Thursday, June 30, 2011

Smells like French Fries

Here's poor Katie's experience on the 47:
when I was 16 I had finally gotten my first job. It was in a Fast food restaurant that was 10 minutes away. I would ride the 47 to and from every shift. One evening I got on after a particularly long night and had noticed there was one incredibly drunk homeless looking man at the front of the bus switching seats quite quickly and frequently. He had been making poor attempts at non-creepy conversation with other riders but failed miserably.

As we got deeper into Transcona and about 5 stops away from home the man ended up behind me. He finally went silent for a minute until I felt and heard a large sniff by my left ear and then a loud whisper of "MMMM YOU SMELL LIKE FRENCH FRIIIIES!!" being 16 and alone I was instantly mortified and opted to get off a stop early to get away.

To this day I make sure to never get on a bus smelling like anything besides soap.
Image via @ Conasse

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smells like Pee!

Here's an unfortunate story from Amanda. Again, I think it's time we invest in public toilets:
Our office moved to a downtown location two years ago so most of us now, after many years driving, take the bus to and from work. Quite a culture shock, and one that comes with many stories. At first there were daily stories from everyone, but we soon realized most of them were just daily bus routines.

Rarely do I find the nonsense on a bus funny because I hate being on there to begin with and these things only emphasize this. One ride, however, was hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing and I was by myself!

I got on the 11 in front of city hall. I got my own seat so was pleased with that. An elderly gentleman got on shortly after and sat in front of me. He sat in the aisle half so no one else could sit with him. This poor man clearly had recently wet himself and the smell was strong enough to make me gag. I had my hand over my mouth and nose. The bus got full to the point where there was standing room only. At one stop, the person beside me got off and the smelly man in front got off. Two younger fellows sat in the old guy’s seat chatting away to each other. Then one said to the other “I smell pee”. The other guy said “me too”. Then at the exact same time they both turned around and looked at me!

I burst out laughing, mostly because their shocked expressions were so funny. I said it was the man who sitting there before them and they both jumped up and moved to the back of the bus.

Another person sat beside me. And there I was not being able to stop laughing to myself. I would finally stop laughing and then I would picture those two guys' faces and I'd start laughing again. All the way to Polo Park. The guy who just sat down had to have smelled the pee and must have thought I peed myself laughing. I bet he had a bus story when he got home!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Two Generations of Not Understanding the Back Door

Here's a story from Jas, that's not your typical back door story of someone not able to figure it out and the usual passengers yelling out "PUSH THE YELLOW STRIP":
One day a couple summers ago, I watched as a teenage girl got up to exit the bus via the back door. Simple....well yes for most people. This young lady obviously had not been on one of Wpg's older buses. You know, the ones that are still orange and more importantly have a gate at the back door. She looked at the gate perplexed and proceeded to step over the gate, standing on the stairs to get off. As the bus approaches her stop she looks around dumbfounded (looking for the yellow strip no doubt) and a little panicky. Almost in a chorus, several of us explain you have to push and hold the gate open in order to open the doors. She was extremely embarrassed, but the shared laughter was enough to get me through my day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't Spill the Beans!

Here's a sad story from Ron:
On a blustery day in February, I was seated on the Academy bus about midway. A man got on at CityPlace lugging a large crock pot. By the way he was holding it -- trying to keep it level --it apparently was full. He made his way gingerly to the back of the bus and out of my sight. My immediate thought was, "this is going to end badly". Sure enough, the bus lurched forward and the scream of "oh f***" cannonaded through the bus. I looked down and saw a stream of brown liquid loaded with barley and carrots flowing towards the front of the bus, slowing surrounding my feet. I closed my eyes for the long ride home.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Female Serial Killer

Here's a pretty hilarious story from Catherine:
I have been taking the bus for over 10 years now. When I started I was 15 and apparently a freak magnet because every undesirable used to sit beside me.

One day, I happened upon the solution (by accident, mind you). I was reading on the bus this fateful day, ignoring everyone as usual. The book was called "Female Serial Killers" (I am female and was a psych student at the time). A very disgusting man smelling of old cigarettes and a lot of liquor sat beside me. I noticed his eyes rove over the pages of what I was reading (I hate when people do that). Annoyed, in an effort to deter him, I shut the book, exposing the title.

