The Asshole at My Bus Stop is Helping Me Make Some Pocket Change

Filed under bigtime celebrity, funner times on the bus, jobby jobby job job, living in new york is neat, narcissism

My best friend, Tracey, recommended a couple of weeks ago that I apply to write for as one of their restaurant reviewers. I was dismayed to find that they weren’t hiring any more food types, but they were looking for articles about public transportation, which I ride every day in the city where it’s most necessary.

I didn’t know if my stories about kneeing old men in the groin to make sure I get into a crowded train were what they were looking for, but I gave it a go, and they actually liked me. Here’s the article I posted today:

Every bus stop has its own special asshole, but I think mine should get a crown for his assholiness.

Whenever there’s someone running from the very end of the waiting line to be first at the bus’s door . . .
Whenever there’s someone racing to get a seat on the bench to ensure some old lady can’t . . .
Whenever there’s someone rushing from the bench to the edge of the sidewalk the second the bus comes into view . . .

It’s him.

I sort of feel sorry for him. He’s a nondescript man of a nondescript age in a city where being descript is the only way to not get lost in the throng. He cuts his hair not to be stylish but to be practical. He wears modern shoes but pairs them with pleated pants rolled up at the hem. He’s not thirty but not fifty, not attractive but not deformed.

It seems that his only goal in life is to get one of the single seats that lines the driver’s side of any bus. And it’s widely recognized that those single seats are where it’s at–you can let your love handles spill off the side without anyone complaining, and you don’t have to deal with anyone else’s love handles spilling all over you. I don’t hate him for liking that.

What I DO hate him for is being audible about his disgust for the rest of us during the ride. After living here for a few years, I’m used to crazy people talking to themselves about pills and Jesus and the white man keeping them down, but I’m not used to people groaning about

• how annoying being stopped at a red light is.
• how they wish the bus driver would hit pedestrians in the crosswalk.
• how disabled people shouldn’t be allowed on the bus because they take too long to board.

There’s more to life for me than sitting by myself, so being polite to those waiting for the bus with me is worth it even if it means missing out on a single seat. Sometimes my waiting gets rewarded, though, and I end up with a single seat, anyway. Like this morning, when I struggled on with a huge bag and was delighted to see that I could slide right into the second single seat back.

I didn’t notice, but the jerk behind me had his foot stuck way out into the aisle, so of course I accidentally stepped on it. I immediately turned around with a genuine, “I’m sorry!”, and who was it but The Guy. He said, “Oh, God,” in his most perturbed voice, so I said mockingly, “Oh, Jesus, sweet Lord, she stepped on my unfashionable shoes, and I simply don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day!”

I sort of expected him to pull my hair or flick my ear or something, but no such luck. He just sat quietly throughout the remainder of our time together and then checked out my rack when I got up at my stop.

I get paid based on my number of views, so if you want to keep me fed in this harsh economic climate, please view this article


and my very first article


I really appreciate your support, and I really recommend that you become an Examiner for your city so that we can link to each other and take over the world.


  1. Sonya says:

    Will leaving comments on that site get you a bonus?

  2. caropal says:

    What if I just keep refreshing the pages all day while I’m at work? Do you think that will help?

  3. Alison says:

    “Oh, Jesus, sweet Lord, she stepped on my unfashionable shoes, and I simply don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day!”


    • I was really surprised at myself for the Jesus stuff, ’cause I’m pretty sure the guy’s Jewish. We need a handy clever retort guide to carry with us at all times for these asshole encounters.

      P.S. Your new music blog is rad. I loved the writing in that first post when I read it earlier today, but I didn’t know what to say.

  4. imperfectionist says:

    Wait. Wait. Is this the very first instance of you actually saying what you want to say to an asshole on the bus?

    Since when do you ride the bus, anyway? I thought you were all Grand Central this and I’ma-punch-that-guy-in-the-gut that.

    • Oh, my god, I think you’re right. Maybe it’s because I’ve been hating on this guy for months now and have so many angry things saved up to say to him.

      Kamran lives up in Tudor City, which is THREE WHOLE AVENUE BLOCKS away from Grand Central, and you know my delicate constitution can’t handle the cold, so I like to ride the bus that picks up near his apartment to Grand Central. I used to feel a little guilty for my laziness, but now it just means I have more to write about yay.

      Does your commenting here mean we’re best friends again?

  5. spaghedeity says:

    So, if I sent you more amazing pictures re-enacting these scenes, would I get paid a commission or what?

    • I’ve totally thought about sad it is that I’m never going to have any pictures of myself in these situations hitting/getting hit.

      So yes, I’ll pay you 10% of what I make for your related photos. They have to look like they’ve been taken in NYC, too, so no Milo or walkabouts or whatever in the background, please.

  6. natalie says:

    hello?? you are the height of hilarity! i make it a point of never taking mass transit in nyc if i can help it for the reasons you so cleverly outlined in this post.

    and the grand central post on examiner was classic. i love the guy–he was going to call the cops. does it get much better? the city is like a front-row seat at the freakshow.

    • Yay, new BFFs 4 eva!

      I don’t know how you can call what you do living if NYC public transportation isn’t involved. Not getting elbows to the boobs every morning? Being able to control the air temperature around you? Singing along out loud to the music you’re listening to on your commute to work? WHERE’S THE FUN IN THAT?

      You’re in my Google Reader now, and I’ve very pumped to read about your chin hair while sitting through hours of conference calls at work tomorrow.

  7. Emily says:

    OMG awesome for real.