Walter Mencken 9:01 a.m., April 29
- Community Blog
All In Seven Minutes
It always happens when I'm out subtracting seven minutes from my life. I bet if I spent more time staring out my windows I'd be a blogging fiend.
Buses running past both sides of my apartment- I live in a corner apartment- are a common occurrence. They come down 30th street, pass one side of the apartment, then on Beech over to Fern, past the second side. And that's just the "south" route. I also get the "north" route coming the opposite direction. If I'm lucky, the trifecta is completed when both routes are passing by one side of my apartment at the same time AND a plane is flying overhead. Oh, the joy. But I digress, for planes are not the issue here.
While I was outside, a bus heading on the north route pulled up to the stop about 50 feet from my door. I knew something was amiss, however, when it pulled up very, very tentatively. I looked at the sign displaying what bus number it is and its route and saw this: IN TRAINING
Crap. Didn't I just recently blog about how thin these streets are? I mean, residents park their cars on the side streets to avoid the people that already think they can drive but really can't and now the MTS is training people who hope they can drive the buses that are the size of nearly half a block. On a side note, I am thankful those accordion buses don't take this route. That could be disastrous. Like that guy in '95 that took that tank for a ride. Damn, sorry. I keep taking tangents. Back to my rant.
So then I rationalize it, trying to see their justifications and I guess at some point these drivers are going to have to come down these streets. It's their job, I understand that. And honestly, I really don't know the training they have to go through prior to getting behind the wheel of a bus. I only hope it's pretty extensive. I start to calm down and decide that it's my day off and I refuse to allow any stress in.
As Green Driver On the 2 Route and his trusted coach discuss... whatever they're discussing, the bus coming the south route arrives. He pulls up to the stop sign and I catch a glimpse of the guy taking notice of the newbie. He kinda smiles some and I can only think of two things that could have gone through his mind. One, he remembers those days and is touched by the nostalgia, or two, he knows Green Driver On the 2 Route and doesn't expect him to be around long. I smile as the second thought comes to mind but then I realize the back of my car is a mere 30 feet from the front of this bus. Crap number two.
Experienced Driver On the 2 Route takes the turn on Beech with the swiftness and grace of a man who was born to drive buses. Hands firmly turning the steering wheel like the captain of a vessel on the high seas. He deftly pulls up to the stop across the street, receives his fare, surely with a smile, then pulls off with ease and class, as if he just gave the newbie the MTS version of the finger.
As Green Driver On the 2 Route still sits at the stop, hazards flashing, surely shaking in his pleather seat, a UPS truck pulls on Beech off Fern and parks directly next to my car, leaving little space between the truck and the car parked across the street. I have a feeling something clicked in the newbie's coach's mind because a minute later, the bus resumed with it's training. Here's where it gets a little fun.
The UPS driver grabs his package- wait, that sounds wrong. Let me rephrase. The UPS driver retrieves his delivery from the back of the truck- much better- and as he is getting out of the truck the test begins. Slowly the bus inches by, brakes not appreciating the herky-jerky motions, and I look over to the UPS driver who just noticed the IN TRAINING sign and wears a wince on his face. We both pause and wait until the bus passes, then let out a sigh of relief.
Mr. Brown goes about his day doing things for you and I head back inside wondering why I don't spend more time outside.