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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ode to the 217 - Ye Shall Be Missed!

Let me start off by stating something that most Houstonians know...290 SUCKS! It’s awful, I hate it, it's sucking the life out of me, giving me(more)gray hair and most likely making my boss think I am lazy and sleeping in every day. This all got way worse than normal the week school started. Ok, that makes sense I guess. But this is the 4th week since school started and yesterday I left right on time and was still 20 some odd minutes late. WHAT GIVES 290! I am so sick of getting ulcers while sitting in stopped traffic worrying I am going to be late for work. Once I arrive at work and rush in with my head tucked feeling awful for my tardiness, I spend the next 2 hours trying to unwind from the commute. Gone are the days of my worst complaints about the commute being in relation to the people. Man I am sort of missing the normal snorer or leg grazer. At least that didn't spill over into the rest of my day. I have now decided to try catching a bus that is a little closer in on 290 and possibly miss a few clogs. Today was my first attempt, and so far so good. We shall see. So I guess the good thing here is I have an entirely new group of people to commute with and this means NEW STORIES hopefully! So here is my


Ode to the 217 bus.....ye shall be missed (like an ingrown toe nail is missed).

Most days you get the same repeat offenses like talking too loud on the phone, hogging the seat and touching my leg etc. But every now and again you get a new one. I was sitting on the inside of the row by the window. A normal enough looking fellow approaches and sits down next to me. He immediately begins to shimmy into a wool sweater. Yes the bus gets cold, no it does not call for WOOL! Not to mention that he has to do so much wiggling and squirming to get this thing on over his dress shirt that I am starting to wonder if I need to help him. Nah, this was too good to interrupt. So he gets in the sweater and sits still for a brief moment. Then he gets his briefcase out and pulls out what I thought was a little Franklin planner or something. Oh no....it wasn’t a planner. It was a manicure set. To do nails with. While riding on the bus? Is this odd to anyone else? I started praying he just had a snagged nail or a stray cuticle. OH NO not this guy. He pushed his cuticles back then started clipping his nails! I wanted to scream or gag. Luckily he was making sure they fell into his handy traveling manicure kit, but still EEEeeeWWwwww! That is just something I think most people know not to do in public. He didn't get the memo. Here is another first for me.

The 217 exits 290 at Skinner Rd. and then travels down the feeder road past a business or two and then turns right into the bus drop off area. This particular day the bus driver thought that she would test the patience of the passengers by passing up the driveway!!! Oh yes she did! Passed it right up. You could see the panic in her face. You can't exactly back a bus up on the feeder road. A very kind man sitting in the first row begins instructing her on how to get back around. The anger that was radiating from the passengers was so thick you could have cut it with a butter knife. You would have thought that I was on the bus with a bunch of perfect people who never made a mistake in their lives because certainly they were not judging this poor lady for her mistake. They so were. I mean, she could have pulled into the regular entrance that was right after the driveway that she missed and let people out but who knows, maybe they aren’t allowed to. So she turns at the stop light and makes the HUGE block and came back around the feeder road. We all held our breath as we approached the entrance....and she made the turn! YAY! We arrived. Most of the time as each person exits the bus they say "thank you" to the bus driver or "good evening" or some pleasantry. There was very little of that this time. I managed to say, "have a good evening, don’t worry about it" as she repeated "I'm sorry" a million times. I just can’t imagine having a load of people there staring at me when I make a mistake. I can’t handle disappointing one person much less a bus full. I hope she had a Calgon take me away type of evening and forgot the entire mess.

I think I have mentioned to you guys that I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. I am a zombie until I get some coffee and have time to knock the cobwebs out of my head. The bus rides are normally extremely quiet (except for the occasional idiot who has no clue of the rules). I usually take a little cat nap to and from work. So I got on the bus this morning and sat down next to a gentleman and leaned my chair back and closed my eyes. I realized this was a very cold bus and decided to get my pashmina wrap out and cover up. He takes this as an opportunity to start a convo about how the buses are either really cold or really hot. I nod at him in agreement and continue my mummification process. I get all snuggled in and then he starts talking again. He asked me how long I had been riding the bus and if I like it. He really was a nice guy so I didn’t tell him "yeah it was great until I sat down next to you and your chatty self". I answered him, "over a year now and I like it, much better than driving 290 each day". Then he begins a LONG story about how he hates it and is going to quit the job he just took downtown because he would rather less money than have to deal with the commute. Ok good for you, you do that. I try to close my eyes. Then he sees my little belly. I will give it to him, he took a risk and asked "are you expecting?". Everything in me wanted to say "no sir, why do you ask" Just to make his heart skip a beat or two, but I refrained. I said, yes I sure am. The I got the story of all his kids and how they have almost grown kids and then a surprise pregnancy that gave them their 2 year old son. You could tell he was a family man who lived for those kiddos. Very sweet story....BUT IT’S SO EARLY....and did I mention I haven’t had my coffee? Silent finger please!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (PSA): If you are having a phone conversation with your homies(a very loud one at that) on the PUBLIC bus, please refrain from shouting the word bitch constantly. It is rude, annoying and makes you look ignorant. I wasn't aware this word could sub for just about any other word in a sentence. Now, if you are a dog breeder, you get a pass.

Thanks 217, I have enjoyed your entertainment. I especially love your fancy parking garage. Who knows, this 214 thing might not work out so well.