Opinion: I rode the bus one day

Ride a bus illustration

Alex Kamczyc

Editor’s Note: The following column contains satire. Events mentioned in the piece are fictitious.

I was somewhere between sobriety and lunacy, sitting at a vacant bus stop, unsure if one would come.

I was losing my mind due to the fact I found myself struggling to understand what was happening with our government today. Two sides seemingly flinging mud at each other, both sides right and wrong at the same time. 

I couldn’t make any sense of it, but I wanted to.

Suddenly, much to my surprise, a bus stopped right in front of me and opened its doors.

It was a rickety monstrosity, asymmetrical in its design, smoke flowing out of its windows. It looked like it was being held together with strings and tape.

It was a bus I did not want to get on, but I felt compelled to do so anyway.

I found myself sandwiched between two other bystanders who had the misfortune of getting on the bus before me. We were surrounded by people: red faced, screaming and shouting on top of each other. They were crawling over each other and kicking and screaming their political beliefs about issues they did not understand.

Then the bus started moving.

For much of the ride I was in a daze, trying to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the bus (it smelled putrid, with a vague tinge of peach). The bus seemed to only aim for the cracks and crevices in the road and every time we hit them, I was sure the bus would come apart, and we would come spilling out like monkeys in a barrel.

I noticed that among the sea of packed monkeys, was a woman sitting upfront, screaming her opinion the loudest. She wore a blue tank top and had her bangs cut above her eyes, and seemed to be screaming her opinions directly at the driver.

“So I said to the guy, ‘I know more about this subject than you, and for you to say this, is an utter disgrace to humanity,’” she said, flicking her bangs to the side.

“People don’t know the things those little orphans go through, except me; I work with them, and they don’t get enough attention!” she said about her day job.

I get where she’s coming from; it wasn’t what everyone else on the bus was worried about, but orphanages do get a bad rap.

She ended by bragging about how she debates with other people and how what she does is special. So special, in fact, that no one can imitate it.

It seemed she talked more about herself than she did about the poor little orphans she went on a brief crusade for — or any other issues she claimed to care about. 

In the very back of the bus was a fat, conservatively dressed man (three piece suit and all) slumped on one of the seats in the back of the bus, grinning smugly. His tie shone red when the sunlight pierced through the thick smoke that came from his cigar.

Though he didn’t say anything, I was just as intrigued by him as I was by the woman, who was still screaming her opinions in the front.

I maneuvered my way through the crowd of monkeys, nearly deaf from the screaming and sat right next to him.

“The bus driver is crazy, huh?” I asked, but he didn’t respond.

“He’s surely going to drive us all over a cliff if we don’t force him out of his seat.” I said, trying to get an opinion out of him.

Nothing.

We sat in silence, and with that silence I took the chance to size him up once more.

I noticed that the man was so relaxed because he didn’t have a spine to support him. I decided that connecting with him would be just as impossible as connecting with the woman screaming in the front.

So I sat there, back in my seat, sandwiched between the two other poor souls who got on before me.

Eventually, my stop came, and I had a decision to make: get off the bus and leave my questions (without any answers) behind, or stay and ride it until it eventually crashed into a fiery doom.

I chose the latter.

Alex Kamczyc is a columnist, contact him at [email protected]