The Zen of Bus Riding


Since the beginning of this month (September), I have been riding the city bus. The last time I worked downtown, I did the same. This time it is a bit more interesting, as far more people are riding the bus than ever before.

The Bike Riding Philosopher:
One of the most interesting characters I have met thus far is the bike riding philosopher. He rides a different bus than I, which is probably fortunate. His favorite pasttime is ranting about how his parents were rich and he is now lower class, how life is unfair. He likes to talk, to noone in particular, at high volumes. You might have heard him?

The Street Evangelist:
Also, does not ride my bus. He stands on the corner yelling "do you want to be saved today?" While I admire his zeal, I am not certain his ministry is having any effect, unless, of course, the desired effect is people ridiculing him behind his back.

The Physics of Falling Books:
The other day, one of the magnet (high school) students was sitting with her physics in her lap. When the bus took a corner, the book fell to the floor. "Why did that happen?" I responded "centrifugal force and gravity"; hell, I figured she was studying physics. She gave me a very interesting look. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she was probably considering the coefficient of friction on her lap and its influence on the event. Either that or she did not have a clue. You decide.

The Talker
I am generally less interested in talking to people on the bus, preferring to spend my time reading or working on my laptop. Some people cannot get the clue, so I am polite and engage in conversation. One man, in particular, always desires a conversation.

When he first found out I was a computer programmer, he asked if "I charged to fix computers". I had a sudden dilemna at this juncture: Do I include the f-bomb before "yeah" or not? I told him I was a solutions architect, not a help desk employee. He responded by telling me about the network wiring in his house. Sigh!

Yesterday, this gentleman asked Barry (a member of my church) and I if we were "bushmen"? Other than our tribal warpaint, I had no idea why anyone would ask such a strange question. He then proceeded to feed us the "world according to Michael Moore" (kind of like the World According to Garp, but less filling). When I informed him of some of the problems in his arguments, he side stepped and went on another rant, accompanied by "it’s true, I read it on the Internet". It is a real shame when ideology outweighs thought and the brain could be substituted with tapioca without much damage!

Seeing the conversation was going nowhere, I made a segue into partical physics and big bang cosmology. I figured it would end the conversation quickly and let me get back to my typing. I was wrong; he also read about the big bang on the Internet. I need a good google whack subject to bone up on. ;->

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3 Responses to The Zen of Bus Riding

  1. Unknown says:

    You’re such a racist. I find it hard to admire you anymore.

  2. Gregory says:

    Racist?What in particular was racist about my comments? Both I, and each of the person mentioned, are from the same race. Perhaps, however, you have a point. Perhaps I am a closet caucasian-hating white man? Racist against my own race? Wow, that is one interesting idea. I may have to create a blog entry about that one.

  3. Unknown says:

    You are trying to hide your racism. Your true self.

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