Tag Archives: 14

Eastbound 14, 3:45 PM

High-school girl 1: “It’s a dinner. I’m getting in free or I wouldn’t be going. They called and asked if I wanted fish or chicken.”

HSG 2: “Fish!”

HSG 1: “Please! You don’t know what the fish looks like. You can’t just say ‘fish’ over the phone like that. Chick-en.”

Eastbound 14, 9 PM (or, second time’s the charm)

My brothers and I are returning from a cathartic evening of bonding at the Seahawks/Cowboys game. (Jeremy, ever in the mix, happens to know a Seagal. He also knew half the people sitting next to us in the crowd. But I digress.) The 14 is standing-room only–packed with Seahawk fans and regular riders–but oddly morose, given the outcome of the game.

Jeremy, to everyone else on the bus: “What about them Seeeeeeeeahawks?!”
At least half of the other riders: “Hawks, baby! Sea-HAWKS!”
A lone voice in the crowd: “Better not be no Cowboys on this bus.”

A bus in the hand…

I can take any one of three buses home from downtown–in order of preference, the 27, the 4, or the 14. The 27 is hands down my favorite of the three because it’s fast and takes me directly to my house. If the 27 isn’t coming anytime soon, I fall back on the 4, which, though significantly slower and less pleasant than the 27, also takes me directly to my house. The 14 is slow and requires a walk, so I take it only when neither of the other two buses is coming soon.

Tonight, I found myself at the Benaroya Hall stop on 3rd Avenue sometime between 7:35 and 7:45. The 27 was scheduled to be there at 7:55, the 4 at 8:00, and the 14 at 8:07. By 8:00, the 27 had not yet arrived. At 8:02 (with still no sign of the 27), the 4 came, and with it, my dilemma: Should I continue to wait for my preferred bus, with no way of anticipating how much longer it would be, or should I take the less desirable–but guaranteed–ride?

Several times a week, I am faced with a choice like this, and my decision is usually made by weighing a complex set of factors (weather, time of day, mood, consequences of lateness). An example: If it’s late at night and one of the choices involves a walk, I’ll probably opt for the choice that doesn’t, even if the wait is longer or the bus is slower.

Tonight, I opted for the 4, because of my desire for immediate warmth and my recent experience with extremely late buses. I arrived home to find Bus Nerd, who, it turns out, had also just come from downtown (he’d been waiting at a different stop on 3rd). He had been faced with the same dilemma but had chosen to wait for the 27, which, it turns out, arrived five minutes after the 4. I was warm for the five minutes he was still waiting, but despite my head start, he beat me home.

Fellow riders: What do you do in cases like this? Do you settle for the “bus in the hand” or hold out for a better ride?