Monday, February 6, 2017

Tweedle Dumb

Safely delivering passengers to their destinations is a challenge I enjoy. Usually I can tune out some of the painful conversations they have with each other, sometimes not. Those who speak loudly are truly the ones who should whisper. They're often drunk, drugged or otherwise overly impressed with themselves. It's a rare and welcome thing to have intelligent discourse happen.

After hearing one conversation on a subject neither person knew diddly about, I shuddered. While their ignorance made me wince, it did give me the chance to invent a new word.

Dum-bass-ian: (n., doom-bass-e-un) Inhabitant of the planet Ignoramus, is notable for the ability to walk with its head firmly implanted in its rectum. Should have attended at least a few classes in high school, but was too busy getting ripped.

* * *

Many passengers exit with a heartfelt "Thank You." To me, it's an acknowledgement of my giving them a safe, smooth ride for a couple of bucks and change. I truly appreciate this, and try to reciprocate with a farewell greeting of my own. Problem is, coming up with something innovative isn't easy. I used to wish them a good day/night. Then I saw George Carlin's YouTube clip about how he hated to hear people say "Have a nice day!" He went on a tirade about how sometimes maybe he'd had a string of "nice days" and was due for a truly terrible one. Basically, this phrase can grate on my nerves because of its overuse. I try to say something different out of respect, like "Thanks for riding." It tends to get a better response than the nice day thing. People hear that so much.

Here's something else that just chaps my hide: "I'll be honest with you." What? You mean you've been standing there telling me whoppers the past 10 minutes? Are there times when you're honest with me and those you are not? How can I tell the difference? Perhaps when you say this, you're trying to hide the fact everything you say is actually a line of bullshit.

Of course, there's one every run: "When does the 19 stop here?" As if we have the schedules of every one of 85 runs ingrained into our memory. My favorite response is "About every 15 minutes."

Next, it can be so rainy out even beavers are buying flood insurance, and folks will tell me "Stay dry!" Well of course I will, Einstein. I'm in this nice cozy bus and you're the one heading out into the deluge. If I said this to you, would it qualify me as a dumbassian? I promise to stay dry, as long as you have your cerebrospinal fluid checked for acidity.

The past six weeks in Portland have been almost as cold as my first wife, and nearly as windy too. Yet people will insist that I stay warm. What if I'm too damn hot? I might just strip off my uniform and go streaking across six lanes of traffic and back again just to cool down! It might actually get you to look up from your phone long enough to see a short show. Ugh, really folks. You stay warm, I'm just fine.

But possibly the worst thing someone could tell me on their way out is "Drive Safe!" What the hell? Have I just spent the past 25 minutes driving like your drunk uncle? If I didn't drive safely, what makes you think I'd be allowed to give you a ride home? They don't let just anybody drive these things, you know.

At least those who leave me with a "Thank you, I appreciate you and hope you have a safe evening" put some thought into it. Theirs feels more genuine and thoughtful.

Thank you for reading. We now return you to your regular diet of staying warm, dry and having a nice day.


  1. Me, too. I never know exactly what they mean when they admonish me to, "Drive safe!"

    Took me years to figure a reasonable retort is, "Same as always!"

  2. Indeed! Too funny. My usual response to "Have a nice day" is "I'm working on it" but sometimes I purposefully tell someone "Drive carelessly!!" and watch them say in earnest, "I always do", not realizing what I really said. Thanks for the chuckle. G

  3. Psgr: Is the route 48 in front of you or behind you?
    Oldguy: Yes, yes it is!