Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Face in the Butt

This story comes courtesy of avid transit rider, Kenton, the original post can be found via @ his blog:
I take the bus most every day, which means I have a backlog of 10,000 stories - one, great long-winded story for every bar in town. Totally worth the $3 bus fare.

The best and worst story ever

My favorite story is about the greatest - and worst - thing I saw years ago on one of those classic Winnipeg Transit buses with three, steep stairs leading up to the fare box.

A woman at the top of the stairs dropped her bus ticket, so she bent down to pick it up. Behind her was a guy ascending the stairs while talking to someone behind him. He turned his face around as he took the next step, but it was too late - and the rest of us were treated to a display of full face-to-butt contact, like a horrifying twist on the old Reeses ads:

Which would you rather not?

So, I've told this story about a million times, and it's slowly morphed into one of those "Would you rather?" games, where I end by asking, "So which one of these people had it worse - the person who suddenly had a face in her butt, or the person who suddenly found his face was in a butt?"

The responses really run the gamut, but men tend to feel sorry for the guy and women tend to feel sorry for the woman. But my favorite is my friend's response:

"It wouldn't be so bad either way if you wanted to do it, but if you were forced to do it - either one would be terrible."

Truer words were never spoken. Thank you, friend, for the philosophy, and thank you, Winnipeg Transit, for the memories.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Jeff's Shit Socks

Here's a story from Jeff that he calls Shit Socks, I imagine there must be someone out there who has an addendum to this story:

I was 21 and still living in Transcona. It's a long #47 bus to get to downtown, and that summer I was working for the WFG so had to bus all the way there. It was hot out and I was to work all day. I was wearing shorts and white socks with sneakers.

I get on the bus and it's full except for, almost inexplicably, an empty two seater. I sit. Two blocks later I realize that I had somehow stepped in dog poop. No big deal, except that on the bus ride I'd been rubbing my feet together and my clean white socks were now covered in sh*t.

I had, and took, alot of time to think about what to do about this. I wanted to take the socks off, but because there were so many people on it I had to be really sneaky in sliding them off without drawing attention to myself. But now instead of wearing sh*t socks I was holding sh*t socks. I didn't want to compound things by carrying sh*t socks, so I put them on the seat beside me. Then, I got off at my stop.

Later that day, sitting at the desk barefoot in sneakers, it dawned on me that someone will have sat in that seat beside those sh*t smeared socks.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Interview with the Bus Drummer

Thanks to Erin for pointing this out, a chance interview with the Bus Drummer. Reposted via @ The Uniter:

Random interview with a Winnipeg icon
By Lauren Parsons

I was walking through Winnipeg Square, avoiding the wind and snow on Portage Avenue, and decided to stop off at McDonald’s to grab a water and investigate if it’s true that they are giving away coffee free of charge, no purchase necessary. As it turns out, They are.

Considering the location of this particular McDonald’s, it was interesting to see the mix of businesspeople and downtown dwellers who have communally joined together in storming the front lines of the golden arches for their tasty java cup.

I don’t drink coffee, but I love the smell – so after acquiring aforementioned water I lingered in the lobby breathing in that crisp fresh roasted scent when I saw him.

He was sitting solo at a table for four, workbooks sprawled across the table, a stack of Christmas cards, a Big Mac with fries and a cola and of course his signature items: Drumsticks and a Walkman.

Yes. Lucky me, to have encountered the drummer guy from the bus.

I took a deep breath, took a chug of water, introduced myself and asked if I could interview him.

He agreed; I promptly pulled out my voice-recording, photo-taking Blackberry (the only thing you really need these days) and began.

Here is a brief exerpt from my interview with Leslie Styles, The Drummer Guy:

Me: You’re famous, did you know that?
Les: Haha. Me? No.
Me: So many people know who you are, so it’s really interesting.
Les: Oh yeah! Oh yeah, a lot of people say hi.
Me: I know I see you on the bus a lot.
Les: I’m on the bus every single day, every single day. I’m either going for coffee or going to work for the day.
Me: Most people know you as the ‘drummer guy’ on the bus.
Les: Uh-huh! I’ve been doing it for, what, 12 years now.
Me: Really? And always on the same bus? I usually see you on the 18 Corydon.
Les: Usually on the 18 or the 16, sometimes the 15.
Me: Where are you usually going?
Les: Well, I go to work around the Sargent area (the 15).
Me: And for work, I see you run your own business.
Les: Yep. For lawn care and snow removal.
Me: Cool – how long have you been doing that?
Les: On my own – probably about five or six years.
Me: So why the drumming?
Les: Well, because I’ve always wanted to play for a band, but I’ve never found one to get into.
Me: Do you have your own drum-set?
Les: I wish! (laughs) Even if I were to go out and buy one, I don’t think I’d have the room to put one.
Me: Have you even taken lessons?
Les: Nope.
Me: What else do you do?
Les: Not a whole heck of a lot (laughs). I’m a season ticket holder for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (he holds up his lanyard). I’ve been a season ticket holder for four years now.

