Loose and casual graphic-blogging with random thoughts and links to interesting things.
There’s conflict on the public buses. Some drivers don’t pay attention to how passengers conduct themselves, and Minnesotans don’t like to speak up for themselves. That means a couple ballsy teenagers or some out-of-towners can trammel the pleasant (or pleasantly uneventful) riding experience.
This can take the form of candy wrappers tossed to the ground, soda bottles rattling back and forth as the bus lurches and halts, or confrontational youths playing crappy music as loudly as their crappy smartphone’s speakers will permit. Most frequently, however, it manifests as phone conversations.
Men and women, kids and adults of all ethnic backgrounds love yapping it up on their phones. The ones who are the most guilty are the ones you’re watching for, people who fit your deep-seated prejudices. If you don’t like blacks, they’re on the phone all the time. If you don’t like women, good lord, they do not get off the phone. In actuality, the distribution is fairly even with some surprising outliers (and not a little hypocrisy).
Today someone was chattering away on a noisy phone conversation, not yelling, but audible several seats away. It’s the driver’s responsibility to advise riders to keep their calls quiet and short, but many drivers are just burned-out and broken. You could steal the wheels off their bus and they’d just sigh and stomp the accelerator, grinding their way through the rest of their route.
What was exceptional, today, was someone two rows back yelled at the person on the phone: “Shut the hell up! Read the fuckin’ sign!” (Sometimes there are signs advising people to keep their calls quiet and short, but people tend to ignore signs.) The caller went quiet but didn’t hang up. Everyone within a two-person radius of the expletive stirred a little in surprise, but Minnesotans don’t like to raise a fuss and it would’ve been impolite to acknowledge the event.
But I’m not from here, and a burly, sunburned white guy in gym clothes swearing at a young Somali woman is blistered in my memory.