I wish I could have seen the look on his face when he realized he was sitting beside a female reading about female serial killers, because he very slowly, very VERY slowly, got up and sat at the front of the bus, as far away from me as possible.

Mission accomplished.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO ME: Bus Cellphone Etiquette

I'm sure we've all come across this at some point. I mean, talking on a headset or headphones rather than holding the cancerous cellphone directly to your head is always a good idea, but weird conversations like this are still always best to have in private! From GB:

Coming home from work one day, my boyfriend and I found ourselves sat on the front two seats, facing the line of fold-down sideways-facing seats, which were unoccupied. As we reached Osborne, a girl got on, sat on the sideways seat and said loudly "WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO ME?", while staring in our direction, towards everyone else on the bus. It took us (and the whole bus) a while to realize that she was wearing a cellphone headpiece and was arguing with some poor soul on the other end. The silence that came after her demand, along with the strange stare down the bus and the fact that the cellphone cord was hidden by her hair, put everyone on edge!

So, listen up crazies:
1) Those headphone things are meant for when you can't use your hands - if you're sat on the bus, just hold your phone to your ear! At least then it's obvious you're not picking a fight with a stranger (or maybe your are, we don't know who's on the other end. Bottom line: if it's not aimed at us, we don't care)
2) If you're going to talk into seemingly mid-air, don't stare at other people while you do it, it's just WEIRD.

I've also seen courteous people hold the mouthpiece part of their phone closer to their mouth, so a) they can speak quietly, and b) give everyone else the signal that they're not just talking to themselves.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Trapped under the seats!

Here's a very sad short story from a Retired Bus Driver, poor lady!
I was the driver of the #16 on a summer afternoon, and a drunk woman fell asleep on my bus. As I went along my route, she slowly slid under the seat and was stuck and could not get out. I had to call am ambulance to free her from between the seats, much to the amusement of other passengers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Year's Poop

Here is a very descriptive story from Jenny about a bunch of guys fawning over poop on the bus:
On New Year's Eve in 2008, I caught the 11 heading downtown. I grabbed a seat near the middle of the bus, closest to the doors. Behind me, I could hear a bunch of young guys commenting on their friend's disgusting, yet impressive, accomplishment of taking a shit directly on one of the bus seats only moments before. Their conversation was full of comments like, "That's totally sick, man," and, "I can't believe you just did that." However, they must have been rather proud of this feat, since they remained sitting in close proximity to the crap, as if it were one of the guys who was joining them on their New Year's adventure.

This was taking place only two seats away from me. I was terrified, although tempted, to turn around and look at the spectacle unfolding. Since the odor had graciously not yet wafted in my direction, I decided not to turn around for a peek. The description of the turd and the nervous repulsion of the passengers nearby was enough to paint a pretty detailed picture in my head. Now it's in yours.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum of Hockey fans

Here's another story from Sam, with people again accosting her because of her beautiful hair!
I'll tell one last one then save some more for another day... It was game 3 in the playoffs and i was watching the score on my phone when these two guys (completely drunk) come sit near the back facing me. (I was sitting on the row of chairs facing the back door) They're talking about the game and wondering what the score is so politely i told them that I had the score and would let them know if anything changed. They were so excited and happy but then they got creepy. haha

One was telling the other "don't say anything to scare her away! we need her" while the other one kept saying "you have really nice hair, it looks so soft... can i touch it?". I definitely refused so his friend got upset and started getting mad at his buddy thinking I was going to leave with the score. So I listened to these guys argue and the one ask if he can take me home and PULL my hair. no thanks!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The One Woman Warrior!

Here's a weird story, in a series of weird stories from Sam:
So once upon a time I was bussing home from work (downtown to westwood) at about 10:30 pm on a weekday. Everything was pretty normal (which is weird from Winnipeg transit) until this rough looking woman comes staggering onto the bus and sits right beside me even though it is completely empty. She starts slurring a jumble of gibberish then starts stroking my hair. All while some guy in the background is trying to sell me drugs.

