November '4


I gave up on nice temperatures and winterized my scooter today. Actually, I'd given up a while ago and just got around to doing it today.

I also helped my mom trim my parents' Christmas tree.

I also weighed in and discovered that taking a couple weeks off does, in fact, lead to unsatisfactory results. Part of the problem is that Bell's Expedition Stout is too delicious for words. It's heavy and thick- everything I like in a cold-weather beer.

On our way to my house after watching the Vikings game at Tria, Kassie and I stopped at the Midway YMCA to buy a Christmas tree. I bought a Fraser Fir, which the guys at the Y were pretty excited about. I like it.

Back to work and back to counting calories tomorrow.



More 46 again yesterday.

A pretty friendly guy got on at the 46th Street Light Rail Station. He didn't realize that we were on a Reduced (basically a Saturday) schedule and had missed work as a result.

As soon as we got across Hiawatha, I stopped for a young guy with a walker. He had dry-cleaning draped over the front of it and the friendly guy told him that he liked his shirt. The walker guy had on a suit, and said that he'd ruined the dry-cleaned shirt by bleaching it. But friendly guy said he liked it anyway. Then the conversation went a little like this:

Friendly guy: "Do you need to wear cufflinks with that shirt?"

Walker guy: "See, I work for a corporation from outer space."

And then he went on and on about aliens and Jacob and King David and how he'd just come from a meeting and how the pyramids tell us what's going on- that's why they're on the dollar bill and are the symbol of our nation.

My assumption is Scientology. heh.



I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! I did.

I drove the 46 and it was pretty slow. As I've said, it's a new route, so it's slow to begin with. But holidays can be really slow.

A guy got on at Nicollet and 46th and started talking immediately. He was my only passenger. He made some small talk about Thanksgiving, then Christmas. We were talking about Christmas decorations. After a brief pause in the Christmas decorations conversation, he said, "Last night I used some of that salve... (pause...pause...pause...) you know, for hemorrhoids."


He continued. "You know, when you can't stay seated for very long. And the hospital says to come in there, but you don't have to do what the hospital says. It's just a suggestion."

And that's how the conversation went. On and on until he got off the bus at 28th Avenue. And then he stood in the doorway of my bus and talked some more. I had time to kill, so I just enjoyed it while it lasted.

It's too bad I don't carry some kind of digital recorder with me so I can remember some of this stuff better. As it is, I just have to remember what I can and write myself notes.

I got home and turned on the oven so that I could enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner. Last year when I posted the picture of me and my dinner, I didn't realize that it would make people feel bad for me. But I guess it did. So, to make people feel something else entirely (probably sick), and because sex sells (um, not that I'm selling anything- but I expect a call fom Swanson), here's the picture of me and my dinner. It goes out to all the ladies, not counting my mom and aunt...



They Call Me Benjamin rode with me last night. He called his girlfriend and asked me to say something. I kept hearing my name. I guess he was happy to see me.

I got behind a car with a Michael Badnarik bumper sticker on it. The bumper sticker on the other side said HONK IF YOU DON'T PAY ENOUGH TAXES. So naturally, I honked my horn. A lot.

Then my night got interesting.

I was nearing the end of my night, driving southbound down the Nicollet Mall at the beginning of a trip. I saw a young guy in a wheelchair, but he seemed oblivious to me as I drove by. I stopped at the stoplight at 8th Street and he rolled up to me. So I put the lift down and as soon as he got closer, I could see that he was messed up.

I got him onboard and tied down his chair, then asked him for his fare. He told me he didn't have any. OK, whatever. I sure wasn't going to take the time to unload him. Plus, it was probably about 20 degrees out there and he needed to get home.

As we moved along, I saw that he was beginning to nod off. But since I had no idea where he was going, I didn't think too much about it.

By the time we got to Bloomington, there were just a few people on the bus and one lady was a little concerned about the guy. When I got to 98th, I tightened the tie-downs and tried to wake him up, but he didn't budge. He was snoring, though. So he rode with me to my layover. When I got to 98th again on my northbound trip, I got on the PA and yelled for about a minute. He didn't budge. He was still snoring, though.

As much as I hate to do it, I decided that I should call Control. Knowing that the fact that he was in a wheelchair would be a problem, I suggested that they (and by they, I mean the cops and whoever they found to cart a guy in a wheelchair around) meet me at my north terminal. That way, I hoped that he'd wake up and get out before the cops got involved. Also, that's a long layover, so I wouldn't lose break time.

When Control calls, a speaker beeps. That beep woke dude up. So while I was on the radio with Control, a lady on the bus was trying to figure out where he needed to get off the bus. He could barely speak and all I could make out was, "Up the road." But it looked kind of promising, so I told Control that I thought we'd be OK.

About three minutes later, he passed out again.

I called Control back and said that we'd need the cops. She said they'd meet me somewhere along the way. They met me at 35th Street. As one cop called around to figure out the logistics of the whole thing (they hadn't been told that he was in a wheelchair), the other one tried to figure out dude's name. It was Frederick T... At least that's what he told them. He started to get a little belligerent. So one cop stayed on the bus and the other followed in their car.

They'd arranged to have my final southbound trip filled so we could take Frederick straight to detox.

As we drove, Fred realized what was going on, and he started to sober up. I think he asked what time it was about eight or nine times. He realized that he had lost track of some time. He asked me if he had passed out.

We were taking him to 1800 Chicago, which is known to be kind of a hole. He wanted to go to Hennepin County Medical Center instead.

The cop asked him how he got in the wheelchair. Fred suggested that he use his imagination. So that was pretty much the confirmation that he was a gangsta.

Then he started in on the cop, telling him that he had a girl to go home to, calling the cop a f*ggot. To the cop's credit, he kept trying to change the subject. But the subject wasn't going to be changed.

When Freddy realized that he wasn't going to get a rise out of the cop, he started in on me. Unfortunately, we were almost to detox, so he didn't get much time on me.

But he did have plenty of time to call me "Fruity-ass F*ggot Dennis the Menace" over and over as the cop wheeled him off the bus. I'll have to talk to Dina, who just cut my hair, about dealing with that cowlick...

And the thing is, I didn't even rat him out about the fare evasion.



I'm not really sure what happened to that last page, but I assume it had something to do with that Madrigal graphic I put in there. Well, whatever.

I don't have much to say today. I go back to work this afternoon. My cousin Todd is stopping here tonight on his way from Wausau to Nebraska. I'll be driving until 1:00 AM, so I guess we won't get to hang out. I think he'll stay here at Christmas, though.



The Rest of November '4