Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Riding the Bus with My Nightmares

I apologize for my blogging absence. I've been on a family vacation and the internet connections have left much to be desired (like, maybe, a connection).

So, in order to attend my friend Rachel's annual Fourth of July Extravaganza, Nick and I missed the first couple days of the vacation. Since we are good/cliche/poor Oregonians and don't have a car, my mom offered to pay for a couple of bus tickets to get us here. And that bus ride, my friends, was a ride I'll never forget.

In order to best convey the suffering, here is a minute by minute recount of those harrowing hours:

The Bus Diaries

1:30 Approach the bus. Driver cordially exclaims, “You must be Nick and Winona!” “Why yes, we are!” we say, beaming. Wow, first name service? This is going to be a great trip!

1:31 Board the bus, which is empty except for a white supremacist sitting in first seat. He seems to be in a good mood. We sit down and I whisper to Nick if he noticed the white supremacist. Nick replies, “You don’t know that he’s a white supremacist. White Pride tattoos can mean a lot of things.”

1:35 Make a stop in Gresham. I’m overcome by an epic smell and look up to see a man and woman boarding the bus. The man is carrying a baby and the woman is carrying a garbage bag. The woman sits down in the seat across the aisle from me. The man and baby sit down in the seat right in front of me. The baby starts crying. Suddenly the bus feels extremely humid. And what the hell is that smell?? I’m trapped.

1:40 The woman begins emptying the contents of her garbage bag onto the seat between us. Curious, and trying not to vomit as the smell grows exponentially, I look over and see a vast and painfully pungent sampling of the Carl’s Jr. menu—western double cheeseburgers, nachos supreme (with extra sour cream), three large fries, and a full drink carrier.

1:42 Woman begins her feast. She does not appear to be sharing.

1:50 Baby dramatically spits his pacifier onto the bus floor. “Oohhhh no, daddy! Why’d you let him do that?” woman screeches at the man as she puts aside her greasy smorgasbord, and waddles up the aisle to retrieve the soiled binky. She picks it up, and, without hesitation, puts it in her own mouth, slurps off the dirt and hair, and sticks it back in the baby’s mouth.

1:51 Woman continues eating. Bus continues heating.

2:15 Bus driver gets on microphone and asks if it’s too hot. “YES” everyone on the bus yells. “What?” the bus driver says. “YES” we say again. “Hmm, I can’t hear you,” the bus driver says, and turns off the microphone.

3:30 Bus pulls into a mini mart in a small central Oregon city for a scheduled food stop. I actually push an old woman out of the way in order to get off that humid cheeseburger chamber of horrors as fast as possible (hey, I’m not proud of it, but it had to be done). I stumble into the open air, gasping for my life.

3:31 Nick and I head into the mini mart to get something cool to drink. We grab some gallon jugs of water and get in line, only to find Ms. Carl’s Jr. herself paying for Odorous Food Binge: Redux. The counter is piled high with beef sticks, chunks of cheddar cheese, teriyaki jerky, generic brand “Steak Fries in a Bag” (how does that work, exactly?), two liters of Mountain Dew Code Red, and Sprite.

3:35 Leaving the store, I ponder whether I could just settle down in this town and make a new life for myself. Did I ever like my friends in Portland that much? Hadn’t I always wanted to become a cattle rancher?

3:36 Nick forces me onto the bus. I decide that I hate him. There are three more hours to go.

3:45 Woman reaches over me to give the man a beefstick. “Here, daddy, give baby his beefstick!” she says. As she digs into her bag of steak fries, the man eats the beefstick.

3:47 Woman looks over at “daddy” and baby. “Hey!” she screams. “Daddy! You ate his beefstick!” “No I didn’t!” says daddy. “Yes you did! It’s gone! Where did it go? YOU ATE IT!” “NO I DIDN’T!”

3:48 I am in the middle of a full-blown domestic dispute. Over a beefstick. What has my life come to? How did I get here?

3:49 It’s about to get so much worse.

