The New Identities Part III

The first two parts proved to be pretty popular, so I wanted to do another version of the New Identities because I encountered specialized types of people I’ve encountered commuting on the bus as I did today…

The Blocker

The Blocker sits in the aisle seat when the bus is already crowded. Now I know from observing this type of commuter in multiple situations and routes, they are not going to be getting off soon. Their goal is to attempt to thwart anyone from sitting next to them by making it a difficult task for someone to “crawl” over them and they put a backpack or shopping bags on the seat next to them. They also know that a lot of people that ride the bus are not necessarily social butterflies and will shrink at the idea of asking someone to let them get by.

The Tourist

The Tourist is in fact, not from another city, but an individual that has to talk to the bus driver, standing just behind the line they are not allowed to cross, and run on incessantly about their day. They also try to engage pretty much any passenger that will give them the “in.” I think they’re very lonely and I do feel sorry for them that they have no one to talk to, and I try to politely point to my earphones that I can not hear them.

The Salesman

It is amazing and amusing to me how many people board public transportation selling things. On this particular day I found it very funny that two people got on selling chocolate bars in the 93 degree heat. Hmm, let me at it!  I guess the logic is that the people are captured, tired, hungry and they’re gonna bite (literally.) But especially yesterday, cold water made more sense, know your audience. More power to the entrepreneur, but it seems to me that many riding the bus do not have a lot of disposable income.

The Bench Warmer

Ya gotta love the drunks that sit at the bus stop. They don’t actually get on the bus, they just find it a convenient place where people might have change. They sit with 40 ounce cans in a paper sack and sing and rant on to everyone and no one. Now I do not want to make fun of anyone with mental health issues, I’m talking about the folks that have chosen this as part of they lifestyle. This is their place to party.

More power to the different types of folks, I’m sure they have things to say about me.


I Don’t Wanna Grow Up!

I titled this blog Amusingz in part because it is a combination of amusing and amazing. The reality is that this spelling was the only one available as a domain name. But the title always gives me the reminder not to rant and rail about what I term WTF behavior and try to look at it in empathetic and humorous terms and delve into where it might come from. Take for instance, The Seat Hog.

This term is derived from the selfish bus patrons and the fact that I keep smelling bacon and don’t see any fast food bags. I think I’m safe though, I think you’re supposed to smell burnt toast if you have brain problems. 🙂

But back to the subject. The Seat Hog has two sub categories-The Defiant One and The Property. The Defiant One is the bus and train rider that refuses to slide over, sitting firm in the aisle seat. He is there to challenge you to either ask him to move over so you can sit there or climb over to use the window seat. He usually doesn’t budge and is often either looking straight ahead with a big scowl on his face or is on a cell phone. Now I say he because in my experience it’s more often a male and it really seems to be the kid that never grew up, he’s been doing this since he was the bigger kid on the elementary school bus. I think to myself this person fits in the class of those that think that high school was the best years of their lives but that may be too restrictive. Let’s look at our other case first.

In the case of The Property it’s more often women than men. They’ve got stuff, backpacks, big purses, shopping bags and quite often their own girth, that don’t fit into one small seat. Granted these are not your Disney Small World seats that have been widened for America’s obesity, but I also think that’s an excuse. These people usually choose to put their bags on the next seat instead of the floor and since you’re average bus rider can’t afford Gucci, it’s not about cleanliness.

No, for both types of Seat Hogs, the question arises-are they exerting their power in the only way they can or are they really anti- social and bitter about having to be on public transportation? Maybe a little of both and for me, I just try to be “amazed” at certain behavior, that that’s just the way things are and we’re all different and I’m not right because I think politeness, especially given your position on public transportation, is essential.

Like the dad that only gets peace in the toilet The Seat Hog can only find a place for their anger about society, family, maybe their own lives, by making things uncomfortable. I feel sorry for them the way I felt sorry for the people who joined the “Occupy” movements without mowing how their protests might matter. They just need a voice, folks are just stressed out. And maybe the stranger on the crowded bus is the only way to get it out, making them stand. I don’t know, maybe I’ll ask sometime.

Now the guy that got on and charged down the aisle before this poor woman who could not walk very fast could get off- he’s an a-

Scenes From A Bus

For some reason everyone on the bus stinks this morning. Now I don’t have an overly sensitive nasal machine. I’ve walked hand in hand with girls who then literally wanted to stop and smell the rises and I’d be like “whatever.”. But these aren’t bus smells. This is definitely BO.

Can’t people tell? Don’t they have friends or family that might be able to gently suggest, I.e. get them a gift bag from Bath and Body Works?

I don’t think it’s one person because it’s strong. As a performer I’m really sensitive to body odor for fear it would send some negative publicity out there. Do these people have nowhere to go and it doesn’t matter how they smell? Are they simply going to SA (Smellys Anonymous) meetings and they’re getting support for their problem, after all it is noon and that’s a common time for support meetings?

Is that part of their culture? I know that in some cultures it is different.

Is it their way of making a statement?

Are they fed up with society and government and the wealthy and the 1% and they want to piss off all they can?

Oh my, are they in financial trouble and the water was turned off in their building without advanced notice?

Everyone looks nice. I can’t figure out who it would be.

Oh wait.


I think it might be me.

Scenes From A Train Part 3: The Bus

I’m off the train and passed my gas into the bushes. I’m on the bus now to Burbank for my early show for the library. Yesterday I was at their downtown library and was disappointed. Not in the show but I didn’t get to my joke. Johnny Carson used to always refer to “beautiful downtown Burbank” on the Tonight Show and I’ve thought of referencing that for weeks. But it turns out they get so many kids the parents can’t stay; there’s not enough room. So I tell the librarian about my missed opportunity. She reminds me that these parents aren’t that old so they wouldn’t have gotten it either. Ouch. That reminds me I just discovered that my elbows are really dry and scaly and crackly. When the hell did I get old man elbows? Someone thought I was fifteen years younger last night. Oh well you’re as old as you feel so I’m a hundred and two.

My friend insisted I take his car yesterday so here’s scenes
from that commute:

F*ck. F*ck. F*CK!!! The g*d d*mn GPS said 43 minutes! Road work?! There is none! Why are you idiots slowing down?!

So much calmer today. The bus driver is so nice I’m worried he’s been drinking. But they are a lot nicer than I remember Chicago drivers being, but I hadn’t been on the bus there since the 80s so maybe it was a union mandate for the 21st Century.

Everyone’s so nice on this bus and I’m so glad I’m not grumpy. I should understand: many of the people headed downtown probably don’t like their jobs. I’m headed to make a couple hundred kids and their parents laugh. Life is good. Enjoy your day.