the 2

I pulled up to a small crowd at 26th Avenue and Franklin Avenue this evening. As they were boarding, a guy walked across the street in front of me. He was carrying two snow shovels. As he walked in front of me, I could hear him saying, "You're a good bus driver! I'm impressed! God bless you!"

And I, of course, assumed that he was going to be looking for a favor.

Sure enough, he told me that he didn't have any money, but that he was "only going" to ___. I explained to him that he still needed to give me $1.50. He said he needed to go find his money.

He walked to the back and set down his shovels.

I was watching traffic and pedestrians, so I wasn't watching him. I figured he'd come back up and give me a few cents. As soon as I pulled away from the stop, a woman who was sitting behind me and to my right jumped out of her seat. I thought she realized that she had wanted to get out at the stop where we had just been. But when I looked in my interior mirror, I saw the cause of her alarm. One of my passengers had his hand on the throat of Shovel Guy, and was saying something about how he was a paying customer. He called SG a drunk. (I had smelled it on him, too.)

I pulled over at the next stop. I told Shovel Guy that he had to get out. He was saying that he thought the other guy was going to shoot him.

I assumed that SG was the problem, and frankly, I didn't care if he wasn't. I don't usually need much of excuse to boot someone who hasn't paid or has shorted me.

He went to the back and grabbed his shovels. He came to the front and pulled out a pile of bills. OK, great, dude. You did have money all along. I told him to get out. He left, but not without running his mouth. I don't know what he said.

On my way back the next trip, I picked up the other guy again. He laughed when he saw me and said he hoped Shovel Guy wouldn't be on the bus again. I assured him that I wouldn't be letting SG back on. Then he told me that SG had spit at him, and he apologized (several times) for doing what he had done. I told him that I figured he hadn't started it and that I was more than happy to unload Shovel Guy. The guy told me that SG spent a lot of time in the area where I picked him up trying to hit up elderly people for change. The other guy told me that his mother lives near there and she's had trouble with SG, so he wasn't too happy with him to begin with.

Then, on my final trip of the evening, I pulled up to three people at Franklin and Chicago. The first two were young women. The last guy was, naturally, Shovel Guy. It was dark out so I didn't recognize him at first. But he got on and said, "I'm better now." I stared at him and told him to get out of my bus. He repeated "You're still a pussy!" over and over and something about how he'd find me again. But he got off the bus without incident. I'll remember him.

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Jeff is an idiot/time for an intervention, parts 3 and 2, respectively

Kassie made two fruitcakes last week. The recipe calls for a cup of rum, plus they get doused with brandy every couple of days.

When I got home this evening, I noticed that Jeffrey hadn't finished his dinner. That's strange. He usually inhales it in about three minutes. Yeah, you know where this is going.

I asked Kassie if he'd gotten into anything. She thought maybe he'd eaten some garbage. Then she discovered what he'd gotten into. One of the fruitcakes is gone.

Jeff is HAMMERED. And we think it's been a few hours.


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the 2

I drove the 2 yesterday for the first time in a few months. It did not disappoint.

I told one very friendly young guy that he should probably stop using the UPass (cheap fare for University of MN students) that wasn't his. I wasn't 100% sure that it wasn't his name and picture on the back, but I was at about 90%, so I didn't try to take it. He looked busted, though, so I was right. I'll call if I see him using it again.

A couple women in a minivan next to me at a stop light offered me a hit on the joint they were smoking. Nice. I laughed and told them I'd be in trouble when it came time to pee in a cup.

Then a drunk woman told me (twice) that her bottle of vodka hadn't been opened. I suspect that there wasn't much but backwash left in it. She kept dropping it. But at least she left the lid on it while she was on the bus.

Overall, though, I kind of enjoyed getting back on that line.

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drunk, but not that drunk

I made relief on the 4 at Lake and Lyndale yesterday at around 1:00 PM. As I was getting the seat adjusted, checking my mirrors, etc., a guy jumped on the bus. He looked like he'd either been working or out all night. I didn't immediately notice anything unusual about him.

"Thanks for waiting!"

He sat down beside me and started talking loudly. Then I smelled that he was drunk. He was pretty far gone, but he wasn't so bad that I was concerned about the three Ps I worry most about when a drunk gets on the bus: passing out, peeing, and puking. He jabbered a lot, rambling incoherently about horses and cowboys and spurs and monkeys. At 35th and Bryant, he told a young woman exiting the bus that he loved her. Fortunately, he only rode until 36th, which is a total of about eight blocks. He handled the steps of the bus quite well. I assumed, as I often do when someone is wasted at 1:00 in the afternoon and it isn't mid-March, that he must be an old pro.

OK, he's gone. Back to the nice, quiet 4. Sort of.

The lady behind me, who was sitting across from him and who I couldn't see, immediately started talking about how drunk he was.

"He was very, very drunk. Very drunk. He shouldn't have been on the bus. I don't think you should have let him on the bus. He was very, very, very drunk. I think it's illegal for you to let him on the bus. He was very, very drunk."

I assured her that it was perfectly legal for me to let him on the bus. But it's hard to talk to someone behind me when I'm driving, so I didn't really explain that I'd rather have his mouth on the bus with me than pasted to the side of my bus with his legs on the hood of his car.

The woman called M*tro Tr*nsit. She explained that he was very, very, very drunk and that he got off the bus at 36th and what he was wearing (with my help, admittedly- she asked) and that he was very, very drunk.

I'm sure no one went looking for the guy and no one should have. He probably went home and passed out.

The lady finally shut up about how very, very, very drunk he was at 48th Street. So for those keeping track, he rode for eight blocks and she talked about him for twelve. I guess it was a big day for her.

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