This is a guest transit tale by Sam Hegg about an individual of note on the 1 bus.
As somebody who has taken the MBTA daily for almost my whole life, I’ve seen a lot of people. Big people, little people, loud people, quiet people, snobby people, nice people, rude people, and in between. Passengers from all walks of life have shared a bus or railcar with me. Most of them will be forgotten. But a few of the special ones tend to leave lasting memories. And this gentleman… well, he takes the cake.
Marie was the driver of the 3:45 PM trip out of Harvard on the Route 1 one afternoon. Marie was a driver I happened to know, and I was in the front of the bus passing the time by talking. The trip was going very smooth. It wasn’t packed (for once!) and everyone was more or less minding their own business.
That was, until Albany Street. We approach the stop, and among the passengers waiting for the bus was an individual who looked very… out of it. He was hunched over and looked like he really enjoyed himself the previous night. He stumbled onto the bus, leaned over towards Marie, and explained that “his pass expired” (or something like that, he wasn’t that audible), releasing the strong odor of alcohol for the whole bus. “You’re all set” said Marie, who did not appreciate the odor. He stumbled on, trying to pick up a young, college aged girl in the front of the bus who immediately moved to the back of the bus. This was gonna be a trip for the books.
The bus closed it’s doors and we were off. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a lone Wildebeest grunting. No, I wasn’t in Africa, I was on the Route 1 bus. I turned around to see our friend hunched over the seat, his voice moaning. That’s when it happened. Spit came out of his mouth, and, splat, hit the floor. Marie asked me if he had spit on the floor. I mouthed “yes” to avoid getting him excited. “SIR, I’M GONNA NEED YOU TO STOP SPITTING ON MY BUS”, Marie yells. This quiets him down for a little bit, but not for long.
He then begins pointing at me and muttering “he’s an upper class scumbag, upper class scumbag”. He continues to tell himself how I once ratted him out on the train. “Thanks!” I reply, honored by his label of me. “SIR, I’M GONNA NEED YOU TO STOP HARASSING PASSENGERS ON MY BUS”, Marie yells. He mutters “I wasn’t harassing nobody”. “IF YOU CONTINUE TO HARASS PASSENGERS, I’M GONNA ASK YOU TO STEP OFF THE BUS”. This makes him angry, but he quiets down. Strike 2.
We pull into MIT, the stop after the one that he gets on at. A stream of people get on, along with some getting off. As we start to pull away, he spits on the floor once more. In her calmest voice, Marie yells “SIR, YOU’VE GOTTA GO”. Both doors are opened, and the parking brake is applied. The gentleman starts going on about how all bus drivers are drug dealers, and how Marie should visit her dealer. Some other passengers get off the bus, not knowing how long it would take to get him off of the bus. “He better get arrested” they exclaim as they walk away. At this point, I cannot control my laughter; I am balling my eyes out. After a few more words, he gracelessly steps off the bus through the rear doors, which were immediately closed. I grab newspaper at the next stop to clean up his mess, and we ask for a cleaner to meet the bus at Dudley Station
The most amazing thing about this whole ordeal was, we arrived at Dudley 2 minutes early.