Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hump Day Top 5 - Mass Transit

Elise asked me to post today's top five. It's part rant, part top five, but all fun. After this list, I'm not sure if I'll be asked back. E-Torpedoes (that's "e" in electronic, not Elise, but Elise Torpedoes could be funny) be damned, here we go. I despise Minneapolis mass transit (save our one, cute, little light rail line that runs from a strip club to Mall of America). There used to be a tremendous street car system in Minneapolis, but that was destroyed by greedy politicians who had stock in the bus companies. So, it is really the buses that I hate and the other poor suckers that are on the ride with me. Forget the rainbow and unicorn reasons to love mass transit, busses stink. I'm sure that folks that have to ride the Metra, the MARTA, the BART or NYC's subways might have similar reasons to despise mass transit. Especially when your ride is associated with going to and from a job that slowly suffocates your soul.

Here are my top five reasons to despise mass transit.

1. Music - Why is it so loud?…and so bad…and, again, so loud? Because I'm too old or because I'm a right-wing-geezer-fuck? No, because people with bad taste in music tend to buy cheap headphones and turn it up to eleven before they sit near or on me. This morning I had to endure a scratched and skipping version of a Mighty Might Bosstones song behind me and The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" next to me. Both had headphones and yet I could make out the lyrics perfectly. There is a house in New Orleans they call the have you ever been close to tragedy…tragedy…tragedy...

2. Crazy meets Narcolepsy. Ah, the incoherent ramblings of the bus sleeper. Hey pal, don't lean on me when you're falling asleep AND don't yell at me about the failed invasion on Saturn's third ring or how the government has tapped into your brain waves when I wake you up.

3. Humanity, presented in smell-o-vision. Mmm, mmm, the smells. In Minneapolis, the 17, 18, 9 and 4 all have the smell of rotting humanity. Soiled pants, BO, bad breath and cheap liquor. Oddly, these smells don't occur in the morning when most are going to work. I know, cultivating an epic smell is work too. I figure it must take most of the day to work up something that foul and after you do, you don't want to get rid of it - no, take that dump in your pants with you, and bring it on the bus. Show and smell is fun for everyone. If you could, just piss yourself while you're arguing with the driver about rush hour fares, call it "rush hour unfair" and wait for approval, stumble, and then angrily stare at the fare box, get off one block later and ask for a transfer.

4. The number of stops. There are 27 blocks on my bus route from work to home and there are about 24 stops along the way. There is a stop at almost every block - some blocks have two stops on them. Cut the number of stops in half and we could increase productivity, drop the fuel costs associated with the starts and stops and strike a blow against heart disease.

5. Passive Aggressive "Squatting." The passive aggressive behavior associated with the unlawful occupation of the second seat kills me. I see riders look up everytime the bus stops but as other riders get on "the occupier" makes sure to look back at their copy Downtown Journal. If you don't make eye contact, they're not really there and won't take the seat next to you. On crowded bus rides, don't be a dick and keep your bag of Funions and Faygo on the seat next to you. Keep it on your lap and let somebody else sit down. Mr. Kisses, your fun loving cat doesn't need an extra seat while in the Kat Karrier on your way back from the Kitty Klinic. Put it on your lap, unless Mr. Kisses (or what ever vomit-educing name you have for your cat) has paid for that seat. Additionally, don't act miffed when your Panopticon diorama made from used Kleenex and pickle slices is not celebrated as a special needs rider.

So, those are some of the reasons I despise the bus. What are yours?