He explained that a majority of the time he’s listening to Brooks and Dunn, but he loves AC/DC and went to their stadium show last August.

When I left him he continued writing Christmas cards to his 16 loyal lawn care/snow removal clients, and told me to say hi to him next time I see him on the bus.

And next time you see Les on the bus, you should say hi too. He’d love to talk to you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bus Drummer sighting

Matthew spotted the amazing Winnipeg bus drummer on the 18:
on the bus, i like to use my head phones in two ways, to escape from or to furtively listen to conversations. yesterday, i was escaping from the teenage porridge that was on the 18 Corydon. At the front of the bus was a familiar figure, the bus drummer. i have seen him over the years, and he has essentially kept the same look - an eighties stock movie character. this day, he was sitting near the front of the bus listening to his ipod, and air drumming to his own mysterious beat. over the years, i have either ignored his presence, or been fascinated by what he could be possibly listening too. this time i was taken by his total and complete lack of concern for what those on the bus thought of him.

cheers, bus drummer. i need to get more of what you have going on.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's your favourite program?

Once on the 60, these two guys got on together: one very tall white guy and one notably short Chinese fellow. Both seemed pretty drunk and kind of an unlikely pair, like they just met at a conference and hit it off, but neither remembered how exactly they hit it off or what they had in common to begin with. They sit together at the back and laugh like they just remembered something funny from earlier.

Then in the awkward silence, the white guy musters up the best question he can think of, "So what’s your favorite program?”, to which the Chinese gentleman replies, “Hmm, that’s a hard question but I’d have to say Microsoft Word – there’s just so much you can do with it!”. Then they began yacking about their favourite sports teams and berating the other passengers for theirs. One guy replied that he didn't know and the white guy started screaming at him for being so ridiculous.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Here's a story from Damien, which happened over 10 years ago and has still left a scar on his brain:
When I was 17 on the way home from Charleswood there was a couple on the back of the bus. He was sitting comfortably with his arm around her. She was sucking his thumb endlessly as he looked on, indifferent. I couldn't help but look sometimes because it just went on for minutes. At one point she and I just locked eyes for about ten seconds as she continued to suck his thumb. He still didn't react and was oblivious to it. They eventually got off (the bus) and I just sat there, taken aback by the display of affection I unintentionally became a part of.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Wizard

This comes from Randy:
A trip on the 62 to Fort Richmond from work, which was downtown. The trip started out as an uneventful trip home, looking forward to a boring evening after a day at an awful job.

At the confusion corner stop, a young gentleman gets on the bus. A young, skinny, greasy gentleman. When gazing at him, you'd hear your inner voice screaming "NEEEEEEEEEERD!". You know the type.

Our subject pays his fare and sits down. Next to me, of course. He pulls his legs up to his chest in a fetal position then starts rocking back and forth, and accompanies this with the loudest stage whisper I've ever heard: "I'm a wizard! Fireball! Fireball!".

It was a long day at, as I mentioned, a terrible job and I was in no mood for the antics. This prompted me to make my music louder; unfortunately, I didn't hear the rest of what he was saying.

I figured it would be best to follow half of Bill Clinton's advice. I didn't ask, but I sure told everyone about it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The "Shining"

This story comes from Eve:
About 12 years ago, I was on one of those side seats in the middle of the bus facing the back door. A man sat next to me and started to talk, and talk, and talk and . . . talk.

I didn't want to talk anymore. So I just nodded my head occasionally - and then the volume of his voice got louder & louder. I guess he was a little crazy - people started to stare - I thought in my head "when is he getting off? . . . I can't take this". He finally rang the bell and proceeded to talk loudly about some nonsense while trying to keep my interest and anyone else listening at that point. The door opened and he kept talking facing me, walking off while the door closed around his face! He wasn't hurt. All I could see was his mouth and the rubber from the door edges around his nose and mouth, still talking, loudly. He pulled back slowly as the bus started to move again.

