Tales from the bus stop, episode 1

So every morning I go to work, I take the NJT bus out of Warwick.  It’s not the least expensive, or the fastest, but the benefits of driving 10 minutes to hop on a bus and get an extra hour+ of sleep can’t be denied.

A few months back I switched to a much earlier run so I could get in and out of work outside of the usual “rush hour” melee.  Sure, I lost my usual seat to a member of the NYFD, but generally at that point in the morning I get my pick of seating.

I’d noticed something about the bus I take though. One particular guy who was usually there first insists on letting any and all ladies go ahead of him.  I call him Chivalry Guy.  Now when it comes to every experience I’ve had with bus transit – whoever gets to the stop first, gets on first.  It’s just how things are done.  I never really minded the pointless gesture until one specific lady, an older woman with a German accent (Frau Helga Von Bratwurst) would get on, insist on a receipt and having a short conversation with the driver.

Now I realize this entire transaction only added a mere 20 seconds to me boarding, but when it’s 5am, dark, 15F, and all I want to do is sit down and go to sleep, IT’S REALLY FUCKING IRRITATING.

The usual pattern is – I get there at 5:05, wait in my warm truck until about 5:10 and head over to the shelter.  Chivalry Guy?  Did the same but was parked closer so he normally got there first.

A few weeks ago I just figured I would just get out of my truck earlier, get to the shelter first, get on the bus first and let Chivalry Guy do his thing.  Day 1?  Worked fine.  The next day when I pulled in he was already in the shelter.  It was a distinct change in behavior.  The regular schedule ensued with the lady who gets there a minute before the bus (Lady Innarush) arrives getting on first.

So yesterday I decided to change things up a bit.  I woke 5 minutes earlier, got to the stop 5 minutes earlier, immediately jumped out of the truck and got to the shelter first.  Chivalry Guy was there, but didn’t get out until the usual time.  When the bus arrived, I got on first and promptly passed the fuck out.

This morning?  I got to the stop at the normal time.  No sooner did I park then I saw Chivalry Guy and Lady Innarush practically leap out of their vehicles and walk very swiftly to the shelter.  While laughing my ass off at the obvious, I decided to fall back to my original habit and wait until 5:10 to exit my warm and cozy truck.  I get to the shelter, and as the bus arrives the Innarush nearly runs into the closed door as it pulls up she’s so eager to get on… again I’m cracking up.  Chivalry Guy let another woman who arrived after all of us get on, and I followed.

Now while I’m prepared to come in 10 minutes earlier just to be a real troll, I think I’ll just let things remain as is and keep this tucked in my back pocket for when I need a reason to smile at 5am.

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