About Me

I feel the wanderlust and the call of the open highway. Which is good, because I drive cars for a living. But I'm a writer, and someday hope to once again make my living using my writing skills.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another City, Another Bus Ride

Last week I was over in Dayton, Ohio. I got called to fly down to Miami and pick up a car to take to Columbus, Ohio. The people I delivered that particular car to were a couple of prickly pears. They acted very odd, as if I was trying to pull something over their eyes. When all I was doing was trying to bring them a beautiful brand new company car. In fact, when I said "Good news, this car comes with Sirius Satellite radio," the man spun around and pointed his finger in my face, shouting "I'll be the judge of that!"

The day before I came, the wife offered me a ride to the nearest city bus stop, which was one and a half miles away. I was very grateful, because it was 17 degrees and snowing that morning. But when I arrived, they had changed their mind about helping me, and told me I had a long walk ahead of me.

I trudged through the nasty weather til I got to the bus stop. I arrived just as the bus I wanted was pulling away, so I had to wait another hour for the next bus. Then it was an hour long ride into downtown Columbus, where I'd catch the Greyhound bus.

While riding the city bus, an odd looking elderly gent sat behind me and was counting outloud. First he'd count up to 20, then he'd count backwards down to 1. He started trying to engage me in a strange conversation, so I tried to pretend I didn't know he was talking to me. Then he said that my collar was sticking up in the back.

"It doesn't look good, young man, it doesn't look acceptable. This won't do, no this won't do at all. You'll never get hired for that job looking like this." And with that, he reached up behind me and began to straighten the back of my collar. I sort of jumped, not expecting someone to touch me from behind. But I am kind of jumpy about strangers touching me sometimes. "There now, that's much better."

I sat silently.

"Don't I even get a little thank you?" he asked.

"Sir, its one thing to tell me that my collar is askew, but its another to reach up and fix it."

"But I was trying to help. You needed help. It was the right thing for me to do. You're on your way to a job interview, correct?"

"No sir."

"Well you never would have gotten that job you were interviewing for when the interviewer saw that collar all sticking up. What kind of job is it?"

"No job, no interview."

"Ah yes, that reminds me of my first job. But I don't have to tell an industrious fellow like you, do I? You seem to me to be a man of the world. I bet you've been around the block twice or more. Am I correct?"

"Just headed for Greyhound."

"Oh no, son, don't be a fool! Don't squander all your savings on dog races, you will live to regret it."

"What? No, I mean the bus."

"We are on the bus."

"I mean the Greyhound bus."

"If you want to take a bus to the dog tracks, I'm not going to help you out. I refuse to tell you which bus to take."

"OK, no problem."

The elder gent was quiet for a few minutes, then he got up and walked around in front of me. He stared at my face, then very quickly licked his fingers and used them to rub my cheek. "You've got a little bit of schmutz on your face. That would not look good in the interview."

I jumped away from him, for I do not like a stranger touching my face, especially not with fingers soaked with saliva. So I rang the bell and got off at the very next stop. The elder gent was waving at me, almost looked like he was going to cry. "Goodbye, young man, Godspeed and God bless. I just know you're gonna get that job!"

Job? What job? I have a job. But God bless the old guy anyhow for wanting me to look presentable.

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