|Donuts anyone? I'll pass.|
Tooling along one evening, I detected an odoriferous emanation of a sort usually reserved for poker games. Glancing into the passenger mirror I tried to discern the source, but one to two seconds is all you get unless I want to risk missing a vital street scan. Couldn't tell. Then I heard one of my fellow operators, who was headed home after his shift, call out a fellow passenger.
"Please put that thing out," he growled loudly. "I don't want to smell that the rest of the trip."
I'm a bit slow, I know. But it finally hit me. CIGAR SMOKE!
Over the bus loudspeaker, I say: "Is somebody SMOKING on my bus?"
Another glance into the mirror revealed three fingers pointing out the offending desperado. Returning my gaze to the road, I spy the next stop and pull over.
"Sir," I said authoritatively, "here's your stop."
"But I don't want to get out here!" he whined. "I put it out, won't do it again, promise."
He hesitated a few seconds, head bowed in either shame, anger or both. I waited patiently; my time clock showed me running early. Then he slowly rose, shaking his head, and bolted out the back door.
The smoke and stench lingered, and my remaining passengers obliged me by opening some windows to clear the air. I think they were blasted awake by the sound of my normally-kind and friendly voice taking a sharply-toned detour. You see, I'm kind and polite to all who board my ride. It puts people at ease; even the hardest-looking cases usually return my smile and thank me for the smooth operation of my bus. But several regulars have seen what might be described as a Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde transformation when somebody pisses me off. I've worked hard on modulating my temper this year, but serious circumstances require a firm hand.
|The trees are starting to bloom as temps rise!|
I've been the victim of a bus passing me by, even in uniform. However, given Mother Nature's propensity this winter for dispensing large volumes of water from above, I take pity on my fellow soggy Portlanders. Yeah, I'll give him another chance. But just ONE.