Thursday, October 15, 2009

People Got A Lotta Nerve

I grew up watching people. No really, not just like, I'm a kid, I mimic adults and I watch them. But I definitely grew up intrigued by people—why they did the things they did. Why the cafeteria lady never looked happy; How my 2nd grade music teacher never criticized my poor piano skills; Why the boys on my baseball team in 4th grade were so trixy when it came to hiding the ball from me during practice . . . intriguing. I still people watch. I notice things and I wonder why people do what they do. I wonder if I sat down with a random stranger while they were just relaxing at a coffee shop, what would they say? Would we talk? What would we talk about?

I think it helps me as a creative to be able to explore these things, if not in real life, in my imagination. One of my favorite places to people watch is on the bus. It's like the melting pot of dysfunctional and crazy! I'm pretty sure thats why I'm on it ;) Anyway, here are some observations from riding the bus here in Seattle:

- Not all Twilight Saga readers are proud Twilight Saga readers. It's actually quite often that you'll see someone, young AND old included, reading a black coverless book. They are ever so strategically hovered over the book, and hiding the words on the spine, lest you think they're reading something other than Yeats. No no, it's Meyer. Stephanie Meyer. The sad fact is that I can spot the words on the page that I've read so many times and instinctively know which of the 4 books they're reading.

- Not all crazy people are out to get you. Don't get me wrong, there's definitely some wild ones out there, but for the most part, they're just trying to get somewhere. My favorite is this one guy who has a strange form of turrets that causes him to randomly turn his head and make the Chewbaca sound. No. Joke. It's quite entertaining. :D But I've actually gotten to talk so some of the "crazies" on the bus and some of them are genuinely just mentally handicapped or just want someone to talk to. It's always a unique experience.

- Rosa Parks is very much still alive. Despite attempts at fighting the "minorities at the back of the bus" stereotype, it's sadly still quite a frequent occurance. I ride the bus all the time, and it's so odd that there are still people who would rather stand near the front or middle of the shaky bus, in the aisle hanging on to the OSBars instead of plopping down at one of the 3 or 4 open seats at the back of the bus. The thing they seem to not understand is that there's actually MORE legroom at the back of the bus.

- Riding the bus is like a bar of chocolate, you never know which bus driver you're gonna get. Half the fun of riding the bus is the bus driver. In Seattle, all bus drivers are REQUIRED to call out each stop along the way over the bus microphone. So most of them will call it out and be all cool, calm and collected . . . others, not so much. One of the morning drivers on the #13 to W. Queen Anne feels the need to lean in to the mic and it seriously sounds like what I imagine Satan would sound like. Every stop is like a stop on the bus to hell. I promise. Sometimes when I don't have the iPod turned up enough, I hear his menacing voice over the mic and I say the sinner's prayer, just in case. ;) Then there's the bus driver of the #16 to Northgate. She has printed out probably 100 pictures of dogs and posted them all over the front inside portion of the bus. She also has stuffed animal puppies riding with her as she drives. She is a fun driver. She makes comments over the mic as she's driving. Like if she sees an accident, over the mic she'll say, "Poor people. They should've taken the bus." Sad but classy. I dig it.

- City Bus is code for "speed dating." I cannot tell you how many times old dirty men have hit on me on the bus. What's almost AS surprising is the look they get on their face when I tell them "Thanks but no thanks." Look, I'm not TRYING to be hurtful, but really? the bus. the bus. Romantic flicks strike again . . . What would be better? If I told them, "Look, sorry but I'm really not into dirty old men."? Just sayin. The city bus is nice for a convenient hello or some small talk, but asking me to join you for dinner at your place, when I don't know you but I'm sure I saw you walking out of The Lusty Lady, isn't going to save you a space in my heart. Do people REALLY think this works?

- Seattle Metro is a Bark and Ride. It's so wild for me to see people bring their dogs on the bus with them. I'm just so not used to that. I enjoy seeing all the puppies, I just think it's funny when you walk onto the bus and there's a dog sitting on the bus seat next to it's owner, wearing it's little doggie clothes. I feel like sitting next to the dog and asking it to come to my place for dinner . . . uh. just kidding. ;) But it's really random. Cute, but random. What I find completely unnecessary is when owners get that pissed off look on their faces when someone asks to sit where the dog is sitting when the bus is jam packed with people.

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