Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Public Transportation + Why I Will be Having Conversations With my Pocketwatch in 20 Years

Here’s the deal: I take the bus. Everywhere. I live in a small city where everyone has a car, but I don’t drive. I also can’t afford a car even if I could. So I walk a long way, in cold Canadian weather, to get to the bus stop and wait. Because I’m cool like that.

Most people probably don’t think taking the bus is a big deal. I’m pretty sure in big cities, everybody takes public transit, and nobody blinks an eye. Here, in my small city where everybody knows everybody, only the poor folk, teenage mothers, and people who talk to their pocketwatches take public transit. And I’m one of them (poor, that is. Although talking to my pocketwatch, if I had one, might fend off some of the crazies).

I hate it. I hate waiting on busy streets and having people stare at me as they pass. I hate people I know recognizing me and pitying me, thinking, “Oh yeah, the poor girl, she doesn’t drive!” I hate sitting next to smelly fat men who discuss the intricacies of their pez collections. I hate drunk people, covered in blood, stagger on the bus and proclaim to each other, “Hey buddy, don’t touch anything on this bus, you might infect someone!” It wasn’t too long ago, in THIS COUNTRY, that somebody hacked off somebody else’s head with a knife whilst on a Greyhound bus. True story.

Here are my useful bus accessories that I must carry with me everyday in order to protect myself whilst on the bus:
  • Oversized sunglasses. They are useful for disguising myself and looking cool at the same time.
  • Cell phone. As soon as a crazy walks on and starts to talk to me, I pretend to be writing a novel comprised completely of text messages.
  • Ipod and headphones. These are so I can ignore the crazies that try to hit on me.
  • A large, oversized purse. This is to occupy the seat next to me so that nobody’s ass touches mine. Plus, it can be used as a weapon (the straps can be used to strangle someone, the body of the purse can be used to smack someone in the face, etc.) in case a crazy with a knife tries to decapitate me.
  • Big floppy hat. This is to hide my hair and cover most of my head, so people don’t recognize me.
  • Mitts/Gloves. It’s always cold where I live, so these definitely come in handy. Also, they protect me from “getting infected” as the drunk dudes say.

I shouldn’t really complain though. It’s a way to get around. And there aren’t as many crazies as there are in big cities, I’m sure. Like this guy.


  1. Sunglasses are very important on a bus. Making eye contact with ANYONE on public transportation can be a big mistake.

    Also, I live in a city and it's true - there are a fair amount of crazies on the buses. I've never seen a guy lick his shoe, but I did have a really good moment once involving a transvestite who got his purse caught on the seat as he was trying to leave. He was really melodramatic and kept yelling "MY PURSE! OH MY GAWD, MY PURSE IS STUCK! MY PURSE! MY PURSE!" I also once had a drunk guy ask me if I was one of those "computer nerd girls." He told me that I was "adorkable" and then asked if I was a lesbian.

    Long live public transportation.

  2. I carry around the same protection when I take public transit-- headphones are a must for everywhere I go.