The woman then tells me I'm beautiful and continues stroking my hair. I try to move her hand but she slaps my arm away. So i sit there with some wasted woman stroking my hair and a sketchy random trying to sell me drugs all the way home. but wait! she then grabs my hand and starts screaming "I AM A ONE WOMAN WARRIOR, I AM A ONE WOMAN WARRIOR!" over and over. She got pretty upset when i said my stop was next and had to go and started crying "I'm going to remember you my girl and i have your back forever man". Thank you ma'am... thank you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's a Stone Cold morning

Here's a very Winnipeg story from Jason:
Riding the 11 from EK to downtown the other morning at around 6:45am and a blue-collar type guy gets on the bus at Henderson and Johnson and sits in the front seats.

He then proceeds to get a full 2L bottle of Stone Cold Lager out of his bag and starts drinking it. After a few minutes he realizes what he was doing and subtly removes the label (in a pitiful attempt to mask what he was drinking) and continued to openly chug his beer on the bus.

Probably drank over a liter of beer before even getting to Portage and Main.

Friday, June 17, 2011

"The guy behind me will pay"

Here's a cute story from a Retired Bus Driver:
Back in the 1980's, at Higgins & Main when the hotels were in business, the last bus pulled up to the corner and there were about 15 people at the bus stop. The first guy got on and said that his buddy behind him will pay, and the entire group piled on with cases of beer in hand, and the last guy got on and says he has no money!

He Broke His Balls

Here's a bit of an insane story from Marcie:
It was a miserable February evening: frigid, windy, dark, and on the bus. I had been working at the University all day, and my brain was angry like a cat who's stomach just got touched (wide eyed, looks innocent enough, but her claws haven't been trimmed for weeks).

I sat at the front of the bus, ready to give up my seat for priority riders, when a heavily intoxicated man got on at York street. He was weaving around, trying to get his change out of his pocket, stalling the inevitable "I don't have enough change. I just need to get to Osborne" line. The bus driver stepped on the gas, and the drunk guy grabbed onto a pole and swung around, nearly hitting the sloshy, sloppy, gravel filled aisle, shouting "Hey bus driver! You nearly broke my balls!"

The ever articulate, and sauced up gentleman decided the spot beside me was the best seat for him to occupy. My claws came out, and were looking for the most expensive leather couch around to tear apart. He shouted, again, at the driver "You almost broke my balls!" I, eyes wide, tail poofed out, hair on the back of my neck like pins, shouted back "No one gives a fuck about your balls! Stop talking about your balls! Or I really will break them." Every single rider laughed. I just noticed my elevated heart rate, my overheated self in snow pants and scarf, and that I couldn't get the image of cracked walnuts out of my mind.

He stopped shouting. And, at my stop, I told the driver that "the guy sitting next to me is a total douche and making people uncomfortable." Justice was swift, and the driver kicked him off the bus.

Walking away from the stop, the deathly cold evening air helped perpetuate an eternal echo of the man at the bus stop shouting "He broke my balls, man!"

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Back Door Barricade

I think I actually go through this, although not as violently, everytime I try to get off the bus at my stop. It's really one of my biggest pet peeves, wading through all of the people blocking the back door to get out. But these people take it to the next level , here's Rory's story:
This spring I was taking the 16 from downtown to Fort Rouge and, although there were lots of seats available, two people were standing in the exit - a couple. Their bodies were sufficient to block the entire exit so there was no way to get past them.

They spent most of their time on separate phones repeating the same questions/phrases over and over. ("Yeah, man, who's all there now?", "I'm on the bus.", etc.)

At most stops, people just walked to the front of the bus to get off but eventually one guy walked up to the two and said, calmly and quietly, "Excuse me, I need to get by..." The woman rolled her eyes and the man shouted, "YOU DON'T TALK TO HER LIKE THAT, EH!" I was disgusted. The guy trying to get out just said, "Pathetic...", laughed it off, and exited at the front.

Boobs To The Face

Here's an awkward moment from BusRider38:
Much like the amusing butt to the face story I have a boobs to the face story. I was on a very backed route 62 headed downtown. I was standing up and letting others sit because it was one of the few times my legs were not hurting. After a few stops the bus thinned out a little and a seat opened up in front of me. The LADY standing in front of the seat seemed engrossed in conversation with her friend standing more to the front so I decided to sit. Just as I was bending over to sit down, her friend noticed a couple of seats that had emptied at the back of the bus and she turned around. Smacking me right in the face with her boobs. I dont even know the proper etiquette, do I say sorry? Does she say sorry? Do I thank her? Or do we both just go completely quiet as does everyone around us? Apparently we all opted for the completely quiet.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tips from a Bus Driver on Riding Buses

Here are Jason's very stern Tips from a Busdriver on Riding Buses:
1. READ THE SIGN on the front or side of the bus before you board to ensure that the bus is the one you need.