3:50 I hear splashing and tapping and wheezing coming from the seat next to me. After much trepidation, I look over to see what in the hell this woman is doing now. OH MY GOD. Using her Carl’s Jr. drink carrier, she is hastily mixing up a concoction of SPRITE AND BREAST MILK. She funnels it into the baby’s bottle, and, as the bus careens down a bumpy road, passes it over our heads to daddy. We hold our breath. For a few reasons.

3:51 “GIVE THE BABY HIS SPRITE, DADDY!”

3:55 I get out my journal and start making a list of things I’d like to do before I die.

4:15 Woman gets on the phone and starts having a screaming-loud conversation about the exact amount of money she won in a car accident settlement. “EIGHT! No, eight THOUSAND! DOLLARS! Yes!”

4:45 No better time to break into those Carl’s Jr. nachos supreme that have been fermenting on the hot bus for three hours, right? Liquid sour cream drips down her chin onto the floor by my feet.

4:50 Nick gets out his journal and starts making a list of things he’d like to do before he dies.

5:30 SO close! Almost there! What else could happen? I call my brother to tell him to pick us up at 6:30.

5:31 While talking to my brother, I hear the scariest words I’ve ever heard coming from the seat next to me: “Daddy, do you think I should I let it breathe?” Before I even know what she’s talking about, I drop the phone into my lap, curl into a fetal position and whisper “no no no no.” I can hear my brother’s voice faintly, “Hello? Nona? Are you there? Hello?”

5:32 Daddy nods that she should let it breathe. I have never hated anyone more than I hate daddy in this moment.

5:33 I look over (how can I not?). Woman begins to unwrap wet gauze from her severely burned hand. She coils the stained material in the same Carl’s Jr. cup she used to mix her breast milk. She waves her shriveled digits inches from Nick’s face and declares, “I think it’s infected!”

6:30 We finally pull into the parking lot of our final destination. My family is there waiting for us. They are greeted as liberators.


Updated to add: In response to numerous commenters who posted something along the lines of "DEAR GOD PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS A JOKE," I'm sorry. It's true. All of it.

72 comments:

j said...

that is quite possibly the best argument ever against public transportation. ever.

WendyB said...

So, you met my family on the bus, it seems. Trust me, this was one of their classier moments.

Anonymous said...

haha...can't...stop...laughing... haha

Amber said...

I think I feel my strawberry shortcake coming back up. Ick! What a horrible experience! It reminds me of my trip through Mexico where I actually resorted to wrapping my head in a blanket to save myself from the horrible smells and the man with his cage of chickens. Hope you have managed to recover!

Lady Smaggle said...

Oh jesus that's revolting. I just passed on an award to you by the way!

Lexi said...

I can't tell if this is a joke or if it is real... :D

Anonymous said...

I wish I hadn't read this while eating my dinner.
Poor you D: At least it's a funny story.

selinaoolala said...

omg that was the funniest bus ride ever!! i am appauled yet tickled at the same time, amazing post!

lisa said...

That's hilarious and HORRIFYING all at the same time. I really feel for you though...I've had my share of bad bus stories. Most recent example: Last night, I took the bus from my house downtown for some salsa dancing. Passengers in the back of the bus were complaining about a guy who was acting erratically, spitting on the floor, and apparently, erm, touching himself at one point. (He was either drunk, coked out of his mind, or mentally ill, but he definitely seemed disoriented.) He kept ringing the bell for his stop, standing on the steps waiting to exit for about 30 seconds, then sitting back down. Finally the driver called transit security and stopped the bus and waited for them to show up...in a sketchy part of town with no other bus stops within safe walking distance. Just grrreaattt.

young.urban said...

this a joke....right? please tell me it is.

Elena said...

Sprite and breast milk?? Wow, just..wow.

MongoosePouco said...

oh my gosh, winona, that is just too horrific for words. you poor thing. I hate humid bus conditions. Love the way you wrote it though :)

ms. spinach said...

honestly, i was just seizing up in horror/anticipation reading this.

