Friday, November 27, 2015

The never-ending saga of personal drama, data and intimate details shared on the bus

There's so much I've been missing apparently while cocooned in music, movies and games.

Lately I've been forgoing the headphones so I can listen to the conversations around me on the bus.

Nothing is sacred.


I don't know if it's just the demographics of my bus route but they are a real cast of characters and they put on an impressive show.

Yesterday morning, Shauna called up someone at 6:41 am to vent about her ex. She told the entire bus her name when she said it to the person who answered. She also named her ex. I think I heard "Kent"... maybe "Ken"? Shauna talked loudly and quickly. Trust me when I say not a single care was given as she detailed how her ex lifted her credit card information, including "that number on the back you need to confirm online purchases" and spent close to $3000 on Monday on "stuff I don't know but I have to call and see if they can tell me". Shauna then began to hatch a plan to steal her ex's dog that afternoon since she still has a key to the house they once shared. "He will go with me, no problem," she said. "And even if he changed the locks, I can still get him out through the kitchen window because the BBQ is right there, I can stand on it, and he never locks that window." She planned to hold the dog hostage until he returned whatever he bought.

Shauna exited the bus at a stop before the GO station so none of us got a chance to ask her why she's not calling the police as opposed to fighting a crime with a crime.

Two weeks ago, Connie did a great job bringing all of us on the bus with her that night up to speed on her current living situation. I blogged about it if you want to catch up yourself.

We all got to meet Rhonda a week later when she and Connie discussed their current alcohol preferences and what type of coolers Rhonda's grandmother prefers.

Last night, we were all introduced to two young lads with unlit joints in their mouths carrying 24 packs of Coors and pulling a wheelie-cooler. Some major football game was being watched at "Toopie's" (?) house and he could use the company since his truck was stolen and "he's a wreck". The whole thing was a surprise for Toopie. They even tried to get a "door stripper" but when they called her, she had no idea where Newcastle was so that wasn't gonna happen. They asked the driver (twice) when the last bus from Newcastle was so they could get back to Oshawa, but the driver was unable to tell them as this wasn't his normal route and the schedules that were on the bus were for the 407. But the driver did tell them they could use the mobile app or the website. Our two friends weren't happy "after spending a fortune on fare" to have to use data to get the time. "It shouldn't cost us money, man, to know when the last bus is." So I offered to find the info for them which resulted in an offer of a cold beer to take home. I politely declined. We got to learn a lot about Toopie's life, including his recovery from ear surgery last summer and the fact that Brenda was back in town and looking to "keep his bed warm".

I have never been able to bring myself to have a conversation on my phone on a bus or train about anything personal, including taking calls from contractors or setting up doctor appointments. These things aren't so urgent, in my mind, that I have to invite strangers. So I am always gobsmacked at what people *will* discuss.

I'm still traumatized by the woman who had discussed IUD options with her doctor's office on a bus ride home in the middle of the day this past October. My stomach rolled over when she asked "if it touches the cervix". I don't handle medical details well (I can't look at reproductive charts or watch operations) and even just typing that caused me to feel faint.

My preferred drama will always be GO bus fights. Adrenalin immediately kicks in and I'm ready to diffuse the situation if necessary. I always worry about how this impacts the driver and scares other passengers. I was a "mall cop" (I really hate that term) when I was putting myself through university and the training has stuck with me. I don't fear confrontation and I'm very self aware. I'm also not stupid. No situation is worth my life, 911 is my best friend, and I feel no guilt for walking away.

Some people just can't be helped.


Yolanda B Cool said...

What the hell is a door stripper?

C.J. Smith said...


mya said...

So here's my problem...I take the bus and subway to work and 8:30-9:30 is my prime phone call time because I might be able to reach a CEO/president instead of the defensive back/gatekeeper/EA...which means I have to make those 8:30-9:00 am calls...which means I have to make phone calls on the local bus. But I try to keep them quiet, short and quick as possible, and never make calls in the Quiet Zone.

C.J. Smith said...

But you aren't talking trash about someone or your upcoming glove work with your doc. Business calls on a bus are part of the work life balance of commuting. I hope you don't feel I'm suggesting that work is over sharing because it's not.