Sometimes I used to get a teensy bit jealous of bloggers who live in more public-transportation-friendly cities (and not just because they don't need to take out second mortgages to pay for gas). Riding the bus or the subway in a big city gives you interesting stories to tell. Austin isn't exactly a tiny little college town anymore, but I still think my small-city bus stories pale in comparison to things that happen in bigger cities.
However, after years of mostly tame bus rides, I finally had a really weird bus trip. It made me momentarily consider the economic feasibility of paying a zillion dollars a gallon for gas and parking (and gave me something to talk about on my blog - whee!).
It started off tamely enough - the bus driver took off while people were still finding seats, so I sat down in the nearest available seat to avoid falling. I realized my mistake when the man in the seat next to me immediately began talking.
I wasn't sure if the man was talking to me at all; he seemed almost like he was practicing a monologue. He talked about his difficulty in finding a job since hitchhiking into town, his recent arrest for selling stolen goods (they let him go without charging him - apparently his co-conspirator was on parole for murder and considered a more prosecutable suspect), and a motorcycle he had "found" that he planned to start riding instead of the bus. About halfway through his story, he pulled out a giant knife and began cleaning his nails. I realized he indeed had been talking to me when he shoved a slightly bloody, nail-less finger a few inches from my face and laughed. "I don't have to cut that one anymore," he chuckled. "I messed up cutting it last week and cut the whole damn thing off. Shot blood all over the bus, too."
I suppose my trip wasn't that bad (after all, I could have been a witness to the finger-maiming), but my little city grew up a bit in my eyes today.