We all encounter issues every shift. Most folks tell me things that are much more interesting than I experience, but that's a matter of perspective I suppose. Last night, one passenger surprised me with his contribution to my transit tales. He began just as soon as I checked his fare.
"Damn hernia surgery," he said. I must have jumped, because he added, "What, you don't think it hurts?"
"Ooh," I replied carefully. "I know it hurts. Had me a double two-sided cut job my own self about 10 years back. Hurt like a sumbitch." I stopped there, saving further ammunition if needed later.
"Told my doctor it hurts right here," he said, rubbing his groin. More info than I had hoped for. Keeping my eyes on the road, I avoided passenger mirror scans while he continued. I was afraid he'd graduate into hemorrhoid terminology, and his pants were already dangerously low for my liking.
"Didn't they think that was worth probing?" I asked, secretly proud of my phrasing. People who tell me personal stories upon our first meeting tend to annoy me. This behavior tends to instantly bring out my ornery side.
"They acted like I wasn't serious!" He evidently missed my pun.
"This was a recent surgery?" I asked.
"Damn near three years ago," he replied.
"Sounds like the works done gone haywire if it's been that long. You should insist they stick something in there to find what's wrong."
I winced after saying that, but his topic was reminding me of needing my wife to lift me off the toilet after my own surgery. It was not a memory I prefer to recall. If he kept this up, I was apt to go into my "painful for any guy to hear" recollection of a half-dollar-sized abscess on my... well, never mind.
"My balls hurt really bad," he said. Yeah, that. Okaaaay, I thought, time now for him to go away.
Usually, I start whistling some tune at this point in any unwanted conversation. The first song that crept into my mind was "Back In the Saddle Again."
This worked like a charm. He walked back and found a seat. I hope it didn't hurt too bad when he sat on our patented rock-hard seats. Or maybe I secretly hoped it would.