Adventures on the 66 Express, Part II


TARC-HybridSo……..it was almost 90 degrees today. And……the bus has no AC, at least this particular bus did not. And…. it was crowded as hell. I found a seat in the very back row that sits on top of the engine. I am guessing that is the engine underneath the seats because the seats are quite warm. Not a bad deal in the winter. I pushed my way past what seemed to be a herd of cattle. People spilled over into the isles since the seats are too small to fit an average sized person. I turned sideways to scoot past. The bag I carried knocked into several riders’ shoulders, arms, and heads as I made my way to the back. The drivers do not wait until you take a seat. Good balance is required to be a top-notch bus rider. I have less than required.

On top of that, I did not feel well, since I am still getting over the funk. On top of that, there was a traffic jam on the exit that lasted about 20 minutes. All of a sudden, a bell goes off. The regular passengers say nonchalantly, “there’s the alarm.” I asked with apprehension, “What alarm?” They say, “The alarm that says the bus is overheating, that means he has to turn the AC off.” The AC was not really working, but at least it was blowing air. The driver proceeds to turn the AC off. Windows start opening. The traffic ahead moves forward, the bus does not. I ask, “Why aren’t we going?” The regulars say, “Because the bus is overheated and he can’t go anywhere.” I said, “You are kidding me!” They say, “no.” I watch the traffic move even further ahead as we sit there. Now we are creating even more of a jam, cars pass around us. I contemplate walking, then abandon the notion after realizing we are about two miles away from my car.

Charlie, a man who has ridden this bus for 30 years, gets up and goes to the front to have a “discussion” with the driver. Was Charlie just a little panicky? I was trying to contain my own panic, and did pretty well. One other guy, young and tall, sitting about midway up heads to the front as well. Now I am pretty sure he was freaking out. All I could think about was how hot my legs were. I along with two others sitting in the back row, were hotter than the rest.

There were several people in the back joking about it, and frankly, I did not find it funny. They seemed to get a bit delirious, as they could not seem to stop laughing. One lady’s laugh was very loud, shrill, and annoying. I had had enough of that. I got up and walked towards the front and sat down in the seat where the one guy left. I was certain it would be cooler. Wrong. The sun was shining directly into the right side of the bus. Nice.

The people in the back become even sillier and louder. Yea, let’s party on the broken down bus!! The poised passengers up front rolled eyes and shook heads at them, including me. Barbarians, they are. No laughing matter this was. Poor guy next to me was dying. He said “I’ll never take this bus again.” He just started taking it. As if I had been inducted into the long-time bus rider hall of fame, I said, “the traffic was usually not this bad.”

Relieved, shortly after the bus cooled a bit, we got moving again, and finally got through the traffic. At the first stop, and after some people left, my next door neighbor asked me to get up because he was moving to the left side.

This is May, and it is almost 90 degrees. If this is how it is in May, not sure I want to think about how it is going to be when it is 100 degrees with 98-degree humidity. I guess we will see how it goes, but the first time I pass out, will be the last time I take the bus in the summer. Extreme heat and I do not get along. However, I am not ready to give up yet. I at least learned to sit towards the front of the bus, and on the left side where the sun don’t shine.

I think I may call TARC and bitch about the AC, and the bus overheating. I may have a new summer mission to add to my list of many. I mean, who was it that got the Parc N Tarc lot temporarily moved when the road leading to it flooded for a week? That would be me. (smirking)

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