I came to Dayton, Ohio for a week and saw a friend do a great performance in a new band called Dark Backward.
After a late night performing hard, my friend slept in all day.
But I wanted to go see a movie, so I checked the local bus schedule.
I found a bus headed near the movie theater, so I walked to the bus stop and soon boarded a bus.
At the very next stop, a strange looking woman climbed onboard. She was wearing huge red sunglasses, had resewn quilts as legwarmers, a baggy football jersy, houseslippers on her feet, and what looked like a cloth diaper tied around her head.
"Step on it driver, I'm in a hurry."
She sat down in the front of the bus, directly across from me.
"Ride much?" she asked me.
"The bus. Do you ride the bus very much."
"This is my first time. I mean, in Dayton that is."
"Oh, you're a Godless out of towner, eh?"
"I know your type. You creep in by the dark of night and then spread your filth. This is Ohio, we believe in God here."
"I believe in God."
"Do you go to church."
"Not as often as I should."
"Aha! I knew it. So, do you like our little city so
"Um, yeah, real nice."
"That's exactly what I'd expect you to say!"
"Oh, just mind your own business!"
I sat quietly, and looked in the other direction. But I could feel her eyes staring at me hatefully, and when I glanced over it confirmed my instinct.
"Don't look at me!"
"Don't you dare look at me. I will step across the bus
and slap you across the face."
"Really ma'am, I don't want any trouble."
"But trouble is what you'll get. Trouble for you and all your Godless hellraising friends." She looked out the window and took in a deep breath, then sighed. She seemed almost peaceful. "Dayton is a truly lovely city. You should really get a good look around while you're here. I have no doubt that you'll love what you see. Maybe you'll just want to stay and settle down here."
She leaned towards me suddenly and spoke firmly. "Tell me, do you appreciate the drivers of these city buses."
"Do you? Do you really?"
"Of course, they get me where I'm going safely and on time."
"And do you give them a gift for Christmas?"
"Yes. You know Christmas, with Santa and reindeers and snowballs and stockings? Its the season of giving, and I would like to know if you give a gift to every bus driver you see."
"I'll consider it."
She rang the bell for the bus to stop. "You'll do it! If you are a God fearing man, then you will do the right thing. Without hesitation."
The bus stopped, and she started to climb off. Then she popped her head back up near me. "Do the right thing, or you will burn in hell!" She leaped off the bus laughing wildly.
In spite of that, I do love Dayton, Ohio. Its a nice city with really nice people. It reminds me of something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I could never blame a city for the crazy people I run into. They are everywhere, and they seem to be looking for me.