Last week, Laura from Eastlake sent me this note:
You often talk about Smooth Jazz and I must admit that I have been jealous. I would LOVE for the ride home to be to some music. So I thought I would send you a quick email to tell you about a great driver I had the other day coming home. It was on Wednesday night on the 70 at about 6pm. The bus driver sang a song to the entire bus about “humoring your bus driver so he doesn’t leave you at your stop while waiting.” It was really funny, he said he made it up on the spot, and the entire bus applauded and laughed (with him).
Her e-mail was the inspiration for last week’s Real Change column, which was about some of my favorite drivers (including Smooth Jazz and one I used to call Preacher, for his tendency to pray on the job). Then, last evening, the woman who helped me at Nordstrom rather spontaneously launched into stories about her favorite 49 drivers: the one who looks just like Dave Chappelle–not as funny but really nice–and the one who is so cute she sometimes flirts with him on her way off the bus.
All this talk about cool (and sexy) bus drivers has me wondering: Who are your favorites? Why?
Last night I got gussied up and hopped on the 4, headed downtown for a “changing jobs” party for a friend. I love riding the bus at night. There is something about the traffic-free streets, the deserted sidewalks, and the darkness outside the windows that creates camaraderie among those of us who have found ourselves together inside the warm, brightly lit vehicle.
Last night’s ride was better than usual. My favorite 4 driver, the one I call Smooth Jazz, was at the wheel. Smooth Jazz always drives at night, and he’s as cool and laid back as they come. Every time I ride his bus, he’s playing music–usually jazz–from a radio in the front. It’s loud enough for everyone to hear (especially on those quiet, nighttime rides), but not at all intrusive. When you get on, he nods and lifts his eyebrows, gently but firmly imparting the rules of his Smooth Jazz world: no funny business–just lean back, chill, and enjoy the ride.
Which is what I did.
The ride put me in just the right mood for the party, which turned out to be fun. The DJ was on an early-to-mid nineties hip-hop kick, and the bartender was excellent. (Another benefit of the bus-chick lifestyle: a built-in designated driver.) If I hadn’t violated Bus Chick Rule #37 (when going out, wear shoes that are both cute and comfortable) the night would have been perfect.