And then I noticed a small box at the front of the bus, across the aisle from the driver.
The No. 82 bus was about halfway between 65th Street and where I get off on Edison. I had looked up from my reading, and there it was. The box must have been there before. There when I boarded the bus. There when I made myself comfortable and waited for the scheduled departure. There all of the time until I finally noticed it. Magically it appeared.
For the rest of the ride I kept looking up from my book to study the box. Buttons?
Today was "Dump the Pump Day" and Regional Transit had promised to give "I Dumped the Pump" buttons to bus riders. Twice on my way to work I boarded a bus, and twice I left without a button. I sulked all day.
Finally, I couldn't wait any longer. As the bus passed the Whitney and Mission stop and headed for the Mission and Engle stop, I pulled the stop-request cord and walked to the front of the bus.
"Ooh! Buttons," I said out loud.
The driver immediately pulled the bus to the side of the road, a good block and a half before the stop, and opened the door. The driver must have thought I had missed my stop. Or maybe he felt someone so excited about a button was a hazard to the other riders.
After a moment's puzzled pause on my part, I decided it would take too long to explain all of this to the driver, and so I just grabbed a button from the box and happily got off the bus and walked home.