2. Have your fare ready before you board if there are others waiting for the bus.

3. COMMON COURTESY is to allow people already on board to exit BEFORE you step on the bus.

4. If you have difficulty with opening the back door, check above the door to see if the GREEN LIGHT is on before you yell "BACK DOOR" to the driver. (NOTE: Some of the older buses with the gate do not have the green light, keep the gate open to open the door, don't let it close behind you). The driver has NO control over the back door other than to unlock it.

5. The newer buses have yellow "Press Here" stickers on the door that have nothing to do with opening the door. They operate by motion sensors over the door. If you are already touching the door before the light activates, they will not open. Pressing harder doesn't work, instead try waiting until the light is on before you move your hands to the door.

This reminds me of one of my classic bus stories: There were these two women sitting at the front of the bus, one was carrying the conversation about bus do's and don'ts, basically going through this list and all of the other "busologies" and she would punctuate each one by yelling out "IGNORANT!".

Such as, "When someone in a wheelchair gets on the bus and you're sitting in the priority seating, get your ass up! IGNORANT!"

Heavy Metal Transit Bus

Here's an old story from Shan about her run-in with a bus of angry metalheads:
Around twenty five years ago I was on the evening shift and rode the bus from downtown to the western outskirts of town every night. Thus it was that I was on the same bus that numerous Judas Priest fans decided to take after a concert at the old arena. Too many Judas Priest fans, in fact.

I don't know anything about the band but I know I don't like them after my bus ride with their fans. I was on the Ness before them and had a window seat from which I witnessed the destruction that took place. Crammed in like sardines from the front to the back of the bus, the restless and excited fans began chanting "JUDAS PRIEST, JUDAS PRIEST!" before we had gotten very far away from Polo Park. This soon escalated to simultaneously rocking from side to side causing the bus to sway alarmingly and after that tearing apart whatever parts of the bus they could remove.

After one of the seats was dismantled and thrown out the window, the bus driver put in a call to the police. We were by this time on Ness Avenue beside the huge field which leads to the airport. "Oh great" I thought, "great place to be stranded with a bunch of lunatics." The bus driver stopped the bus to wait for the police and the fans disembarked, wandering off into the night. When the police did arrive after about 15 minutes all they found were five or six ordinary shift working travelers on the brilliantly illuminated bus in a sea of darkness. Hunched in our seats we were, shell-shocked and anxious to get home.
I think this is quite appropriate to this story - Leslie Supnet's The Animated Heavy Metal Parking Lot:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Nail Clipper: Part II - Nail Clipper's Revenge

Cindy's story/rant almost sounds like an awful horror movie of some sort:
People who proceed to "Groom" themselves on the bus.

I have seen it all from putting on makeup (Foundation, curling eyelashes, eyeshadow) and combing hair (yes, the people sitting behind you certainly want your long hair falling all over them - ewww gives me the heebs just thinking about it) to a wonderful gentleman who happened to sit down beside me on an extremely crowded bus on a lovely summer afternoon (so I couldn't EVEN get up to switch seats!) to cut his MOFO toe nails!!! It was THE MOST disgusting thing EVER. He proceed to lift up his feet, take off his flip flops, take out the nail clippers and CLIPS HIS TOE NAILS?! Who the hell does that! and to top it off - they were ricocheting all over the place! Just sitting there with his headphones in, clipping his nails! Oblivious to the disgusting glares all around him. I tried to make myself as small as possible and used my backpack as a shield. People are just all sorts of wrong.

PS - the smell of a Transit Bus at the end of a long, wet day or a hot summer day has got to be one of the grossest smells on the planet. Some days there is just not enough soap in the world to wash that stench off of you when you get home!
Maybe we need to put up sign like these on the bus now (from NYC):

Orange Gunk?

