Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Call the police: There's a singer on the bus

Q: Who’s the most interesting
person you've met on public transportation? #GOODasks

Omnibus - bus with crash test dummies

Friday night, 6pm, Vancouver, Canada. West Broadway bus, approaching Main St-- Someone sang at the back of the bus, with a harmonica. Some people liked it. Some people wanted to call the police. It was a country-folk sound, with harmony (a bit Celtic). Reminded me of The Weight by The Band. A passenger suddenly walked to the front of the bus and hovered over the bus driver who didn't mind, and shouted: "Why aren't you calling the police!" No rules were being broken, he replied. The singer also replied, you don't call the police on crying babies so why are you doing to this me? He kept singing. One woman who sat for a while, and one man who literally just got on, taunted the singer as he did. I thought a fight would break out (felt like the late Billy Martin kicking dirt at an umpire, close quarters).

If you don’t know, Billy, this is him.

Most passengers were surprised over the commotion over a song. I think this was really about taste in music. His material was actually very good if you like the genre. It made me think just how volatile a world can become over differing tastes... randomly and suddenly on the bus (just like the world outside or in someone's brain). Then i thought of the crying baby.

* * *

making ends meet on a bus

The same week on this same bus, i reunited with an old college friend, Martin Ertl, President of my Alma Mater Society, at University of British Columbia (1989-90). Hadn't seen him in more than a decade. We were once neighbors. It was a happy, random, moment. Random because the bus was jammed and he stood where i was in the crowd. Like life, getting on/off a bus one stop later or earlier, having a seat or standing somewhere else, means we might not have met.

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