A Bus Stop Ditcher Gets His Due

Filed under funner times on the bus, living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality

On Saturday evening, Kamran and I reached the M15 stop at 42nd Street to see we’d just missed the bus. As we were the only ones at the stop, we entertained ourselves with rhyming games and musings about what sort of present we could buy at a convenience store to bring to the Williamsburg birthday party we were on our way to.

After a few minutes, a woman with a very stylish short haircut made her way down the street and politely stood a few feet away from us to wait. An older gentlemen in a pink button-down dress shirt and an orange tie came and stood beside her a few minutes later. A couple of grannies rolled up together a second later and pretended to be looking at the map on the bus stop pole, but it was pretty clear they were just trying to ditch us to be first into the bus, so Kamran told me to be wary of getting hit over the head with a purse or walking cane when the bus pulled up.

We all spotted the bus as it popped over the hill at 43rd Street at the same time, and the unease in the air was palpable as we all prepared ourselves for the inevitable chaos of boarding. Usually I appreciate it when the bus driver doesn’t pull all of the way up to the pole that marks the stop, because the people standing there are rarely the ones who have been waiting the longest, but this driver didn’t pull up far enough.

He stopped right in the middle of the crowd, leaving us to separate ourselves into two groups on either side of the door. On the left side was the nicely-haircutted woman, the old man in pink and orange, and this other man who had appeared out of nowhere in rolled-up jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt. On the right was the potentially-lethal pair of ladies, Kamran, and me.

Haircut went into the bus first, which was, you know, incorrect but acceptable, considering that she arrived shortly after we did and perhaps didn’t remember who was there first. I took a step forward to make it clear that I was next, and I know Sleeveless T-Shirt saw me, because he stepped forward after I did and then looked at me for my next move

My next move, of course, was to step onto the bus. Apparently he wasn’t pleased with this checkmate, though, because he took advantage of the extra-wide doorway and clambered onto the bus right beside me. I was totally weirded out. I mean, I may curse about people who hurry past me into the bus during rush hour, but this was 8 p.m. on a weekend. And it was a double-long bus, so there was no chance there wasn’t going to be room for him. Plus, I was there first.

I didn’t even have a chance to think about what to do. What came naturally was to shove all 145 pounds of him back out of the bus, all the while saying, “Oh, excuse me! Oh, pardon me!” in my sweetest voice. The adrenaline rush was insane.

But as fun as that was, the greatest part of the situation was that the guy then turned to Kamran, evidently unaware that we were together. (Or aware and unafraid.) He made a face of incredulity and yammered something unintelligible that was clearly meant to convey how much he wanted me dead. Kamran, of course, didn’t sock him in the jaw as he should have, but he did politely remind him to mind the other people in line first next time.

(also posted on Examiner)


  1. Cristy says:

    I lived in Boulder, CO, for a few years, and this happened all the time. They’re a very eco-friendly town w/mini-buses everywhere downtown and big buses for longer trips. There’s just a certain etiquette to it that some people never master. So true.

  2. You will never be a true New Yorker…

    …Until you shed that fear and make a scene so big that Kamran literally doesn’t speak to you for about a week.

  3. spaghedeity says:

    if only your victims knew you were writing about them. the next time you push a man off a bus or trample a child in the subway, you should give him/her a link to your blog so he/she can see their ill-mannered transiting ways splashed all over the internet. that’ll learn them.

    • Tracey says:

      Sounds like a good idea, unless they bring all their confrontational friends to your blog for a Comments Rumble.

      I’ll start crafting shivs.

  4. Kelly says:

    I know I’m in complete denial, but I choose to believe a display of poor manners such as this would NEVER occur in Louisiana OR Ohio.

    Even though it happens (in Louisiana, at least) every single day. Still.

    • Tracey says:

      Bad manners in Ohio only happen when men forget to hold the door open for a lady and have to hold it behind them after they’ve already gone through. And they usually act embarrassed about it.