I was hysterically laughing. It was one of the funniest thing's I had ever seen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Nail-clipper

Ugh... I feel your pain, Brent:
On the 49 Dugald, which I take every morning to work, there is one middle aged guy who regularly sits in the very back seat next to the window. He sits silently, wearing his well-worn Dale Earnhardt baseball cap, and a Dallas Cowboys Starter parka, and methodically clips his finger nails every week and half, making sure that he casually discards his no-doubt yellow and brittle nails in a pile on the bus floor.

I'm thinking of writing Transit and asking for a new Busology to deal with this guy. I fear that summer will bring sandal season and toe nail clipping and I just can't handle that.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Winnipeg Transit is consistently epic

Oh my, where to start?

I don't take the bus very often, so I almost feel that when I do, it's a treat - especially when something crazy happens. Since I started this blog, I'm feeling that sentiment for bus rides even more. I got a ride to work today, so I had hoped that on my bus ride home I might witness something great and worth blogging about. To my delight - I'm happy to report one of my most epic bus stories in a while:

The bus was full of people, except for the back side-seat. Sitting on the back seat was a drunk-as-shit girl and her boyfriend, who seemed rather sober and a little embarrassed.

It sounded like she was drunkenly mumbling rap lyrics and was making hand gestures to an invisible camera, as if she was in a music video. I discerned a few phrases like, "Man I'm fuckin wasted" and "Pop a glock muthafucka" and other phrases equally eloquently poignant.

Then, she pulls out a can of Molson dry from her jacket pocket, but her boyfriend pipes up to put it away as they're almost at their stop. And she complies, but not for long - she pulls the can out, pops it open and spills fizz all over the place then chugs it back. Keep in mind there are people sitting on the side seat right in front of her and on the seats next to her as well.

Following this awesomeness, she then starts looking around for something and unzips her jacket, underneath which she is wearing a low cut top. She then pulls down her shirt and bra to reveal her bare breast and bus transfer underneath, right where she left it. She ponders the transfer for a moment before exposing her other breast and putting it under that one for safe keeping.

Then as the bus came nearer to downtown and it began to empty, I found myself alone in the back with these people. She starts slapping me and in a drunken slur I make out something like, "Fuck man, go fuckin' sit somewhere else for a minute", I was a little frightened but I decided I'm not going anywhere as I'm getting off soon and enjoying this way too much. Then she says, "If you don't move you'll fuckin' see why I asked you to in a second man", as she starts unzipping her pants. I got worried for a minute that she had a weapon or something, but then as she begins to pull down her pants I realized I was in for something else altogether, but her boyfriend stops her before they get too far. She says something like, "What man, I've gotta fuckin' pissssht" (I don't know if that meant piss or shit, but I don't think it really matters).

So I think the moral of the story is, as long as I live in Winnipeg, the bus will always be exciting.

The Karate Kid goes to Portage Place

This comes from Matt, the awesome eavesdropper:
I was on the 11 going down Portage this morning sitting at the back of the bus. Two guys were beside me. One of them was rocking a bomber jacket, a leather ballcap and a teen stache. Then he starts talking about how good he is at karate.

"I'm self taught. I can't believe how good I am. My brother too. He taught himself a few different martial arts. He's pretty much the best in the city."

Unfortunately, they got off at Portage Place before I could see his skills, but that's the safest I felt on that bus for a long time. So good.
Somewhat related, for those who haven't seen it, here's an update on the Portage Place commercial that shows just how exciting it really is!! Via

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Everybody likes to celebrate Christmas!

One time I was riding the bus home and was sitting on the side seat by the back door. Then this crazy woman, who was very large, literally jumped two feet in the air and landed on the seat next to me and half on top of me. She stared at me with a completely batshit crazy look on her face and then started singing to the tune of "Everybody Loves Somebody", keep in mind this was in the SUMMER:
"Everybody likes to celebrate Christmas! / Mary and Joseph like to celebrate Christmas! / Even Jesus likes to celebrate Christmas! / and if you don't like to celebrate Christmas! / then GO FUCK YOURSELF YOU STUPID ASSHOLE MOTHERFUCKER!"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Never take the Mythical 25 Express

This comes from Melodie:
I was on an express bus going on portage, the bus was pretty packed so I decided to surf the net until I got to my stop. I suddenly realized I was at my stop! I jumped up to get ring the bell and get off at my stop. There was a bus in front of ours boarding passengers, so my bus wasn't even moving. The driver would not open the back door and I even yelled, "back door please!" and even others yelled to the driver, "someone wants to get off the bus!". I thought she didn't hear or see me so I hurried to the front and asked I could get off. She acted like I wasn't even standing there and said nothing and began to proceed to drive ahead.

