Humble Pie

>Being originally from New York City, riding the bus was nothing new to me. Or at least it should not have been, but the difference between public transportation in New York versus SoCal, is night and day.

When you live in New York, riding the subway and bus is a part of life. In fact, because finding parking in Manhattan, or the cost to park, makes it almost abnormal to drive to work. While here in Southern California, where everybody drives, it is abnormal to take public transportation. Even during 2008 when gas prices were through the roof, it was not enough to persuade the people of LaLa land to take the bus or metro. Liberals just wound up buying a Prius.

Speaking of the very safety-minded Toyota Motor Corporation, our Sequoia car lease was up. Learning first hand how bad an idea a car lease is, our five year financial death sentence was finally up. Rather than trade the car in for another lease, and in no way would my wife and I buy the car, which Toyota wanted $25 thousand to buy…..yeah right. So, we did the prudent thing…we took our financial freedom by the horns and decided to tell Toyota to take their Sequoia and stick it back in the forest.

More pie please!

Now, while my wife and I await our tax refund which will be used to pay cash for our next car (lease days are over, cash is king), your most humbled blogger has been forced to take the bus to work, leaving our smaller economical car for my wife to use to pack the kids in, to take to and from school.

Monday morning and wife was nice enough to drive me to the train station (saving me the two mile hike that I probably could have used) where I waited for my bus. And waited, and waited, and waited. After the bus arrived 15 minutes late, I was anxious to hop on. Of course the driver taught me lesson number one as she scolded me, “please back down and let the people off first,” she told me.

Next lesson, don’t sit upfront if you do not want to be talked to, bothered or entertained. We stopped at the government center in town where quite a few mentally disabled college students proceeded to get on the bus to take them to school. Two of which sat right in front of me, another just across from them. While I am minding my own business, reading the Wall Street Journal in my suit, the young lady in front of me began to tell her gentleman friend about her hash browns she was eating. The conversation then somehow transitioned into the young lady with the hash browns telling her male friend, “I want to find a hot guy with money. Someone with a six-pack.”

“I have a six-pack!” Replied her friend.

From there, the young gentleman proceeded to introduce himself to the other young lady that sat across from them and was listening to music. She mentioned she liked country music and the young man said he liked Taylor Swift. From there, hash brown lady mentioned that she wish she could have met Michael Jackson before he died, and that her cousin once went to his Neverland home and that how she likes Johnny Depp. How you get from MJ to Depp I have no idea.

If this was not interesting enough, it turns out that class was cancelled so hash brown lady was contemplating whether or not to go visit her ex boyfriend in jail. Cooler heads prevailed and she decided it would not be a good idea….since she was still on probation.

At this point, most of my attention and intrigue had gone from the price per barrell of oil to wondering (like you are wondering right now too) “what exactly is she on probation for?” Unfortunately her friend with the six-pack abs did not ask about her probation. He did however ask if she currently had a boyfriend. You know, since the last one was currently busy serving time. She responed, “No, but three guys want me!”

“You have three boyfriends?”

“Heck no! I said they want me. I won’t give them the time of day.”

Perhaps fearing he did not have a shot with hash brown woman, six-pack man shouted across the aisle to country music girl, “Hey, do you want to go to the movies with me? My treat?”

“No thank you.” She politely responded.

“I’ll even buy the popcorn.”

“That’s okay.”

We then stopped at a bus stop right across the street from a Target. It was at this stop that I was very humbled and even felt a bit sad. A young woman got off the bus with her little daughter and hands her over to the sitter, then proceeds to get back on bus to go to work. Part of me was saddened to see the separation, and part of me was impressed at how what may or may not have been a single mom, going to work and doing what she needed to try and provide for her daughter. Luckily after she got back on the bus, hash brown lady lightened the mood with her comment, “How come Target doesn’t have a bow and arrow?” Her male friend found it hysterical, and even I found myself chuckling…just at the right time I needed a chuckle.

Finally, six-pack and I arrived at our stop. As we approached, he commented to country music girl, “I live right over here. I have a hot tub and a pool.” She didn’t respond.