This week's Bus Loudmouth was a middle aged guy with a beer gut, wearing a T-shirt under a blazer and a pair of jeans with loafers and no socks (of course). He boarded the bus the stop after mine on Tuesday morning during rush hour. He was with a friend, and they were talking from the moment they boarded the bus. That is to say, he was talking. His friend was glancing around, seemingly embarassed by the volume of BL's voice.
But the kicker was what BL was talking about. Since he was standing right in front of where I was sitting, I was in a prime location to hear every word:
Bus Loudmouth: YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT GETTING A MASERATI OR LAMBORGHINI.
Bus Loudmouth's Friend: Oh.
BL: THERE'S THIS PLACE, FANTASY JUNCTION, IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE THEY HAVE TONS OF CLASSIC CARS. IT'S, LIKE, WHERE JAY LENO AND ALL THOSE CAR DUDES SHOP.
BL: YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT SOMETIME WHEN YOU'RE OUT THERE. SERIOUSLY, DUDE, YOU WOULD LOVE IT. THEY LET YOU TEST DRIVE THE CARS AND EVERYTHING. SO ANYWAY, YEAH, I WAS TALKING TO MY DAD ABOUT IT, AND HE ASKED IF I WANTED HIM TO GO IN ON THE CAR WITH HIM, BECAUSE IT WAS LIKE A MILLION-FIVE, BUT I TOLD HIM I WANTED TO GET IT MYSELF.
BL: I MEAN I KNOW THAT'S A LOT, BUT CAN YOU REALLY PUT A PRICE ON A CLASSIC? IT'S A MASERATI, DUDE!
BL: SO WHEN I GO OUT THERE NEXT MONTH I'M GONNA DO SOME TEST DRIVES. I ALREADY PUT MY NAME ON THE LIST FOR A GARAGE SPOT IN MY BUILDING.
And on he went until his friend got off the bus (though I'm not sure if he got off because it was his stop or from humiliation). This guy was, as my father would say, a gaping asshole. Did he really think anyone on the bus really cared? I don't think his friend even cared. BLF's body language betrayed him, and it seemed as if he wanted to crawl under a seat and hide.
The woman sitting next to me kept snorting with every loud blast of his voice. Other passengers did what we bus riders always do when confronted with a breech of bus etiquette like loud talking early in the morning: we sent BL the stinkeye, and went back to our reading material. Except that I was engrossed. I sat taking notes furiously to transcribe the conversation in order to relay it here. And I chose to laugh on the inside at the punchline, wondering if anyone else had caught the irony of the situation. Here's this guy who could spend "a million-five" on a car riding the smelly old Metrobus. Really? Even though my neighborhood is pretty well off, did this guy really think anyone was buying his bravado?
I dunno, if I had a million-five to spare, I'd probably hire a driver to shuttle me around in silence so I could quit riding the bus and avoid all future Bus Loudmouths. But that's just me.
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