I asked again if she could let me off but no response. As I sighed and gave up I asked her where the next stop was she replied it was on Valour Road. I guess I could have been rude and cause a scene but I am not that type of person to treat anyone that way.

When I got off, I even said sarcastically have a nice day bus driver. I just found that experience to be unpleasant considering I am also seven months pregnant and had to go off my route because of her attitude. What would have been so difficult to just let me off. I always find most drivers very pleasant and polite as I am to them.

Yes the 25 Express, seems like a good idea in rush hour but then you learn the hard way that it skips the regular express stops and always seems to have a dinkhole bus driver. Beware, people!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yeah, whatever I get stabbed everyday...

Jeezum crow, the 14 is full of nutjobs it seems! This comes from reader, Kayla:
In September of 2010, I was heading home rather late at night on the 14 heading south from downtown when a great hulk of a man gets on and sits down in the sideways seat in front of me. It was only after a couple of minutes that I noticed the blood on his hands, and then a few moments later, the blood coming from a puncture wound in his abdomen. The guy seemed awfully relaxed considering his situation. In fact, he seemed to be close to passing out. Thankfully, he got off near St. Boniface hospital.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Sociologist Sociopath

This comes from reader, Samantha and happened last summer:
I was on the 14 going down St. Mary's to Main Street on my way to work. It was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. There was a group of children on the bus (ages 7-12ish I'd say) and 2 leaders (I'd say 16ish). I assumed they were some sort of young day camp.

So at about Marion, this flamboyant looking middle aged man, who reeked of alcohol, gets on the bus and goes straight to the back where I, and this group of kids, were sitting and starts talking to them. He was clearly intoxicated, so the kids and leaders were just grinning and bearing the situation..trying not to make it any worse.

Then he moves closer and starts hitting on the female leader, saying she was beautiful and asking her if he could kiss her. This girl's face went from awkward smile to sheer terror. I felt bad for the girl, so I got up and told the bus driver exactly what was happening and she screamed at the man the get the hell off the bus.

The intoxicated man did not go quietly, but screaming that he did nothing wrong and that he was a sociologist...I think he meant sociopath.

Remember folks..this is 2 in the afternoon, not even on a weekend.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hey Pal, the bus isn't your own private peepshow...

I got two similar submissions yesterday telling of perverts on the bus. This has luckily never happened to me! Thanks for submitting ladies and I'm sorry this happened to you..

The first story comes from Lisa:
A young lass, barely 18, I was riding home from school one afternoon on a bus that rarely gets crowded. I happened to be the only one on today. We came up to one stop, and an older man gets on, possibly with some mental difficulties. He sat two seats ahead to the right, and shortly thereafter, spotted me behind him. The driver, completely oblivious to anything about to come, missed this man begin fondling his penis, and masturbating while staring at me with his mouth open. The seat started squeaking after a moment, so I decided it was time to leave. That is all.

The second comes from from Kayla:
Not once but TWICE, I have witnessed young men masturbating on the 14 Paddington. The first time, the guy stared at me over his newspaper (covering his business), leg propped up on the seat next to him. By the time I noticed what he was doing, I was about to leave, and basically ran away.

The second time, I couldn't be too sure what the guy was doing, but as I got off the bus, I found the placement of his construction helmet over his crotch and the movement of his arm underneath it to be quite convincing.

I'm just mad I didn't react soon enough to report these fine gentlemen.

80s Winnipeg Transit Video

Here's a cute musical PSA from the 80s that blatantly rips off Yellow Submarine and turns it into a song about how riding on the bus is so great. I think it's kind of funny how the use of the song draws parallels to the psychedelic movie as if they're trying to communicate riding the Winnipeg Transit is akin to the nutzoid characters in the Yellow Submarine movie? Either way, it's very fitting.

Thanks to Clint for the submission.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The little old blind lady and the OGRE

One of the craziest things that I have witnessed on the bus was one night coming home from downtown on the 11 with my wife.

