys.

The most recent was a guy that got on the bus drunk. Smelled like he hadn't had a bath for a couple months. Of course, he sat in the peanut seat and stared at me. Then he kept going on and on about how beautiful I was. That would be much more flattering coming from someone that cared a LITTLE about their personal hygiene! I tried to ignore him. I pretended I was just too busy driving and calling the streets and saying "Hello" and "Thank you" and " Have a great evening" to everyone getting on/off the bus. By the time he was ready to get off the bus, he got the clue that he was being ignored...Which surprised me! On his way off, after miles of compliments, he said "Fuckin' cunt!" and staggered off the bus. It must be true what they say...There's a thin line between love and hate!

A while back, there was another loser on my bus...Surprise, surprise!! Of course, he took an immediate liking to me. When he got on the bus, he told me I was the prettiest bus driver he had ever seen and that all bus drivers should look like me. He smelled like he had been chewing moth balls for a week or so. I tried to be polite and not gag as I said "Why, thank you!" and hoped he took a seat.

A few minutes later I smelled something strange. I saw smoke going out the window but couldn't tell quite where it was coming from. I know what most drugs smell like (lets just say I have an interesting past) and to this day, I can't figure out what he was smoking. I made a generic announcement "There is no smoking of ANYTHING on Metro Transit buses." It worked...The guilty party, who happened to be my not-so-secret admirer, said "who...Me?" It's always the guilty one that speaks up. The people on the bus got a few chuckles out of that. The best part was when he was getting off the bus. He proposed to me!! Oh, yeah. That's the guy I've been waiting for all my life. The one that gets on the bus and smokes God only knows what and is in desperate need of a toothbrush and a gallon of Listerine!!

I've had a few other guys propose or just try to give me their phone number, but they were all pretty much like the guys I've just told you about. Could start to give a girl a complex!
eXTReMe Tracker