Riding the 8


Seattle buses are my main means of transportation in my new city.  Whereas Buffalo City buses served as conveyance for its booming can and bottle deposit industry, the average Seattle-ite utilizes the city buses without fear of the smell of stale beer and desperation.

Nay, the buses here are clean and immaculate, so clean you could eat off the seats, which I have done many, many times.  Even the garbage trucks here are clean, mostly because Seattle recycles everything.  Every time I try to throw out a bag of used syringes and diapers, I get scolded by a neighbor or roommate, who inform me that the valuable minerals and diseases have uses beyond sitting in a city dump.  It’s a different lifestyle, I’ll tell ya.

When you enter a city bus for the first time, you must remove your wallet and show your college diploma.  The bus driver then silently takes it from you and photocopies it in triplicate, after which you must take your diploma and exit the bus.  The King County Metro System will then run a background check, during which you must wait three (3) weeks before entering a city bus again.  After they learn you earned above a 3.5 GPA to get your Bachelor’s, you receive a Congratulations Genius card, which gives you the privilege of entering city buses and making eye contact with baristas in the Seattle Metro area.

When I finally received my card in the mail, I was ecstatic, finally I could start interviewing for jobs.  I had a job interview at 10 AM Wednesday morning, and I had to figure out the bus system to get to the other side of the city.  Like I do whenever I’m convinced I have a brain tumor or need to find pictures of naked celebrities, I asked Google.  Google let me know that I had to take the #8 bus.  Google also let me know of a coffee place on the walk to the bus stop and that Mariah Carey’s boob popped out of her dress at the VMA’s.

Unfortunately, when I finally left the house to attend the job interview, it was pouring rain.  Oh, THAT Seattle.  I had moved to THAT Seattle.  Whoops.  I trudged through the rain toward the stop.  After a few blocks, I consulted the directions on my hand, but they had become smeared and unreadable in the rain.  Oh well, people in Seattle are friendly enough, I’ll consult a pedestrian I thought to myself. I spotted a young mother in a rain poncho pushing a stroller toward me.

“Hello, do you know how to get to the #8 bus stop from here?” I asked her with a smile.
“No, no I don’t,” she replied with a look that said please don’t take my baby. She rushed past me with panic.
That was odd, I thought to myself.  I looked down at myself and noticed that my shirt had soaked through, making my nipples very, very visible.

I continued to wander around aimlessly in the rain, afraid to ask anyone for help for fear of being charged with sexual assault.  Finally, I found the stop for the #8 bus, but oddly enough no one else was there.  I checked the bus schedule and found out that the 9:13 AM bus had left, leaving me to wait for the 9:33 bus.  It was 9:14, so I sat on the wet stool in the rain with my arms crossed, hatching a plan to assassinate the mayor or at least the head of Seattle transportation.

People slowly came to wait with me, all intently listening to iPods for fear of being spoken to.  When the 9:33 bus finally arrived at 9:35, I was entirely soaked.  The bus was double-long, like a poor man’s train without the tracks.  It pulled up to me, and when the door opened, the bus lowered itself a foot and a half to the ground.  I felt like king of the world as I stepped on, when I heard someone shout “HEY!” from behind me.

I turned around, and there was a very disgruntled man in a wheelchair, who barged past me onto the bus.  Behind him, several Seattle-ites gave me a look that let me know that I’m a heartless monster.  I shrugged an apology and stepped on board.  I swiped my brand new Congratulations Genius card, and the bus driver shook her head disapprovingly at me.

The bus was surprisingly empty, and I sat in the first seat I could.  I stretched out, finally comfortable underneath a heater.  I shut my eyes, basking in comfort.  I soon realized that I was perhaps more comfortable than I should be, and when I opened my eyes I saw a 60 year old mystical wearing clothes entirely made out of yarn and hemp massaging my feat.  He had a toothless grin on his bearded face, and I recoiled in horror.

Over the bus’s PA system, the bus driver said “STARLIGHT MOONBATH, go sit back down and quit pestering people!”  Starlight Moonbath rolled his eyes and went back to sit down a few rows from me, bells jangling with every step he took.  Once seated, he stared intently at me, and didn’t stop staring for the entirety of the trip.

Because of the many stops the bus took, I had ample time underneath the heater.  By the time I got to my stop, I was bone dry, and my nipples were silenced.  I pulled the cord to let the bus driver to stop and when I exited the bus I gave her a quick “Thank you,”.  The sun was was now shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  I gave the sun a thumbs-up and it returned by tanning me a little bit.

I looked back at the bus as it drove away.  Starlight Moonbath was kissing the window looking at me, and with his forehead pressed against the window, he mouthed out “I’ll find you.”

I walked to my interview with a new confidence in my stride, knowing that while hippy mysticals may be out for my feet, my feet and I were quickly becoming Seattle-ites.


  • By Jim, October 16, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    Great post! Loved it! Watch out for Starlight! He WILL find you! :D

  • By Alex, October 17, 2009 @ 7:29 am

    Excellent post and drawing, dude! I LOLed and cried, but don’t tell anyone I cried plz.

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