Sunday, December 03, 2006

THE MONEY MAN

The 21 route is such an interesting route. The characters you pick up can be so....Unique.

It was the first of the month so I expected a lot of activity. All the people that get welfare checks are out on the first day they get it spending it all. The 21 goes down a main street in south Minneapolis so there are grocery stores, retail stores and stores selling just about anything you could think of buying. There are also a lot of bars...But that's another story.

I was having a pretty mellow day as first-of-the-month-on-lake-street goes. Then this guy gets on. He looked like a reject from a rap video...Yes, even THEY didn't wanna claim him! He had layers of clothes on that were about double the size he actually needed. He had a bandana draped over his head and then a cap pulled over it smashing the bandana down so it half covered his eyes. If I remember right, he even had the gross silver teeth that nearly turn my stomach. Who'd wanna lay a kiss on THAT??!!??

Anyway, he got on my bus waving a one dollar bill and said that was all he had to pay the fare. I told him the fare was $1.50. He started to put the $1 bill in the slot and I told him I'd give him a one way ride. He said "But I need to get to St. Paul and I need a transfer!" I said "You don't think a trip to St. Paul itself is worth a buck and a half??" "Yeah, but man, this is all I got for the fare and I need a transfer." Then I really LOOKED at him. I told him what I saw. "Dude, you have a dollar in that hand, a dollar sticking out of your mouth and a $20 bill in your other hand...You need to pay the whole fare or get off the bus." I hadn't really looked at him up until that point and it's true...He was actually CHEWING on a dollar that he had rolled up like a cigarette and had about half of it sticking out of his mouth. Now THAT is disgusting!! Do you know how many germs are on paper money?? Maybe that explains why the guy looked like he did. The dollar germs were eating out his brain cells...I don't think there were many left.

The Money Man told me he needed that one dollar to chew on. When he saw the "that's not gonna cut it" look I was giving him, He addressed the rest of the passengers "Does anyone have 50 cents?" Some guy offered him change for a dollar (I'm guessing he wanted the one in his HAND) But Money Man wanted someone to just GIVE him 50 cents. I told him that would be panhandling and that was illegal on the bus. He needed to take the guy up on the offer for change for a dollar or get off the bus. As usual, some idiot came up and put the 50 cents in and Money Man finally put the dry dollar in the farebox. I gave him the transfer and told him never to do that again. I told him to get on holding all of that money and expect someone else to pay his way was just wrong. Secretly, I realized that it was probably his entire life savings that he had left from his Uncle Sam check from earlier in the day, but someone else's poor budgeting issues are not my problem. That doesn't give them the right to have someone else dip into THEIR budget for him.

Money Man sat in the back of the bus...Surprise, surprise....That seems to be where most trouble gravitates to. He stayed annoying the entire trip to St. Paul. Talking out loud to no one, making rhymes that really wouldn't rhyme if you spelled or spoke them correctly. I was just waiting for him to cuss to give me a reason to boot him off the bus. I was quite shocked that he didn't give me that chance. Maybe he wasn't as dumb as he looked.

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