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 Miss the El

The difference between the public transportation systems in Chicago and Los Angeles is like the difference between something that’s very organized, convenient and efficient and something that is, not. Now it’s not all the Metro’s fault here in Southern California, it is a very spread out city and there is not the same Loop of Chicago’s downtown. So things don’t bleed into it as nicely from all corners. But there are some rather silly inconsistencies.

To Pay or not to Pay

The platforms of the lines here are all open, there are no turnstiles to pass through in order to access the trains. And the ones that they do have downtown are not locked for admission only if you pay. So really it’s on the honor system. And let’s face it, the honor system probably last worked in the time of Lincoln and that’s just because he was a good role model. But then again he was poor as a kid, so he probably jumped a train or two in his youth as well.

There are signs posted that there is a $250 fine if you’re caught without a ticket. Which people are caught all the time. I don’t know whether they get that fine or not, I do know that there’s not enough LA County sheriffs to monitor all the lines all the time and since I always see them writing someone up, I’m guessing that they’re only catching a small percentage of the offenders. Not that I’m complaining, I pay but I’m sure there’s a lot that can’t and they have to do what they have to do. As well, you have to pay on each line, unlike Chicago (and I think New York) where you get on one line and then you can transfer. Makes more sense to me.

But That’s Not What I Miss

But this blog is not about politics ((unless it’s funny (wait it’s always funny)) or public transportation, this is about the funny side of life. And what I miss most about the El (sorry, short for elevated train if you don’t know) is not the trains or the convenience or the expense, it’s the girls.

You see, nearly every morning during the Summer while I lived in Chicago, I would go to Einstein’s bagels on Southport Avenue, get my Powerbagel with peanut butter, and watch the women going into the station to g0 downtown to work.

Chicago only has a small window when you can see tan bodies; thin straps on golden shoulders and gorgeous legs in a skirt or summer dress wearing flip-flops until they have to change into their work pumps. It would brighten my day and give me the energy (the bagel helped too) to then ride my bike twenty miles along the Chicago lakefront where I could see more skin in bikinis and running shorts. Summer in Chicago is outstanding!

And then there’s the Blue Line

So now I’m in Long Beach, where one would think you could see the gorgeous girls every day of the year boarding the train for work. Nu-uh. Not quite the same scenery.

The equivalent here where I might be able to sit and enjoy a coffee (they have no bagel place downtown) also borders the park. And by park I mean Homeless Fields. It seems to be the main sleeping area for the city’s homeless and so in the early morning hours you are treated to the sights of the smelly and dirty (please excuse me, I’m sorry you’re in that situation, but a stinks a stink) and the grumblings and hangovers of those just waking up or still asleep.

Even just getting on the Blue Line in the morning hoping to catch some attractive women going downtown to work is not the same. You see, Los Angeles’ downtown is not the same as Chicago downtown. That’s not where everyone works; they work on the west side in the film and television industry. So you’re more likely to see a woman wearing skimpy clothes who has no business wearing skimpy clothes and I don’t see how they think it looks good. You see, California is a tease, but that’s tomorrow’s blog…