Joey and the Irish Peach

It’s 11:04pm, I’m driving the last 35 to boulder creek and I’m stopped at the light on Front street at Soquel. It’s late and I’m tired and all I want to do is go home. I can see someone frantically waiving at me from the bus stop in front of CVS. Fuck. I can’t tell who it is but I know it’s probably not going to be good and I’m already over it. The light turns green and the waiving gets more frantic. It’s a guy and he’s running back and forth between the curb and a shopping cart. Back and forth, back and forth, three times in quick succession as I slow for the stop.

::sigh:: It’s Joey.

Imagine Mister Magoo as a drunk schizophrenic that likes drugs except without the glasses and you’ve got Joey. He’s bent over the shopping cart, digging through a pile of recycle. “The bus is here! The bus is here!”

“Hurry up Joey! I wanna go home.”

“The bus is here! The bus is here! Come on man, the bus is here!”

He’s yelling at the bundled up lump of a man sitting on the bench that obviously has zero interest in Joey or the bus.

“Joey!”

“Yeah, okay m’am I’m coming!” Joey runs over and taps the lump on the shin with is foot. “The bus is here!”

The lump yells, “Fuck off you fucking asshole!”

“He doesn’t want the bus Joey, lets go!”

“He said he wants the 71!”

“Joey, this is the 35.”

“Yes m’am, I’m coming!” He jumps onto the bus with an armload of stuff and a big black trash back that’s nearly empty. He runs to the back of the bus.

“You gotta put money in the box, bro!”

“I ain’t got 3 arms!”

::sigh::

Joey comes running back down the aisle. “I just need to get one more thing!”

“No more things!!”

“Yes m’am, but can I at least get my jacket?”

::sigh: “Go on, get your jacket.”

“Yes m’am, thank you m’am” He bends over the shopping cart to rifle through it some more. “I can’t just leave all of this recycle here…”

“You can and you will or I will leave you! Ain’t nobody got time for you and your recycle right now.”

A voice from the back of the bus yells “I gotta go to work!”

A second voice chimes in “Hurry up!”

Joey jumps back onto the bus with his jacket in the crook of his arm, three empty water bottles in one hand and a laundry detergent container in the other. He stands at the fare box trying to stick his hands in his pocket to get at his money. “I have it right here!”

::sigh:: “Have a seat Joey, you’ve earned it.”

“Thank you beautiful!” He walks down the aisle to the back of the bus. “She’s beautiful isn’t she! She’s a beautiful Irish peach!”

What the fuck is an Irish peach? It doesn’t matter. I settle into tonights soundtrack for the last 35. It’s the sound of joey’s recycling bag skidding back and forth across the floor with every turn, occasionally punctuated by shouts of “Goodbye! See you later!” as people exit and “She’s a lovely peach”, periodically, for seemingly no reason other than to remind himself of my Irish peachy goodness.

 

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Dumbass in the herd

There are plenty of reasons that I hate driving around the university. If you care to count the reasons you can start by counting the students and when you’re done with that you’ll be pretty on par with the sum of my problems.

Dumbass: Hello driver!

Me: Hi.

Dumbass: Wow, this is a really nice bus!

Me: Mmhmm.

Dumbass: I’ve never seen a bus this nice here on campus before!

Me: Uh, yeah, it’s one of the newer one’s in the fleet.

Dumbass: Why don’t we get it up here more often?

Me: ::sigh:: It’s shorter than the ones we usually put on campus to shuttle you and your peers around. There are so many of you that the shorter busses don’t make sense up here.

Dumbass: Why are you driving it today?

Me: ::sigh:: I am only forced to drive around campus twice. The majority of my work is elsewhere so I get to drive a shorter bus.

Dumbass: Hahahahaha!! You drive a short bus!!!

Me: Yes, I drive it but you’re the one riding it.

Dumbass: …oh, yeah…

His friends erupt into laughter and I don’t even try to hide my smug smile. Then I silently wish myself a happy 4/20 and continue on because he’s just another dumbass in the heard and it’s going to be a long night.

Kids

Oh the 35…
I had a group of kids that were being obnoxious so I yelled back to them “Hey! Could you guys be a little less annoying!?”

The girl says “Just a little?”

I say “I’m a bus driver. I have a very high tolerance to these things but you…”

One of the boys says “yes m’am. I’m very sorry m’am.” And then he turns to his friends and says “Come on guys, calm down.”

Hahaha! Yes! Only on the 35 can you be straightforward and get a good result.
BUT THEN!

As the kids get off they come up and apologize for being disrespectful and annoying! 😆

Hannibal

So I’m cruising around Watsonville as a route 75 and this dude gets on at Freedom center. He has that sheepish, stereotypical ‘I’m gonna hit on you face so I raise my eyebrow and glare at him through my polarized aviators and mentally dare him to say something stupid.

He says “I don’t like to hit on bus drivers but I have to tell you that your skin is so beautiful.”

And I’m like wtf? Of all the bullshit lines this guy could have pulled out of his ass and he compliments my skin. The same fucking skin that I’ve committed myself to twice daily applications of overpriced moisturizer and a once daily dose of way to expensive MAC foundation! I yell “compliment accepted!” before my brain can tell my mouth to STFU and then I do this awkward fist pump-air punch thing. Because in that moment I felt like all my poor spending habits had just been vindicated in that single sentence.

The dude calmly walks to his seat while I take a moment to reevaluate my life’s priorities. My mind gives me about 5 seconds before it flashes to that scene in Hannibal when that creepy dude is like “it puts the lotion on the skin!”

Compliment ruined.
::sigh:: smh.