Monthly Archives: May 2008

A class III bus foul (or, Why I wash my hands a lot)

Despite Metro’s official “no eating” policy, sneaking a couple of bites of something on the bus is fairly common, and, as far as I’m concerned, fairly innocuous. I figure, as long as folks aren’t leaving trash or crumbs, there’s not much harm in a bit of nibbling (on a Black Russian from Three Girls Bakery, for example) en route.

But what’s with the trend of sitting down in the front and devouring a Styrofoam container of teriyaki like you’re at the table? I, for one, am not a fan of listening to strangers slurp down their dinners while I travel. And don’t even get me started on the smell. Which is why I was particularly appalled when…

On a recent 27 ride, Bus Nerd and I had the privilege of witnessing a senior gentleman attacking a bag of grocery-store fried chicken, Bus-Chick-meets-chocolate-ice-cream-style. (We were facing forward, and he was directly in front of us facing sideways, so we had no choice but to watch.) I found the sound (smacking after every bite?) and smell annoying, but, hey–I’m a “live and let live” kind of bus chick. The man wasn’t (exactly) hurting anyone, so I gave him a pass. Maybe he was really hungry.

But when he started licking his fingers–[insert KFC joke here]–one at a time, and with relish, his behavior moved from mildly annoying to downright unacceptable. I turned to Bus Nerd.

“If he touches the pole, I’m going to kill myself.”

Folks, I should be writing this post from the heavens. The man did, indeed, touch the pole, and many other parts of the bus, including the cord and the fare box. (How often do you think those things get cleaned?). He even left a lovely grease (or was it saliva?) hand print behind as a parting gift.

There is no basketball metaphor that covers a bus foul of this magnitude. Flagrant? Nope. Technical? Uh-uh. We’re not even in game-ejection territory. We’re talking league suspension, people, Ron Artest-style.

Just, no.

More bus reading

Back in August of ’07, I posted a random list of books I’d seen people reading on buses. These days, the librarians are keeping track (thanks for the link, Laurie and David). Here’s a taste of what they spotted:

Chocolate Flava: The Anthology by Zane (Route 15 on 4/28)
The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (Route 77 on 4/29)
Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox (Route 77 on 4/29)
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (Route 7 on 4/29)
Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (Route 28 on 4/29)
Museums and Galleries of Paris / Insight Guides (Route 28 on 4/29)
The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre (Route 28 on 4/29)
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris (Route 66 on 4/29)

Check the post on Shelftalk to see the entire list.

And speaking of…

Today, on my way to West Seattle, I started Black Genius, a collection of essays that I bought for Bus Nerd a few years back.

And you?

Still another bus based union

This one in San Francisco:

[Christina Wu and Chris Little] got to know each other four years ago waiting for and riding the 31AX-Balboa express bus to their jobs in downtown San Francisco. Today, they will be getting married in a Muni-themed ceremony.


[Wu] and Little used to catch the morning bus at the same Richmond District corner at 25th Avenue and Balboa Street, and after a couple of months of noticing each other, he struck up a conversation before the express arrived.

“Muni wasn’t my – at least not by design,” said Little, 39, who works in Internet advertising sales. “But if I drove, I probably wouldn’t have met Christina.”

(Source: SFGate)

Thanks for the link, John.

Today’s a Zipcar day

Nerd and I have some stuff to take to Goodwill/Re PC–and a few other miscellaneous errands that will be simpler by car.

A Zipcar bus ad
A Zipcar bus ad

I’m a very occasional car user, so this will be only the second time I’ve used Zipcar since the merger. I can’t say I’m thrilled about losing a local company, especially given some of the less-than desirable changes we former Flexers have been subjected to. (Increased rates and decreased insurance coverage? Now cut that out!)

On the plus side, their Web site‘s easier to use.

Speaking of dumping your car… (Aren’t we always?)

The City of Seattle’s One Less Car Challenge is back! This is an excellent, innovative program that gives people support (and incentives) to try living without a car for a limited amount of time.

There are two levels of participation. Level 1 (a “trial separation”) requires that you live without your car (or, if you’re part of a family, one of your cars) for a month. Level 2 (a “divorce”) requires a year commitment to car-freedom. The incentives are dependent on the level of participation, but some of them include: gift certificates for transit passes, bike gear, and other car-free necessities; a membership in Cascade Bicycle Club; and free advice and support from folks who already know the ropes.

The program is popular (and limited), so if you’re interested in participating, sign up now.

Unfortunately for Char and John, you have to live in Seattle to be eligible. As far as I know, Bellevue does not offer a comparable program, but this site provides information about undriving incentives for Bellevueites (Bellevue-ers? Belluvians?).