Here's a strange story from Alice, what the heck?:
This happened a few months ago as I was still getting used to taking the bus home from university. Usually it should only take just over an hour but this day it took three and a half...I got off the first bus at Polo park and as usual, with my transfer, waited for the next bus to come. Only, I was off this day and somehow confused the "St. Charles" bus with the "Charleswood" bus and ended up taking an hour-long detour around Charleswood before being returned to the same exact bus stop I had left at Polo park an hour ago. By this time I was fuming. It was tough to keep back my frustration when upon actually boarding the St.Charles bus I just happened to be stuck standing beside a man whose left arm, up to his elbow, was completely covered in sticky orange cheezy gunk. Some how, I arrived home without any orange on me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Stocking Slip-up

Here's an embarrassing story from Mona:
Many years ago when living in Winterpeg, I was on the way to work from the north end, still half asleep, clinging to the overhead bar, waiting for my stop on Portage Ave.

In my stupor, I sort of wondered why everyone around me was giving me a wide berth and whispering to each other. I finally got off the bus and proceeded down the street. I had this creeping feeling that people were looking at me differently than usual.

Finally, a woman stopped me to tell me that one leg of the pantyhose I had taken off WITH MY PANTS the night before was dragging on the sidewalk behind me as I wended my way to work. I looked down and realized I had put on new pantyhose that morning not realizing yesterday's was still stuck in one leg and had fallen out but not all the way out. How embarrassing.

Hail to the Bus Driver!

Here's a short story from Sheri:

I was on the 47 bus at 7:30 in the morning on New Year's eve going to work, when a man who had started celebrating early got on and sat in the back. He then started singing "hail to the busdriver" very loudly and off key before falling asleep.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Fare Box Flub

I've never really considered that people from out of town would have this problem, but here's a story from Kevin about trying to navigate the whatchamacallit thing that you put your change into:
I had just moved to Winnipeg and it was my first time taking the bus since I was a kid in Brandon, so I enlisted in the help of my friends to help me understand the rules of taking the bus and the etiquette that was expected.

"Do you still need to have exact change?" was one of my questions. "Do you have to hand the bus driver your money, or do they still have those tall cylindrical-type things that you put your money into?" "The fare box," they said, "Yeah, they still have those. Just put your money right in."

The next day I stood waiting for the bus with $1.65 in exact change in my hand. The bus arrived at my stop, the doors opened and I stepped inside. I said hello to the driver and my eyes quickly darted around, looking for where to put my money. I saw the fare box, the tall cylindrical object that holds the money, and I proceeded to dump my coins into it.

The money didn't all go in. I was able to push the dimes through the little hole at the top with my fingers, but for some reason the quarters weren't going in. Instead, they were resting on the top cover. I started to panic. I tried again to jam the quarters into the fare box with my fingers, but it was still of no use. At this point, the bus driver turned to me.

"Hey, that's my coffee!" he said. It was then that I realized what I thought was the fare box was in fact the bus driver's coffee in a tall metal thermos, and I had just thrown a bunch of loose change into it. The actual fare box, a large metal and glass container, was just a few inches from the coffee. "Y'know, I don't take tips," the driver said.

The driver could tell I was obviously flustered and simply said “Don’t worry about it.” I scooped up my money, minus the dimes that were now swimming around in the bus driver's coffee, and dumped it into the fare box (the real one this time). I quickly and quietly apologized to him, asked for my transfer, and embarassingly took my seat.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dancing Gabe: Winnipeg Hero

Here is a sweet story from Mandy:
My bus story is very short and sweet. I got on the number 14 back in February with my arms ladden with parcels and shopping bags. I rode the bus for about ten minutes to my destination. As I stood up to get off the bus, a man touched my arm to get my attention and handed me my wallet, which I had unknowingly dropped. I looked up into the man's face to thank him. My good samaritan was none other than the legendary Dancing Gabe!

If you live in St. Vital, or have ever been to a hockey game, you know Dancin' Gabe. The man is a true Winnipeg icon, and he always has a smile on his face. If he ever comes across this, I just want to let him know that he made my day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When Nature Calls

Here's a pretty hilarious story from Jen, it's true though!
So these two ladies get on the bus, and one of them is kind of talking to herself, but it seemed like maybe she was talking to the lady she got on the bus with. They sit down, and then the lady who was talking to herself starts talking very loudly about how she had to go. Repeating over and over "sometimes you just gotta go!", "I need to use the washroom!", and my personal favorite, "nature is calling!"

I was terrified that I might see this woman pee her pants. But she decided to get off the bus and hit up a coffee shop's bathroom. Thank goodness.