I’d offer you my seat, but you’re an ass.

17 May

When I arrived back in the US on Saturday, Dulles airport was a zoo. Apparently there had been thunderstorms holding many flights at bay, so when we landed, the line for Naturalization & Customs was RIDICULOUS.

Seasoned travelers around me groaned with impatience, all of us exuding the unmistakable (and un-maskable) Eau d’Plane. Unfortunately, we had a 45 minute wait ahead of us before getting our passports stamped for re-entry, so we just prayed that olfactory fatigue would kick in sooner rather than later.

After finally clearing Customs, I decided to take the Metro bus into the city, rather than springing for a more convenient (and $50 more expensive) cab ride. That meant kicking back and waiting 25 minutes for the next bus, which I did with a surprising amount of patience.

By the time the bus arrived, there was a sizable crowd waiting to board. As one of the first in line, I secured a seat near the front. Which ended up being the perfect vantage point for what was about to unfold. Across from me, a friendly guy with graying hair and a Boston accent sat down.

The bus started to fill up, and more passengers pushed to squeeze on. I made eye contact with a woman about my mom’s age and gestured to my seat. She declined the offer.

The bus was filled to capacity and two more people (toting large suitcases like everyone else) tried to force their way on,  but there simply no room. Every seat was taken and people were wedged butt-to-butt in the aisle.

It felt almost like this. ALMOST.

“Move it!” A man with a thick Middle Eastern accent yelled to the people in the back of the bus. “Keep going all the way to the back!”

The people from the back of the bus called back, “We can’t! There’s luggage in the aisle. We’re back as far as we can go!”

Choosing to ignore or not believe them, Mr. Belligerent shouted again, “Keep moving. There is room on this bus. You keep moving!”

They yelled back, “We can’t! Someone please tell him that there’s no more room back here!”

People mid-way through the bus tried to explain to the guy, but he was more interested in yelling than listening. “You people don’t even need this bus! You’re rich! You have cars! If you have a car, you should drive it, not this bus!”

All the passengers started looking at each other uncomfortably, no longer sure who he was addressing or what axe he was looking to grind. The friendly looking guy sitting in front of me decided to shut him down: “Dude. Let it go! You’re on the bus. We’re in moving.”

Oh, but Mr. B didn’t want to let it go. “You have a seat! You have a seat! Go online. You read the rules. You’ll see!”

I’m not sure what rules he was referencing, so I was impressed when Boston responded, “I have to listen to people like you all day at work, and I’m on my way home now. I don’t want to hear you run your mouth. Can you just ride this bus and let it go?”

“You’re not working. You’re riding!” the Mr. B accused, as if that changed things.

Boston reached into his shirt and pulled out a badge – and I then noticed the police pin on his bag. “I’m just coming off work, you idiot.” I then spotted his gun and was impressed that he wasn’t acting trying to pull a power trip and throw his badge around a bit more forcefully. Just a regular, annoyed guy.

But that didn’t slow Mr. B. He decided he need to investigate the back of the bus himself, to see what the real story was. So he began pushing his way through people, crawling over suitcases and forcing himself into the back of the bus.

“Excellent,” Boston yelled. “I hope everyone is filming you with their phones for YouTube. Show the world what an idiot you are!”

When Mr. B got to the back, he started heaving bags around. I don’t think he was able to free up any more space, but – fortunately – he seemed to blockade himself back there because we didn’t see or hear from him again on the ride.

I’m not sure what was more surprising: someone deciding to challenge the entire bus to a verbal showdown, or a cop encouraging people to tape the incident and post it to YouTube.

In any case, I can’t believe I even considered taking cab. Why spend $55 for a serene ride home, when you can pay $6 for a mobile theatre?

3 Responses to “I’d offer you my seat, but you’re an ass.”

  1. Paul May 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Belligerents, badges, guns …. next time, take a cab.

  2. Alicia June 1, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Dude, that guy (the cop) was sweet!


  1. Everyone on the Peace Train | The Popdialectic - July 7, 2011

    […] sympathize. It’s not the train Cat Stevens was singing about. Alison also had a good one on the bus. At the least, you have to respect the apparent customer […]

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