Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Today was strange. I went from talking to the Mayor in the morning to a drunk/high dude threatening to knock me out this afternoon.

This morning I was sitting at a red light on 11th street waiting to take a right onto Nicollet (route 11). Across the street I noticed a guy who seemed to be showing a group of tourists the Peavey Plaza. For those of you not from here, that is an area that is like a concrete park with water fountains. There are various layers to the park so they use it quite a bit for outdoor concerts and food vendors. As I watched, I noticed that the leader of the pack was no other than our Mayor R.T. Rybak! I was a little surprised. I've never seen him in person, though he is on TV quite a bit.

I watched as he passed in front of my bus with the other people trailing behind him. He was looking at me like he wanted something or had something to say. I wasn't exactly at a bus stop, but heck...it WAS the Mayor. I opened the door thinking maybe they wanted to get on the bus and out of the heat. The Mayor said to me "These people are with the Republican National Convention!" He seemed so excited. I would have loved to have spoken my mind a little, but the RNC being in town is such a big deal and they want everything to be perfect for them so I just gave them the thumbs up and said "Welcome, welcome!" The Mayor grinned and then I noticed his photographer taking pictures of his every move. As they walked away, my light turned green and I was on my way.

There was a little comedy that followed. The lady in the peanut seat seemed surprised by the whole thing. I said "Actually, I tend to lean a little more to the Democratic side." She said "Yeah, me too. " I told her "Heck, if the Republicans want to come to our Twin Cities and spend millions of dollars, they ARE welcome!" We both laughed and changed the subject. It was kind of fun calling my mom on my layover, though, and casually saying "Not much new. I talked to the Mayor...He approached ME. I didn't approach him...."

Unfortunately, the day didn't end on that cheery of a note. I had some loser get on. He was so drunk and high he looked like his eyes were going to shoot blood out of them at any moment. They were very red and watery. He plopped down in the peanut seat and mumbled something. It was obvious he had no intention of paying the fare. I told him the fare was $1.50. He pretended to look for a fare until the bus started moving. He said something about going to 38th street. I told him the next stop was his if he didn't have a fare by the time we got there. We got to the next stop, which happened to be a red light. I pulled over and opened the door. I turned to look at him and he was glaring at me. He said "I'm gonna knock a bitch out tonight." I secretly opened my pepper spray and got it ready in my right hand. Then I thought he was staggering a little closer to me and I figured he was in the "grab and twist" (his family jewels) range. I switched the pepper spray to my left hand and sized up the target. I was glad his pants weren't baggin'. It's harder to zero in on the right spot and I doubt you get a good grab when they are baggy. He repeated "I'm gonna knock a bitch out tonight." He was standing at the top of the stairs glaring at me and punching his fist into his hand.

I took a chance. I glared back at him with pure evil in my eye. I wanted him to think I was crazier than he was. This usually works with the punk kids but it's kind of risky with someone who is high or drunk. They see it more as a threat sometimes and will get violent. The kids usually are looking for someone to intimidate so when you give them the psycho "bring it on" look, they normally back down. They prefer an easy victim.

Luckily for me, this nut just repeated his threat a couple more times as he got off the steps. Thankfully, my light had turned green. We glared at each other as I drove off. The people on the bus were silent. When we were clearly away from him, they started laughing and talking about the whole incident. It was clear they were impressed with the way I handled it and then went straight back to business as usual as soon as I pulled away from him. They didn't know my heart was pounding in my throat and I really wanted to back up and run the guy over!!

My, what an interesting day!


Blogger WebShadow said...

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with the ability to give a feral glare.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Ree said...

Web - I've been told when I get mad my eyes turn red...I'm guessing they mean the whites of my eyes. Heck, maybe it's the green part...worse yet...the pupil! Gee, I should look next time!

8:10 PM  

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