This pair of cyclists from Seattle felt at home in the rain as they visited the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz. They did not enjoy the poor hospitality of a Santa Cruz Metro driver and one of our perpetually cranky passengers.
The cute one in the Bern helmet is Anna. I forget the fuzzy one’s name, so we’ll call him Jon. They’re in California visiting from Seattle Washington. I saw them at San Jose Diridon Station, waiting for the Highway 17 bus to Santa Cruz, along with four other people with bikes. They couldn’t board the 5:45 bus because those earlier cyclists filled it up, but I let them know the 6:05 is usually fairly empty. I then rode away to get some dinner, run errands, and catch a later bus.
The next day, I heard from “David” (another bike riding bus passenger, not his real name) about Jon and Anna’s advetures with the 6:05. As I predicted, the 6:05 was mostly empty, but all three spaces in the front bike rack were in use. Santa Cruz Metro policy is that additional bikes can be placed in the handicap area if space is available, which it clearly was.
Unfortunately, “Margaret” was on board in the handicap area. Margaret hates people with bikes because “one nearly ran me over!” She gripes — loudly — about people with bicycles. She is the reason I wrote this article on the benefit she receives from bike riders on the bus. I tried explaining this nicely to her once, but she spun her head 360 degrees and projectile vomited green slime into my face.
The bus driver asked, meekly, if the Jon and Anna can bring their bikes on board. Margaret spat out “NO! I WILL NOT MOVE FOR FILTHY BIKERS!” My pal David told the driver, very reasonably, that Jon and Anna are tourists from Seattle and they’ve already missed two buses, and there’s plenty of seats for Margaret to move to. Margaret LOST IT then, going into full Linda Blair / Regan MacNeil / Pazuzu personality, uttering profanity and threats and spewing hatred while levitating. So the meek bus operator told Jon and Anna “sorry” (except he pronounced it “screw you”) and left them flapping in the wind and the rain for the next bus, which would leave in a half hour. As it turns out, that next bus was nearly full, but the operator of that bus was a little more firm in his request for empty spaces, and Jon & Anna were finally able to board.
When the 6:05 got to David’s stop in Santa Cruz, David gave Margaret a little piece of his mind. He was calm but firm. Margaret got into David’s face, shouted “I am NOT a mean person; my grandchildren love me!” and then HIT DAVID IN THE HEAD WITH HER BRIEFCASE. Twice. Yes, really.
The passengers on that bus and Santa Cruz bus operators who’ve been talking about this incident all week seem about evenly split on who came across as the bigger jerk. I’ve been the victim of Margaret’s irrational ire myself — she’s offended by my mere existance — so it’s easy for me to side with David. Margaret stayed in her seat to spite those Seattle kids waiting out in the rain, just because they had bikes.
What way to make an impression on our visitors, Santa Cruz Metro and Margaret.