Teresa said...

sprite breast milk...oh man

Dayna Desastre said...

What. The. FUCK?
How did you make it out alive?

xox,
dayna desastre

Princess Poochie said...

Vomit.

> : P

Luv
Poochie

Vanessa said...

oh god. i took a greyhound from nyc to amherst, mass not too long ago and thought the rank, muttering, bug-eyed loony on mine was bad...but honey, you win hands down.

which is not such a great thing.

may the rest of your transit experiences be blissfully baby-and-burger-free.

Lucie said...

Wow!! Reading that actually made me feel physically ill!!

Shannon said...

Oh.my.god. This is horrific! Best laugh I have had in DAYS!! Thank you!

Cecilia said...

haha. are you sure this really happen, or were you just delusional?

Three Tines said...

That was amazing. I hate to wish more public transportation on you, but it was a fabulous read. Know that your suffering is much appreciated.

wake up, maggie. said...

oh.

my.

god.

Anonymous said...

I was eating cold Mexican food while reading this!

- Your pissed off bro

Kate said...

I don't know what it says about me that I de-lurk at the behest of the sprite-and-breast-milk-combination, but I had to say,

Daddy Hatey?

(You see what I did there? Seamless.)

Great storytelling, Winona! Hope you disinfected...

Bridey said...

Is it possible to laugh and vomit at the same time? The sprite/breast milk combo is unbelievably terrible.

Bridey said...

OMG someone just walked into the room with a glass of milk, now I'm really going to be sick

Anonymous said...

1. What is a beefstick (I'm British - we have beef and sticks but never together)
2.Are you going to change your blog name now - or does the word Daddy not bother you?
3. What did the baby look like?

Sophie Holt said...

Oh god, public transport can be truly amazing sometimes. I was once sat on the last bus home from the cinema with my bf and there were only a few other people on the bus with us - one of which was a drunk guy, sat alone at the back. As we were going along a putrid smell started to creep along the bus. We started to look around as everyone was silent and we didn't understand where it was coming from - WELL. The drunk guy at the back of the bus? He'd thrown up. EVERYWHERE. The whole back half of the bus was COVERED. Worst. thing. ever. Then, when I got up to exit the bus (read: RUN), he got up too and stood right behind me :( Not the best time of my life.

Adri said...

There are good reasons why a lot of people you meet on buses are not allowed to drive!

Anairam said...

I laughed and laughed! Please let me know when your book is out. There should be a book. There really should be ...

echidna girl said...

OMG I'm just in shock

Pip said...

My breakfast is threatening an encore and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Help.

srhsays said...

sprite and breast milk, I think I just hurled all over my Carl's Jr. Nachos Supreme. and the sour cream too.

thefashionhead said...

hilarious. and disgusting. laugh? or vomit? i'm conflicted.

cate said...

winona, you need to post warnings before vomit inducing posts. it's 9:45 AM here. i just ate eggs less than an hour ago. i almost just tossed them onto my keyboard.

that said, OH MY GOD YOU POOR THING IM SO SORRY.

mo said...

oh, the joys of bus travel! trust me, the boston to nyc trip has pretty much the same en route entertainment. what rock did these people crawl out from under and how do we put them back? glad you survived, you will only be stronger for doing so!

soilikethelike said...

oh my god.
i can't even imagine this
yet so funny!

D'Rae said...

Oh my goodness! I am soooo sorry it was that horrible.

Nik said...

I feel so sorry for you right now.

Catie said...

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! (That's Oregon hillbilly talk for extreme disbelief).

Oh, Oregon hillbillies. Girl, you survived, and that means it has made you stronger. Put this in your cache of stories and one day you'll write an amazing essay and David Sedaris' editor will proclaim you the best thing since Spite mixed with breastmilk.

Lesley Denford said...

I feel sick to my stomach. I can only imagine the horror of ACTUALLY being on that bus. You deserve a prize. Like an airplane ticket, so you don't ever have to endure that bus nightmare again!

