The Old Man and the Bus

December 17, 2009 at 1:13 pm (Uncategorized)

One of the perks of riding public transportation in a big city is the opportunity for random human interaction (you may not think of this as a perk, but as an avid observer of human behavior I sure as hell do).  Most people riding the L or the bus have their iPods in their ears or their nose in a book, but I’ve found it’s nearly as entertaining to just sit and watch what goes on around you.  Last night, as I was riding the bus to volunteer at the pantry, I had one such encounter that made it worth the $2.25 bus fare.

His name was William.  This is not William, but I think it’s a fairly accurate representation.

William sat down next to me because I made eye contact as he walked down the aisle.  He immediately commented on the weather, which is typical enough, especially when it’s so cold outside.  Chicagoans like to comment on their obvious shared misery.  Within the next ten minutes, we also talked about deforestation, globalization, the dying American auto industry, his 19-year-old cat, his two failed marriages, health care, unemployment, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam and how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I suppose I should clarify – William did a lot of talking and I did a lot of nodding and mmmhmm-ing.  He commented on my lack of headphones and told me how refreshing it was to see a young person not completely immersed in their own little world.  He lamented the fact that people don’t acknowledge each other in public nowadays, and to be honest I was glad I could help remedy that a bit for him.  He also told me some jokes.  Ready for this?

Q:  What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?

A:  Frostbite.

Want another?

Q:  Why did the cemetary have to start locking its gates?

A:  Because people were dying to get in.

Ha.  Hahahahaha.

I departed the bus before William, and he told me how much he enjoyed talking to me.  In an ironic twist, he also told me that a pretty young thing like myself shouldn’t be talking to strangers on the bus.  How do you like them apples?

1 Comment

  1. Nicole said,

    This post wins the day.

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