There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


From the wife . . .

The husband warned me and I knew it had to happen eventually: V.O.T.

This morning I happily climbed into the train-before-my-usual-train at Starfire because the No. 84 bus was just early enough to allow me to jaywalk Folsom and run to the boarding side of the east-bound train before it arrived. When I get this train I don’t have to wait in the chill for the next train to take me to Mather/Mills; I get to the No. 74 bus at Mather and wait in the comfortable warmth of the bus until my rightful train arrives.

As I walked a short distance down the aisle, the unmistakable stench of vomit hit me, but it was too late to turn back. Other people were sitting and tolerating it, although one girl was standing by the door ignoring empty seats. Well, I sat down looking carefully, but not carefully enough. As I considered hopping off at the next stop and getting on another car, I decided the heck with it, I’ll just bear it. The smell seemed to lessen, but that was just my olfactory sensors benumbed by the onslaught of the odious compound molecules. As we finally got to Mather and I stood up to exit, I looked down, aghast, to see a loathsome substance dangerously close to my shoe! ARgghh!

I stopped at the first patch of dirt, hoping my being wasn’t permanently contaminated for the day.

Next time, I’m off at the next stop. At least you can get off the train with the expectation of a 15-minute wait for the next one. Not so lucky if that was on a bus. I hope the buses carry a bag of kitty litter.


John said...

Yes, I've blogged before, "No Good Fortune Goes Unpunished." I suggested mops on trains, but the wife has a much better idea: kitty litter. Perhaps each car cold have dispensers for "spills." Or perhaps, the Wachenhut contract could be renegotiated to include triage cleanup duty -- just enough to keep the smell down until the train can be washed.

Uneasy Rhetoric said...

My question is, what would the Swiss do? Other than no Swiss person would be caught dead vomiting on transit in the first place, or would vomit into a personal item, how would they handle such an issue? I seriously doubt the train would get more than a few stops before someone did something.