16 December 2005

Bus Bus the mundane bus

OK. I promised myself to resist politics today and get more personal, despite the adage that the personal is political. You're never really outside the system. OK. Stop. Stick some classic Silver Jews on the rotation and mellow.

Yesterday, I picked up my son from school and had to get to Cleveland Park library to return some overdue books. I wasn't riding my bike up there yesterday in all the rain, so we stopped by the house to drop it off, hoping to catch the L2. We turn the corner by the excellent San Marco restaurant, pass the Brass Knob, and are about thirty feet from the bus stop when I see the L2 coming up 18th. I wave my umbrella madly and begin running, towing my son behind. The bus driver pretends to look the other way and speeds right by the bus stop at Belmont. I was pissed, and if I'd had a missle launcher, that bus would be a fucking piece of goddamn scrap right now.

Anyone who knows the L2 knows that if you see the tail end of one L2 bus you aren't likely to see another one that day. It's the only bus -- other than rush hour specials -- that runs through Adams Morgan and heads to the western edge of the downtown (it goes through Dupont Circle and takes 21st Street until turning left on K). Every other bus coming down 18th Street turns left on U Street, heading east to the stadium/armory or some such. The 42, which runs -- and runs often -- on Columbia Road, never goes further west than Conn Ave.

So we caught the X3 as far as Conn Ave, then waited in that rain for our transfer -- any of the L's or the H6 would do. Finally, the L1 showed up. We hit Cleveland Park library at 4:40 p.m. We'd left the house at 4:00 p.m. If that L2 had stopped, we'd have been at the library at 4:15 p.m. That's a big deal when the library closes at 5:30 p.m.

I probably should have locked the bike up at Dupont Metro and taken the metro, except then I would have had to go back and get it later.


cupcakegrrl said...

I predict that, for his part in this, the bus driver will receive only a lump of coal in his Christmas stocking.

What a jerk. I hate it when they do that and I'm sorry that happened to you.

I hope you had time to find wonderful books.

Washington Cube said...

There have been plenty of times I wished I was driving a tank or had a flame thrower. I despise that bus driver. Bad weather, and he could see you had a child in tow. Good will to all men, right? Feh.

cuff said...

Here are the books we picked up:
1. Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery (it's a series similar to Encyclopedia Brown).
2. Horton Hatches the Egg
3. We Share Everything
4. Elmer
5. Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team.

cupcakegrrl said...

I was thinking the other day about paintball guns and how useful they would be in ordinary urban life...But I like the flame-thrower idea too, WQ.

I can see it now: retaliation to bus driver with dramatic consequences, and then curling up with Junior to read Berenstein Bears.

Janet M. Kincaid said...

My mother's dream is to invent a cannon that fires butterscotch pudding onto the vehicles of idiot's like your bus driver. Can you imagine? It'd look like somebody dumped a batch of overloaded babies diapers on the rube. Hee hee.


Capt. Jack Sparrow said...

I used to ride a Metro bus in Virginia. I'd be the only person standing on the entire loooong street and the bus would speed by pretending to not have seen me. If I really had to get somewhere on time I wore a neon orange/reflective vest when I stood at the stop. The bus driver has no excuse then!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post was a little bit of culture shock for me. I'm in Southern California in an area that has NO reliable/practical public transportation. You MUST have your own vehicle to do much of anything. And while gas, insurance and maintenance are costly and even time consuming, it's really nice to not have to rely others like your bus driver.