Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Last Thursday morning, I actually got myself out of the house on time. This does not happen as often as I would like. I’m simply not a morning person. Particularly on mornings when I’m supposed to go to work. On this workday morning, however, I was even a few minutes early. To reward myself, I was going to stop at Starbucks and get myself a nice grande cup of coffee that tastes 132 times better than the sludge that comes out of the office coffee machine.

Thinking happy thoughts of the steamy latte sweetened with a shot of hazelnut syrup that would soon be mine, I boarded the bus. A very nice man decided that he no longer wanted to be on the bus, and vacated his seat just in time for me to claim it. The bus began to slowly make its way onto the Drive. Traffic was moving at a snails pace on this particular morning. The bus was barely moving. At one point, at the top of the on ramp, the bus really wasn’t moving at all.

Suddenly we hear the bus driver (though I think they’re called “Bus Operators” now) lay on the horn. Through the open window next to her, we can now hear a male voice angrily yelling, “You hit my car! You hit my car!” Ms. Bus Driver (henceforth dubbed Ms. BD) responds, “I wasn’t even moving! How could I hit your car if I’m not moving?” Angry Male (henceforth dubbed AM) yells, “You hit my car! You hit my car!” Ms. BD responds, “Honey, if I’d hit your car, you’d have gone shooting across the Drive.” AM yells, “You hit my car! You hit my car!”

AM then pulls over onto the shoulder, right in front of the bus. By “right in front” I mean “barely enough room for a member of the Lollipop Guild to walk”. He boards the bus, and informs Ms. BD, “You hit my car! You hit my car!” Ms. BD denies it. AM blusters about the damage. Ms. BD goes to look at the damage, and still maintains that AM hit the bus all by himself. AM turns to the 50 passengers and entreats their support. “Did you see her hit my car?” he asks. “NO!” respond the 50 passengers in unison. “You hit the bus!” “We weren’t even moving!” “We need to get to work!” Such cried could be heard from individuals in the crowd. AM turns back to Ms. BD. “You hit my car!” he says.

Ms. BD responsibly radios for a back-up bus to take the 50 passengers to work. Since the bus is already on the Drive, she asks AM to pull up his car further ahead on the shoulder, so that there would be room for 50 passengers to safely stand while they wait for their new bus. AM refuses to move his car. Ms. BD points out that 10 feet would probably suffice to keep 50 passengers safe from oncoming traffic. AM refuses.

Ms. BD asks the passengers to please be patient, and to leave the bus through the front doors, one by one. Each passenger squeezes through the narrow gap between the front of the bus and the back of AM’s shiny black BMW SUV, walks alongside the SUV while trying not to be hit by a moving vehicle, and walks back onto the shoulder out of harms way. Each passenger takes a look at the damage caused by the accident: a couple of paint scratches.

A couple of different buses come by, each picking up as many passengers as can squeeze onto the already full bus. By the time the fire trucks come, there are only 10 or so passengers left (including yours truly). Turns out one of the remaining passengers works at Traffic Court and had been watching the whole thing. AM had been trying to nudge his shiny black BMW SUV past the bus as it was trying to get onto the Drive. He’d nudged a bit too close and scraped the side of the bus, which was practically standing still at that point.

I managed to make it to work only 10 minutes late. But I never did get my steamy hazelnut latte.

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