Sunday, April 18, 2010


Being born and raised in a Catholic family, I should see the inside of a church much more often than I do. Then again, maybe it's safer to stay clear of the church!

I was driving down 38Th street and noticed something that still bothers me. There was a church with people going in, obviously preparing to pray. On the steps outside, there was a security guard!! Things have changed! When I was a kid (boy, that sounds like some old person talking!) church was a place we went to pray to and to thank God. It was a sacred place. A safe place.

What is the world coming to when Gods' house needs a security guard?


I had a really fun guy on my 23 route recently. He's hilarious. He has a cane and walks with a limp and is quick to tell you he had a very bad car accident. He had such severe brain damage that the Doctors said he would never walk or talk again. Boy, were they wrong! I was joking back and forth with him and I said something kind of silly. He looked at me and said "I have brain damage, I'm not STUPID!" and started laughing.

He told me a story...hope I can get it right. He was at a press release where the governor was present. Afterward, he went to introduce a client of a colleague, one of the governors fellow alumni, to the governor. He decided to take this opportunity to address the governor himself. He told the governor he should make an appointment with his doctor... a proctologist who could help him get his head out of his ass!

This guy cracks me up!

Another thing I liked about him...he's a mentor. He mentors a young man who was flunking out of school, was kicked out of the local park and had many social issues. After mentoring the kid for a year and a half, this kid is getting all A's in school and was voted most helpful by the park board! Just goes to show what one person can do to help all of society. Despite his own handicap and brain damage, this guy helped turn around a kid that was headed to jail or the grave.

Makes me think I should be doing about you?


I had a guy get on one day. English was obviously not his first language. I tried to understand what he was asking me. He was talking fast and all I could pick out was "White whale". I know I could stand to lose a few pounds, but by no stretch of the imagination do I consider myself to be a whale.

He repeated the same thing over and over until I finally realized he not only wasn't born speaking English, but he had a speech impediment. Finally, I got it! OHHHHH! Light Rail! Yes, I go to the light rail station.

I think we were both relieved!


I had the 21 on Lake Street again on Friday. To make it more interesting, I had the last westbound trip which finishes just before 2:30 A.M..

All was going well for most of the day. I had a lot of fun people and some interesting conversation. Then I got a drunk guy and his even drunker girlfriend. He tried to hand me a $20 bill. I told him we didn't carry change. He said the girl was in "critical condition" and he had to get her home. He managed to find most of the 2 fares required so I gave him a couple transfers and they made their home in the back seat.

I picked up a very drunk American Indian guy. He was about to put a $50 bill in the fare box. Lucky for him, I spotted it and covered the slot with my hand. I told him he didn't want to put a large bill in there because he'd get no change. He asked me how much the fare was. I told him $1.75. He put the $50 away and pulled out a $20 and began to put it in the slot. Again, I blocked the slot and told him he needed to find smaller bills. He again asked me how much the fare was and I told him. He rocked back and forth with his back against the pole by the front seat by the door. He put the $20 away and asked me, again, how much the fare was. I was starting to lose my patience and I told him "It's still $1.75". That got a few chuckles from passengers that were watching the whole show. He pulled the $20 out again and asked what the fare was. I told him he needed to go into White Castle and get change and catch the next bus. At this point, I had had enough of him and just wanted him off my bus. I pulled up at the stop right in front of White Castle and told him he needed to go get change. Another guy came to get on and picked the drunks' wallet up off the steps. I was glad since I hadn't seen him drop it and knew he had quite a bit of money in it. The drunk stepped past him so the other guy handed me the wallet. I flipped it open and pulled out the state I.D. to confirm it belonged to the drunk. Heck, he looked drunk in the picture! The drunk was walking away so I looked at the name on the I.D and called to him by his name. He seemed a little irritated and turned around and yelled "what?!" I handed him his wallet. He stood there mumbling something and I closed the door to continue on my way. Before I had a chance to pull off, the drunk put his hand up near the door, flipped me off and said "Fuck you!" Gee, the satisfaction of returning the guys lost money and wallet just kinda fizzled.

Further down Lake street, I picked up yet another drunk guy. Lucky me! This guy wasn't as bad off but was obviously feeling no pain. He was pretty pleasant and paid his fare. He went all the way to the back and next thing you know, he's in a verbal confrontation with the drunk and his girlfriend. It got loud and they were threatening each other with assault so I got on the microphone and got a little loud myself. I told them to all sit down and ignore each other. The guy that had just gotten on moved up a couple rows and sat down. He was mumbling about "dusting off" the other guy. The guy with Miss Critical Condition got loud and made another threat. I pulled the bus over and told him he'd have to get off the bus. I was done...just go. Surprisingly, he and the girl stood and began to exit the back door. There was a scary moment when I thought he was reaching into his coat pocket. I started thinking I should get the pepper spray ready when he made a couple unnecessary comments and they got off the bus.

When the other guy came up front later to get off, he apologized. I told him that sometimes it's just better be the bigger person and not feed into the situation. Just walk away. It's just not worth what may happen when people are drunk. Then I laughed and said "Besides, if you go to jail on a Friday night I don't think you can get out until Monday at the earliest! Not a fun way to spend the weekend!" He smiled and said I was right and he was sorry.

Until these 4 drunks, I was actually having a good time on Lake Street. There are a lot of decent, fun and interesting people on this route. To them I say...Hop on! Enjoy the ride!
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