There was a very tiny little old blind lady (the size of Yoda) sitting in the priority seat at the front. Then this giant Ogre of a man gets on the bus, seriously this guy was like 7.5 feet tall and so drunk out of his mind that he seemed to have reverted to caveman speech. As the tower of a man sways back and forth down the aisle, he takes notice of the little blind baba and crashes down beside her. Keep in mind this was quite late at night, the bus was about 1/8 full and he really could have sat anywhere he wanted.

At first, he just was just minding his own business, but then it was like he realized the little old lady again and leaned over to her and started loudly whispering the most disgusting things to her like, "Ooooh, I bet you have a wet pussy, don't you?", which was probably the least offensive thing he said to her in the parade of disgusting chatter that followed.

Everyone on the bus was aware of what was going on and I find this is very representative of what it's like riding the bus: there can be something awful happening and no one does anything. Especially, when the culprit is a giant, drunken cave troll, people seem to be unable to do anything. Half frozen in fear and half just wanting to remain invisible to the other passengers.

So anyways, this disgusting verbal puke keeps emitting from the cave monster and the old woman begins looking around and whispering, "Help... help me...". The bus driver catches on to what is happening, gets up and threatens the ogre with his transfer puncher, as if he's holding a gun, and says, "GET OFF NOW!", to which the ogre quietly complies.

Once he gets off the bus, we're stopped at a red light. It seems the ogre then realizes, "Wait! Me ogre and me want to eat old lady bones", and (I'm not exaggerating here in the least) he begins pounding the bus with his fists, nearly smashing the windows and then grabs the top of the bus and starts shaking it back and forth while screaming like an animal, which made everyone on the bus begin to scream. He even started to try to rip open the door, but then the bus just sped away, leaving the giant, screaming neanderthal behind.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Thong Head

This comes from reader/bus rider, David:
A few weeks ago I was taking the 11 to work on a Saturday morning around 7:00am. At Portage Place, three upstanding Winnipeg Citizens get on the bus. Two of them look not in their Sunday best, while the third one, a woman, is dressed up for a night on the town except it's Saturday morning - she is basically drunk out of her fucking mind.

She sits down on the side seat while her, I guess, boyfriend sits down beside her and her other friend sits away from her. She starts digging at her purse and screaming at her other friend that she can't find her cell phone. She continues searching her purse and her various pockets until she reaches her back pocket and proudly declares, "Oh Hey I found my thong!" Her boyfriend tries to get her to discreetly get her to put it back in her purse, which she eventually does.

She then continues to search for her cell phone screaming at her friend the whole time, until she reaches into her purse gets her thong out,  puts it over her head  and she continued to wear it on her head until she got off the bus.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Transit Shenanigans caught on tape

Here is a video someone shot of a fight erupting on the 43 bus a few weeks ago. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on, but from the comments in the video (I don't suggest you read them unless you need a reminder how awfully racist youtube members are), it sounds like a couple of G's picked a fight with a woman and her kids. The G's were playing loud music, she asked them to turn it down and they refused, so she threw SPAGHETTI at them and they started swearing and hitting eachother. After she tried to get off the bus, they followed.

Very classy fellas...

On a lighter note, here is someone's cute attempt at making a viral video for their local business, set on the Winnipeg Transit.

I think what gives it away as being fake are the two goths that get on and don't sit together. Come on people, we all know that Goths stick together!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Apologies / Frozen Chicken Feast

Today I was sitting in the aisle seat and some guy with one eye was walking by and took his hand off the support bar and literally hit me in the face. My glasses had a big gross smudge where his hand landed on my face. Didn't even acknowledge me, what a dink!

And no, the eye he did have was on the same side as me. So there's no excuses there pal, unless being a dink is your excuse?

- - - - - -

Also, last night as I was waiting for the last bus from downtown, there was a couple in the bus shack talking about sleeping in Portage Place. They didn't look homeless or anything, just your average young black kids. The guy was talking about how when he went back home to America, his cousin was all like, "Yo man, whass wrong whichoo? You all talkin' like (in a thick "Canadian accent")EH CAN I BORROW A DOLLAR PLEASE?" and he went on to note how many times he says the word 'eh' and how white sounding he's become.

Then he told her about how him and his friends hid in a stairwell in Portage Place one night and later, when the security guards had gone, they found that the door to Chester Fried Chicken was unlocked so they had a midnight feast on frozen chicken of all flavours. Yuck!