Sunday, February 20, 2011


Some things just don't go together, like the Gangsta in Fuzzy Slippers that I wrote about. Tough guys just don't look right wearing fuzzy slippers. It takes the tough away.

Well, I think I had his brother on my bus the other day. I did my best not to laugh in front of him. This tall, teenage kid got on wearing head-to-toe cliche gear ...cap to the side, dollar signs on his shirt in rhinestones playing like they were diamonds (yeah, right) , baggy pants hanging off his butt with his boxers showing and tennis shoes with fat, unlaced shoestrings. He was a walking cliche choosing to live the stereotype....until I saw him in the mirror doing his best pimp walk down the bus aisle. On his back was a way- too-small black and pink "Hello Kitty" backpack!!! It looked like he took it from a kindergarten schoolgirl!!

That was just too damn funny!!


One of my other favorite loose screws got on my bus recently. Remember the Backdoor guy? (Search prior blogs) Well, I was driving the 17 route and he got on around 25Th and Hennepin. I hadn't seen him in a while, yet still got that "oh shit" feeling I get whenever I see him at my bus stop. I wondered if he had a new game to play.

He got on, paid his fare and went and sat down. I was in shock. This has NEVER happened with this guy. At the very least, he hovers around the farebox and has annoying questions or conversation with me as I try and get him to get behind the standee line. I just kept driving and waited for a new game from him...and it came.

I was stopped at a red light. I sensed his presence before he was even near me. He had that goofy grin on his face and was carrying a very large wad of trash as he approached the front of the bus. I don't know where he got the trash from. Did he bring it with him?? It wouldn't surprise me.

As he got closer he said, "I know this is a strange request, but there is a garbage can right out there. Do you mind if I jump off and throw this out?" I was pulled into the bus stop so I just opened the door and told him "No problem, but when the light turns green, I have to go." He jumped off, threw out the trash and got back on the bus before the light even changed. I thought "Hmmm, that wasn't so bad."

I continued to drive and within a couple minutes he came up with a small piece of paper and his silly grin and said "I have some more trash." I just gave him the "Don't mess with me...we are not doing this every block" look (yes, I say a lot with just my eyes ; ) ) and pointed to the trash bag that hangs on the farebox. I told him he could throw it in there, which he did. I drove on and wondered what was next. Nothing. That was it.

All-in-all, I didn't mind his new game. It didn't interfere with my schedule and it didn't involve fare evasion. What more could I ask for?


I've had this guy get on my bus lately who I haven't seen in a while. I call him the Airplane Guy...let me tell you why.

This guy has some bizarre obsession with airplanes. The first time I saw him was a few years back. I was in a bus stop letting people off the bus. Others began to board and I notice this goof. He's a tall, thin white guy. He had his arms spread like a little kid imitating an airplane. When it was his turn to board, he was standing there with his arms spread wide, tipping from side to side. Standing on his tip-toes, he took a lot of short, fast steps backward. His eyes focused on the steps of the bus and he said "I'm coming in for a landing!" He ran on his tip-toes with little baby steps toward the stairs of the bus and tipped his arms nearly vertical to make it in the door as he jumped onto the bottom step. Then, as I've come to find over the years is normal for him, he sat down mumbling about airports and airplanes as he took a few minutes to find his fare.

Last summer, he was often on Nicollet Mall dragging one of those wire carts around. It was missing a wheel and he didn't seem to notice or mind. I marveled at how he just dragged the cart full of his stuff as I waited for sparks to fly from the corner of the cart as it dragged against the sidewalk.

One day, I was very busy. It was rush hour on Nicollet Mall (in the heart of downtown Minneapolis). I pulled up to the bus stop and was secretly annoyed as everyone seemed to want to exit using the front door. Didn't they see the mob of people waiting to board the bus?? Finally, the people were almost loaded onto the bus and I saw the Airplane Guy. Geez, I don't have time for this today. He was doing his tippy-toe, arms spread, preparing to land routine. I told him he needed to get on the bus. He flew around like the runway was busy and he was waiting for his turn to land. I looked into the mirror and saw a whole line of buses behind me. I gave him one more chance, warning him that we had to go. He didn't seem too eager to land so I shut the door and left. The look on his face as I drove away was priceless. Like I shut down the entire airport before he had a chance to land his plane.

I had been wondering what happened to this guy. Hadn't seen him in a while. Then, just recently, I saw him in line waiting to board my bus at Uptown Station. He didn't do the whole arm thing, just the fast, tiny baby steps as he jumped onto the bottom step. He mumbled something about the "airplane companies" as he got on. He continued to mumble about airplanes and airports as he took forever to pay his fare...but he does always pay.

You know, I've sometimes had a song stuck in my head for a few hours. I just can't imagine being stuck twenty four hours, seven days a week with one topic in my mind! Maybe next time this guy gets on my bus, if I'm not too busy, I'll see if I can actually have a conversation with him...about something other than airplanes!
eXTReMe Tracker