MBTA Bus Shouting Match

Today just wasn't a happy, friendly day. People were cranky. Not sure what to attribute it to...maybe the Celtics' lack of playoff wins on the road. I don't know.

There was a scary exchange of heated words on the bus. It got to the point that I thought some fists would fly...or other things flying. Let's start from the beginning.

The two people involved I will describe as "Old Guy" and "H.S. Kid" (You can probably guess where this is going). When I got on the bus, H.S. Kid was already sitting. I sat down in the seat in front of him. Old Guy got on at the next stop. He walked down the aisle and walked up the three steps that separates the back and the front of these new fangled buses. He asked the teenage girl across from me if the seat that she had her bag resting on was taken. She nodded, "No". and moved her bag. He sat down. Behind me, I heard H.S. Kid mumble something about, "You don't have to ask if the seat's taken...you just have to sit down." Apparently, he has his own opinions about MBTA Bus etiquette. I don't think Old Guy heard him because he didn't react to the kid's mumbles, but this incident is worth noting...a sort of preamble of what was to come. It seemed H.S. Kid already had an issue with Old Guy.

I guess it's also worth noting a few other things:

- The teenage girl promptly got up and moved to another seat 5 seconds after Old Guy sat down.

- Based on my own sense of smell, I caught a whiff of alcohol as Old Guy walked by.

- Based on my own eyesight, he was carrying a large black trash bag that was filled to half of its capacity.

As the bus ride continued, more and more people filed on until it seemed the bus could take no more. Old Guy noticed there was standing room in the back of the bus and shouted out, "There's plenty of room back here if you people weren't too lazy to move back!"

H.S. Kid took offense. "Why don't you shut up?" he retorted. "Picking on 15 year olds...you're probably pretty lazy yourself!"

A volley of "Shut ups" and "Screw Yous" took place...then comments related to their mothers and fathers were spoken. At that point, I started to tune out since it was getting to be very uncomfortable.

When the language got particularly ugly, a bystander yelled at the H.S. Kid and said, "Hey, there are kids on this bus!"...referring to the two baby carriages that were riding along with us.

H.S. Kid's response was, "I don't care!" He went on to explain he didn't care because he wasn't going to back down from Old Guy. Everyone, including myself, looked like they were trying to will themselves invisible.

As the H.S. Kid got off the bus, he did comment about the Old Guy's intoxication at this early hour. After the door closed, Old Guy had some things to say about what he was going to do to H.S. kid...things that I would have to testify in a court of law if need be.

Once a year, there's a loud argument between strangers on the bus and you just pray it doesn't get violent...especially when logic and humanity is seemingly vacant from the proceedings.

Beyond that, the Orange Line ride was full of delays. Some based on the train just stopping in between stops...Some based on people in the way of the doors closing.

The conductor was shouting at people at State and Downtown Crossing.

Sometimes this town is a morass of negativity.


Bus Departure Time: 6:58
Bus Arrival Time: 7:15
T Departure Time: 7:16
T Arrival Time: 7:41
Weather as I call it: Partly sunny, cool, 47 degrees
Level of commute annoyance (scale of 1 to 10): 6
Feared for my life: Somewhat

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