Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'M A LOSER MAGNET

The day after the bridge collapse, traffic was a nightmare in a many areas. A lot of buses were running late. I was one of the luck ones that was pretty much on time. As I was finishing my last trip and looking forward to going home, the Control Center called me. They asked if I'd fill in one trip to downtown on the 18. Feeling a little guilty for not being of any help in the recent disaster, I felt this was the least I could do so I said I would.

All was going well until I got to Lake street. This loser with the long white gangster T-shirt got on and was trying to put a very worn and wrinkled transfer into the farebox. I looked at it and told him "This transfer is 3 days old. It's no good." He plopped into the peanut seat and said "Ma'am, I need a courtesy ride. I'm from New Orleans and I just got out of the hospital 'cuz I had a heart attack." ???????????What?????????? First of all, there is no such thing as a courtesy ride. Second, what does where you're from have to do with paying your fare? Third, I don't believe for a second that he just got out of the hospital and/or had a heart attack. Anyway, I held my comments to myself (for a change) and thought "I just need to go about 27 more blocks and I can go home." I decided to just ignore him. This worked fine...for a while. He was talking loudly to other passengers about how he is an OG (Original Gangster) and he's with the GD's (Gangster Disciples). He asked one guy sitting with his girlfriend who he ran with and the guy said "G-O-D" The loser took a second to try and figure out who that gang was and finally realized what the guy was saying when other people on the bus backed him up with "You tell him" and "You with the right one there, man."

Then his focus shifted to me. I knew I couldn't hide for long. He said "Hey, bus driver, are you married." I pretended not to hear him. He repeated it again. I realized I couldn't keep ignoring him so I told him that was not his business. He asked me for my phone number. I told him that was not his business either. He said " I just want your number so I can call and take you out to eat or something." I couldn't help myself. I said "You can't even pay your fare. How are you going to take me out to eat?" He smiled and said "Don't worry, I can take you out to eat." I turned and looked him right in the eyes and said "No, thanks. I don't go out with gang bangers." He laughed and acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. I told him I was sitting 3 feet from him and heard the whole conversation. He started in "Man, I'm in my 40's..." I cut him off. "Exactly, don't you think it's about time to try something else? Maybe you should get with that other guys 'gang'. Maybe you'd get somewhere." People on the bus snickered. Some laughed out loud. The guy in the G-O-D gang said "You tell him, driver!" The loser himself seemed shocked but couldn't help but laugh. He smiled and said "I like you. You challenge me." I wanted to tell him maybe he should challenge himself a little and try and get a life but decided I'd better not push my luck.

He got off a few blocks later. It just left me thinking "Why do I attract such losers?" There's only one answer. I am a living, breathing loser magnet!!

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