First up, thanks a jillion to Amanda for letting me guest blog here at humor to go. It’s my favorite site in all the Internet, and today I’m lucky enough to have my own public transit antics to share.
I love the bus — maybe not quite so much as Amanda, but I love it all the same. Depending on the weather, my choice in footwear and my general laziness (i.e., how many times I hit the snooze button in the morning), I quite often end up taking the N22 to work instead of riding my bike or walking. According to wmata.com, my second-favorite site in all the Internet, the N22 should stop and let me off at the corner of 1st Street and Louisiana Avenue, which is conveniently positioned half a block from my office. But as I quite abruptly discovered during my very first trip on the N22 several months ago, there is no actual bus stop at the corner of 1st Street and Louisiana Avenue, and very few bus drivers are willing to argue with you (that is, me) about the virtual existence of a bus stop on wmata.com, even if there are visual aids (an iphone with Internet access) involved — believe me, I’ve tried. So anyway, after my first rude awakening — when I got ready to hop off the bus and realized it wasn’t stopping — I’ve started playing a little game every time I ride the N22: Can I get the bus driver to let me off at the stop that “isn’t a stop?”
It’s a fun game. If you ever ride the N22, I recommend you try it. I have occupied many a morning devising clever ways to convince the driver to let me off at the non-stop. If I get on the 8:03 bus, it’s a no-brainer. The driver — my favorite of all bus drivers in all the world — is awesome. He just pulls over and lets me off without my even having to ask. I love being remembered for my bus-riding skillz. But riding the 8:03 has its downsides. For one, it means I’m already 3 minutes late for work when I hop on — much less when I arrive. So I try to avoid this scenario in all but the direst of snooze-related emergencies.
Then, there are the female bus drivers. Awesome. Hard-core. Cool and tough. But nice about letting you off at the non-stop? Nope. I don’t even try. I also never try with the crotchety old dude who wouldn’t let me off even when DC was experiencing a New Orleans-style torrential downpour. Needless to say, that morning I showed up to work looking like I had just stepped out of the shower.
But there are a handful of others I can play my game with. Sometimes I win. Sometimes they do. I think we’re about neck-and-neck after today’s ride.
My good friend Roxy is an avid shopper. And she totes me around to lots of shopping events because she knows the only time I’ll go shopping with her is if there are free drinks involved. So last night, I attended one of these free boozy events. And I fell victim — as I always do — to the cleverest marketing ploy of them all: Give customers free champagne and they become big spenders. So I bought some shoes, which in some ways I needed because I did need some new black work pumps. But I’m not sure that patent-leather, peep-toe, top-stitched 3-inch Mary Janes equal black work pumps. Still, I bought them and decided to wear them to work today.
Post-free champy and shopping mornings usually require an extra snooze or two, so needless to say, it was an N22 kind of morning. It wasn’t quite an 8:03 morning, so I couldn’t count on my BFF bus driver to let me off at “our stop.” Instead, I got to play the game. And play the game I did. I got on at my stop, and much to my delight, it was a new driver — fresh meat to test my ploys, if you will. As I was paying my fare, the driver looked down and said “nice shoes.” And that was it. I knew I had won. See, my friend Roxy, in addition to being an avid shopper, is also an avid blogger. And she recently clued the “blog-o-sphere” in to a little-known fact: When a guy says “nice shoes,” he could care less about your footwear. He’s commenting on your legs. So I smiled coyly and said “thanks” and scampered off to my seat. When it came time to get off at my non-stop, I didn’t even have to bat an eyelash or break out my Southern accent. He just grinned and pulled the bus to the curb. Do I feel guilty about using my womanly wiles to get what I want? Typically. But not when it comes to winning my non-stop bus game. Score for me.