Tuesday, July 29, 2008


As the title implies, I have a love/hate relationship for taking transit to work. The pros equal the cons so I'm stuck in the middle.

•less stressful and safer than driving in traffic
•cheaper than driving
•I can read, "relax", listen to music, eaves drop (some young 18-year-old Surrey construction workers talking about what drugs they did yesterday and what drugs they'll do today and fears of being fired. And just today in fact was a schizophrenic talk-out-loud kook who had many enjoyable things to talk and laugh about--as he exited he said to everyone "Smile! You're on TV!")
•environmentally more friendly
•looking at hot girls

•sick people coughing (I make it a point to not touch anything on board with bare hands)
•when it breaks down (rarely) it sucks
•missing your scheduled bus sucks
•dealing with assholes

Monday night was a great example of a bad day. On my home from work, the Skytrain was packed. I'll let a train go and wait for another in the chances that it's less packed but last night it wasn't happening so I got crammed in. I got a backpack to the face, someone's arm got hooked into my headphone cables and yanked my phones off, and someone let one rip. When I got off at my station I went and stood in line for the bus which was on schedule any minute. We boarded and as I approached the back of the bus I saw my ENEMY: A retarded Asian fellow.

My enemy: Keeping up to speed with Hollywood gossip!

Here's the deal. About a year ago, I noticed that every once in a while I'd see this retarded man on the bus. He always took the back bench, sprawling out to take over three seats. No biggie. I can handle that as long as it's not busy and no elderly person needs the seat (they never come to the back of the bus anyways). He sits quietly, occasionally saying something out loud nodding his head to his headphones of his DiscMan (I'd love to know what he listens to). A few trips with this fellow and I realize that he's a snorter. He snorts so loud that the first time, I actually thought it was perhaps hydraulic pressure being released from the bus itself. Started to get kinda annoying. One day, coming home from work, he's sitting there when he suddenly blurts out, and this is no lie, "DAHHHH! Oh, fuck! I shit my pants!" And he stood up and tried to fix himself as best he could. I can handle that kind of stuff from a distance, and kinda relish the fact that I witnessed this but am too cold and inconsiderate to help the poor chap. What would I be able to do anyway? I'm sure someone out there would have a good solution to this kind of situation but not me. I just kinda grin inside. I know that sounds harsh but I've had the same thing happen to me so I've earned the right to enjoy this man's sudden and unexpected pants-shitting.

My enemy: Sprawled out like a son-of-a-bitch.

A while later, my son and I took a bus to the Skytrain to catch a movie and there he is; sprawled over three seats on the back bench: his ass in the middle seat, his legs across the window seat and his hand on his left "reserving" the third seat. There's one empty seat next to the "reserved" seat so I figure, he'll move his hand and we'll both be able to sit. As I guide Kai to the "reserved" seat I quickly realize that Gretzkeee isn't going to move his hand and I quickly usher Kai into the empty seat. Gretzkeee looks at me with a look that says "Nothin' you can do about it, fuck-face: I'm Gretzkeee." It creeps me out to think that my son's ass was this close to sitting on this man's hand. So I decided at that point that I really didn't like this guy and I didn't care that he was retarded. He was going to be my enemy.

Last night was the icing on the cake that took my level of dislike of this man to a higher level. After being crammed uncomfortably in this sweltering Skytrain car I cheerfully hopped almost immediately onto my connector bus. I saw my enemy sprawled out in his usual seats. His DiscMan now reserving in the third seat, his backpack taking the window seat. A very tall, very friendly looking African man came loping to the back and tried to take the seat next to the DiscMan, but due to circumstances of another man's circumference, it was but half a seat. The friendly tall man looked to Gretzkeee with a look like "excuse me please" and gestured to the DiscMan. Gretzkeee ignored him though was fully aware of his situation. Mr. Friendly then takes the DiscMan and considerately pushes it towards Gretzkeee who pushes it back with a loud "Hmphhh!" Mr. Friendly then picks up the DiscMan and hands it to my enemy who then pushes the man's hand, grabs the DiscMan and shoves it back onto the seat muttering "Fuckin' Christ!" At this point I finally say my first words to my enemy "Give the man the fucking seat. You've got plenty of room." Gretzkeee throws daggers, knives and torches my way with his eyes and yells "FUCK YOU" and then stammers and huffs and puffs in anger as he rearranges his seating arrangements. Occasionally he'd stare at me, throwing more javelins into my eyes and shaking his head in complete disgust, nodding his head more furiously to the music as though it was now playing something really heavy and aggressive, like Bon Jovi or Cinderella or maybe even Warrant. Somewhere along the ride his backpack fell to the floor and he chose to ignore this opting instead to look at me as if this was all my fault.

My bus ride is really only 5-minutes (I usually opt to walk if it's not there) so I don't have to share it with him for long and when I got off and walked past where he was sitting, again he was looking at me as if he wanted to kill me so I did the only thing that came to my head: I stared directly into his eyes, pointed at him very sternly as if poking him and said, yeah, that's right, "YOU!" Of course a million other ideas popped into my head as the bus drove my enemy safely away from me.

This morning, as luck would have it, Gretzkeee was on the bus and he and I gave each other the evil eyes.


CAMacKinnon said...

The "oh fuck, I shit my pants" part makes this the post of the month.

The Gretzkee reference makes it the post of the year.

Gold. Just... gold.

BEADLE said...

Keep fighting the good fight Johnny !

your pal,