Adventures on the 358, vol. II — Wanna Beer?

I ride Seattle Metro route 358 to work every morning, and then again on the way home.  Nearly every ride comes with a show.  Here is one.

When I published yesterday’s post, I wasn’t expecting to return to a 358-based story for at least a week or so.  Well it just so happened that the best bus-riding story so far took place on the way home last night.

The driver opened the door for a couple of stragglers at the stop near Denny Way.  The second of the two men was carrying a 12-pack of Budweiser cans.  While I guess it’s okay to carry unopened alcohol onto the bus (which makes sense since some people use the bus to go grocery shopping), you are, of course, not allowed to drink while riding.  I noticed the case in the guy’s hands and intended to pay it no further mind.  Ugh . . .

He took the open seat directly across the aisle from me, right next to a woman who appeared to be in her early or mid-thirties.  He immediately bragged about his 12-pack.  “See that?  That’s the new Seattle Mariners edition.  Neat huh?  Huh?  Neat, huh?”  Apparently the woman’s undoubtedly uncomfortable, but probably polite (I couldn’t really hear her), response wasn’t enough for this guy.  She had her iPhone out and was texting someone, and he leaned over her shoulder, “Who’s that?  Huh?  What kind of a phone is that?  That’s a pretty neat phone.”

I need to mention at this point that this man was NOT mentally ill.  At least not in the sense that some of the other crazy guys on my bus are clearly mentally ill.  This guy was a socially inept jerk, with no sense of boundaries, respect, or responsibility.  Understood?  Good.

To get the point of what happened from Denny Way until this poor woman got off the bus at 64th Street, it’s best if I just write out my best recollection of his dialogue (sans profanity).  I couldn’t hear her anyway.

“Yeah, that’s a cool phone.  Pretty cool.  I found a pretty neat phone one time.  It was all fancy.  It belonged to this girl who was taking pictures of herself and emailing them to everyone.  I mean, she was a FREAK!  You know what I’m saying?  It was some FREAKY STUFF!  All these different pictures.  She looked pretty good.  She was like 19 or something.  She was a freak, though.  Man.  I mean I’m not like all that, but she was doin’ some stuff!  You know?  Huh?  Hey!  You know?  I talked to her and told her I had her phone, and she was all like, ‘Oh thank you so much!  We should meet so I can get it back.’  She said, ‘I have brown hair,’ and I was like, ‘I KNOW what you look like!’  Huh?  You know?  Yeeeeah-haha!  You wanna beer?  Huh?”  He looks quickly to see if the driver is watching (he isn’t), and he cracks open a beer and takes a quick swig.  “Yeah, but we met up.  It was pretty cool.  Can you believe it, though?  Man, she was a freak.  It was pretty cool.  A freak, though.  Huh?  You know?  What do you do?  Huh?  Where do you work?  What do you do there?  Oh, so like typing all day?  That pretty boring?  Huh?  You like what you do?  Just typing all day? . . . Yeah, she was a freak.”

And so on.

We got to the woman’s stop, and I was thinking, “Run like the wind, child!  Run!”  She must have been saying something to him before she got up because he said, “Oh?  Yeah, I guess it’s good to have a grandpa, huh?”

Once she’s off the bus, he props his back against the window and his feet up into the seat and proceeds to loudly talk to everyone and no one (like  Twitter, just more irritating), “Did you hear that?  Her DAUGHTER is the one in labor!  And it’s her GRANDFATHER that’s there!  Did you hear that?  What is that about?  That is a f**ked up family or something!  I mean, the DAUGHTER is having the baby, and then there’s the GRANDFATHER!  Huh?  Man . . . that’s just f**ked up.”

He continued to, I guess, try to get someone to engage in how f**ked up it was that it was her daughter having the baby, but the grandfather was there (?), and also made some mentions of how he was heading up to Shoreline to buy some methamphetamines, because “they prescribe it to [him].”  This was all done in between chugging his beer and letting out a few very nasty burps.  As people would get off the bus, I was hoping they would say something to the driver, but they didn’t.  I’m sure their focus was just getting away.  But since this was not the first time I dealt with rude and obnoxious people drinking beer on the bus, I decided that I’m not going to be so dismissive.

When we approached my stop, I got up and walked to the front of the bus early.  We were actually stopped at the light right before my stop, so I asked the driver if he would let me off early and he obliged.  As I paid, I said to him, “There’s a guy, third row back on your side, drinking a beer.”

“What?  Right now?” asked the driver.

“Yeah,” I replied.


“Three rows back, your side.”

“Okay,” he said and opened the door for me.  I stepped out onto the curb and found myself trapped by two “don’t walk” signals.  Then I heard, “Hey!”  I turned to see a cop sitting in his car in the parking lot adjacent to where I was.  “Have you seen a drunk woman walking up and down the street here?”

“No,” I said,”but there’s probably going to be one getting off the bus here in a second.”

“Yeah!” he laughed in response, and went back to his business.  Then I noticed that the door on the bus was still open, and the driver was flagging down the cop.  The cop got out of his car and approached the bus.  After the driver said something to him, another cop car came around the corner with its lights on and that cop got out.  They both went onboard and escorted the guy off, who was looking very sad.

Me?  I had walked across the street in the wrong direction in order to get away since I feared this guy might retaliate when he figured out who said something.  Turns out it wasn’t completely necessary.  I was well on my way to the gym by the time he was being put into one of the cruisers.

Now some may call me a hero . . . some may call me a tattle-tale.  I just say I’m me, and I’m just trying to do what I think’s right.


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