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By tomsoterwriting - Posted on 05 April 2011

April Fool’s Day came a day early for me this year.

March 31 began darkly. It was a rainy Thursday morning, and I was standing at the end of a line of people boarding a southbound M60 bus on Amsterdam Avenue and 122nd Street. Now, I like the M60. It takes you to the subway on Broadway and 116th Street – and also goes northeast to LaGuardia airport. All for $2.25. When you’re in a hurry, it sure beats walking.

Or so I thought. The line moved up, the woman in front of me stepped on the bus, and I had my hands in front of me, getting my Metrocard out of my wallet. Without warning, the driver closed the door on me, trapping my outstretched arms inside the bus – while leaving the rest of me on the outside. Oblivious to my situation, the bus driver started pulling the bus away from the curb.

Feeling not unlike a fish on the hook, I called out, “Hey! Hey!” – although I don’t know if the driver heard me over the roar of the motor. But all the other passengers saw me and started yelling at the bus driver to stop.

He stopped and opened the doors. And now it was his turn to yell. He berated me for “moving too slowly.” Not realizing that entries and exits were on a timer, I angrily said to the driver: “You’re blaming me? You’re saying it was my fault?” I was reminded of the child who killed his parents and then pleaded with the judge for mercy because he was an orphan.

The other passengers began shouting at him. “It’s your fault!” “We all saw it!” “Don’t try to blame him!” “Why don’t you apologize!” “Take responsibilty!”

The driver, not contrite in the least, defiantly said, “I did apologize” (I guess I didn’t hear it), adding, with an unfortunate turn of phrase, “It’s you folks that insist on dragging this out.”

Let’s not go there. Sigh. Just another day at the MTA.
April 4, 2011