Mladen said...

OK, Winona. Me and you at a coca cola shop, I want to hear this story again told by you. When do you have time?

Sal said...

Holy hell, I can't believe you didn't hurl yourself out a window.

Steven and Julie said...

If you picked them up in Gresham, then I really can't say that I'm suprised...unfortunatly.

Megan said...

It's like a David Sedaris story brought to life.

The Sprite cocktail was enough to make me want to gag, in person I surely would have. Someone needs to rescue that poor child from it's parents, there is still hope if we intervene in a timely fashion. I can only imagine the damage being done to that baby's teeth, I'm not even going to contemplate the psychological stuff or I'll need a therapist.
For surviving this BUS RIDE FROM HELL without PERPETRATING MURDER or a kidnapping you are a true American hero.

Nora said...

I'm rolling laughing. Is this Britney Spears and family?

Anonymous said...

My one and only bus ride was supposed to be 9 hours and ended up being 24. I truly thought the apocalypse had come and I had been Left Behind. I feel your pain.
Hilarious and horrible.

--Kim

Mama Bee said...

Holy shit balls. I threw up in my mouth a little during, well, that entire story.

I'm pretty sure you deserve some chauffered limo treatment after that debacle!

KiKi said...

While reading this so many things happened i laughed, i cried (from laughing) and almost vomited, wanted to call CPS for mother giving her a baby a beefstick and sprite if he is not even old enough to be off the bottle, and then wanted this all to be a joke but after all it wasn't.

PS was the bus full or did that couple just have to sit by you guys

Kelly said...

I feel for you, but even more, I feel for that poor baby who apparently has to live in this for about 18 more years (if a baby can even live to be an adult on a diet of sprite and breast milk made of steak fries in a bag)

TheSundayBest said...

I don't really know what to add to the 50 other comments except to say SMALL CAMERA and YOUTUBE.

Yes, I will burn in hell.

YOUTUBE.

Anonymous said...

I regularly take the Chinatown bus from Boston to New York to get home from college and it's about the same length of time...it is a hellish experience. Always. You have my condolences.

spacepiratefear said...

you should take the word "daddy" out of your title to avoid painful memories :P

lndsyprtn said...

Holy. Shight
This is why I don't ride the bus...
ever...
I was forced to once..
but this..
this gives me enough reason to want to gag everytime I see a bus stop sign!

- That One Lindsay Grl.

The Vancouverista said...

I think I'm going to throw up.

tortuga said...

OMG! Crying and laughing so hard!

Pamcasso said...

I'm pretty sure sprite and breast milk is commonly prescribed for hypoglycemic infants. Wow, what a ride.

Bekah said...

oh my dear goodness winona
I can't stop laughing, this is possibly the best post I've ever ever read...you just never stop haha
do you want a hug? I feel so bad for you but it's so hilarious

Anonymous said...

I feel bad for you (it sounds like it was a pretty disgusting experience), but I almost feel worse for those people. All you had to do was sit through a painful busride.. whereas them, this is what their LIFE is like, and they don't even know any better.
And here we all are laughing at their expense.

madeza said...

I have taken a Greyhound from San Francisco to NYC and back. A month later I moved from San Francisco to Boston via Greyhound. Recently, I moved from Boston to Portland, Oregon, via Greyhound. I spent more than two weeks total sitting on a bus last year.

I thought I had lost my capacity for horror, but I am still horrified by this story.

tuntra said...

>_>

that is some freaky but hilarious shit. Hahaha was it possible for you to seek refuge somewhere else on the bus?

hollarback said...

If it makes you feel any better about it - I experienced a similar hell journey on the Belfast bound train from Dublin a few years ago...less hot due to climate...but then ...there was vomit at the end of our trip. No, let me correct that, the vomit was a few stops before the end.

So it's universal...trash bags on public transport are always a baaaaad sign.

Gene Shiau said...

