Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bumper Bus

Since I've lived in my mercifully rat-free apartment in Somerville, the buses I take have had several close calls with erratic drivers. Horns blared, brakes squealed, and a bunch of commuters stumbled forward a few steps. I marveled at the talents of my bus drivers, who not only navigate tight corners in the unwieldy vehicles, but tolerate the assorted crazies who show up.

However, my accident-free bus streak has come to an end. As my bus poked its way toward a fork in the road, a cab suddenly swerved in front of it. I waited for the squeal of brakes and the stumbling commuters, but we came to a surprisingly gentle stop. Then the cabbie got out of his car and the bus driver put the bus into park.

"You've got to be kidding me," someone piped up behind me.

"You swerved right in front of me!" The driver yelled in his heavy Boston accent.

"I was right here!" The cabbie replied.

"No you weren't! You cut in front of me! Learn how to drive!"

The cabbie gave our driver such a death stare that I was absolutely sure he would either bust out a gun and start firing or come on board and issue a beatdown. My fears weren't assuaged by the bus driver throwing open the doors and looking at the right corner of the bus, which was nestled against the cab.

"I've got you on camera!" The driver shouted, pointing to the security camera in the front window. The cabbie looked nervous. "Pull up there and park," the driver hissed.

He closed the doors and went through the intersection. "Let me tell you how this is gonna work. I have to stay here until my supervisor shows up, so we stop here. The next bus will come up behind us." Midway through his explanation, passengers started heading for the exits. Some handed him their names and phone numbers to corroborate his story.

A kid who'd been standing at a pizza place nearby surveyed the scene as I walked by.

"He cut off the bus. What a cunt."


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