When I first started riding the bus to work, the "31" bus route was a nice, relaxing ride from Frankfort Avenue to the Hall of Justice. I could knit, read a book, and just ease into my day.
Well, no more.
It's not that I didn't see it coming. Some months ago, I started riding the "19" bus because the "31" was getting a little crowded.
This morning, I arrived at the bus stop with time to spare, (I didn't even have to drive my car to the stop and screech into a parking spot next to it) and sat for a minute, then saw my bus coming toward me.
Unfortunately, my bus had a sign flashing, "Sorry -- Out of Service." That sucker just drove right past me without so much as a little slow down or wave. And there were people on it! I know they were there, those tinted windows can't fool me.
So I waited, and before long, here comes the "31." It stopped, and I got on . . . along with approximately five hundred million and three other people. There might have been five hundred million and four, or five, but I couldn't see all the way to the back of the bus because around four hundred million of the passengers were standing up in the aisle.
I scrinched myself into a spot where I could balance on my left pinky toe, as long as I lifted my right foot four inches off the ground and mushed it into my left leg, reached my left arm over four people to grip the pole about nine feet off the ground, perched my right arm approximately seven inches behind and to the right of me, and draped my purse, gym bag, and lunch bag over my right index finger.
Oh, and held my breath.
Every time we stopped, started, or went around a curve, I had to tense every muscle in my body, shift my weight to the toe next to my left pinky toe, and pray that the polish from my last pedicure would hold me up.
I knew things were getting bad when the young girl in a wheelchair said, "Heck, all we need now is some BLIND person to try to get on with a DOG!"
AND . . . the next stop was the blind school, where, indeed, some poor blind person (with some super-cool facial piercings) and his dog got on.
As soon as the people in front saw him, someone yelled out, "We can make room for the dog, but not you!"
Yeah. Maybe Todd was on to something with the whole bike-riding thing.