Seven years ago I spent two weeks touring the country on Greyhound as a college student. It was one of my most adventurous and exciting moments. Nowadays every infrequent bus traveler seems to have a horror story (correction: a bag of horror stories) to tell. I don't get it. Could seven years have made the quality of bus rides deteriorate so much? Surely I am not entirely out of touch with reality, I think?

Mich said...

yah when i started to read this i thought - oh i have a funny bus story to tell too... but yours is SOO Much worse...
anyway mine is this - in the seat in front of me a couple get on who are probably in their 60's and haven't showered since their 40's. after a while they start literally making out while the guy stares at me.. while he's kissing his wife. then she goes to seat across from him. he TAKES HIS SOCK OFF and she starts massaging his feet across the aisle. this is when i jumped out the window into oncoming traffic.

* Fashion Dreamer * said...

Wow....just..wow! I applaude you for makin it outta there alive, lady! I thought I had it bad when this old man almost fell during a bus journey and used my ass to break his fall....

Rowena said...

That just put me off my Shreddies.

-h of candid cool said...

i think i wanted to throw up at the breast milk & sprite combination.

u should win a nobel peace prize for enduring this without killing someone

Fargo447 said...

jesus christ, i feel so bad. I am trying to tell myself this is a joke.

Erin Haight said...

oh my god, this is so horrible...funny, but also makes me hate people like this too...

lamodeestpoison.blogspot.com said...

ohhhmyGod. it really felt like i was living that horrible hour for a sec. riding the train hasn't been exactly much fun for me either but this story tops all public transportation stories i've ever read.

ed said...

一夜情聊天室,一夜情,情色聊天室,情色,美女交友,交友,AIO交友愛情館,AIO,成人交友,愛情公寓,做愛影片,做愛,性愛,微風成人區,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人影片,成人,成人貼圖,18成人,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人影城,成人小說,成人文章,成人網站,成人論壇,情色貼圖,色情貼圖,色情A片,A片,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,寄情築園小遊戲, 情色A片,色情影片,AV女優,AV,A漫,免費A片,A片下載

情色,A片,AIO,AV,日本AV,色情A片,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,A片下載,情色A片,哈啦聊天室,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,色情聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費視訊聊天,上班族聊天室,080中部人聊天室,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天,成人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,辣妹視訊,情色視訊,成人,成人影片,成人光碟,成人影城,自拍

A片,AIO,AV,日本AV,色情A片,AV女優,A漫,AIO交友愛情館,線上A片,免費A片,A片下載,情色A片,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,成人影片,成人光碟,成人影城,成人交友,愛情公寓,色情聊天室,情色貼圖,色情,色情影片,做愛,情色,哈啦聊天室,聊天室,UT聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080視訊聊天室,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,自拍,性愛

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,A片,A片,情色,A片,A片,情色,情趣用品,情趣用品,A片,A片,情色,情色

情色視訊,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,視訊交友90739,視訊,免費視訊,情人視訊網,視訊辣妹,影音視訊聊天室,視訊交友,視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,成人視訊,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,色情聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,上班族聊天室,小高聊天室

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
酒店經紀
◤9queen◢專業經紀《泡芙公主》
+。°? 酒店經紀 -小可 ?+。°
酒店經紀☆專業女性酒店經紀人☆蕾蕾~
酒店經紀
色情小說
情色小說
小說頻道
酒店經紀,曼雪兒免費小說,酒店經紀,情色文學,酒店經紀,網頁設計,網站設計,酒店兼職,ktv酒店,酒店兼職,兼差打工,酒店上班,酒店經紀,酒店小姐,ktv酒店,兼差打工,酒店上班,酒店經紀,酒店小姐,ktv酒店,酒店兼職,兼差打工,酒店上班,酒店小姐,酒店公關,ktv酒店,酒店兼職,兼差打工,酒店上班,酒店小姐,ktv酒店,酒店兼職,兼差打工,酒店上班,酒店小姐,酒店公關,情色文學,曼雪兒免費小說

Blog Widget by LinkWithin