While the culture of bus riders is predominately autonomous. There is one individual who can bring us all together. There is a chance that this individual can push the riders apart, most of the time he/she creates connections. This person is the drunk guy. I am not talking about the mildly buzzed guy or the passed out guy but the guy who has been drinking far too much and has decided to get on the bus.
The bus that I ride the most in Minneapolis stops directly in front of a Burger King. This stop creates the perfect environment for this kind of interaction. I have dealt with the individual on two occasions since I have moved to Minneapolis, and both times it has given myself and my fellow riders a common bond.
The first time I met the drunk guy, I was riding the bus to my weekly trivia night. I got on the bus and the drunk guy was already riding and his existence was obvious. The first thing I noticed was the large amount of milk on the floor and smirks covering my fellow rider’s faces. Shortly after I took my seat I discovered what was so enjoyable about this bus ride. A tall gentleman sat down across the isle from me and, even though I had my headphones in, started talking to me about what it means to be a man. He explained in his incoherence how much of a man he was by pulling out his wallet and waiving around a small stack of single dollar bills. His actions and my weary looks to my fellow riders prompted exclamations of “you should have seen him before you got on.” Connecting us as a group with a common bond.
At the next stop a new group of riders joined our club. One of these individuals had the mind to speak up to our connector. Prompting a very interesting conversation. When the drunk bus rider confronted the new patron’s manliness he did not take very kindly to that. This situation could he could have gone two ways, the way it did not go was the aggressive semi-violent way. Thankfully this gentleman was intelligent enough to realize that his confronter was on in his right mind and proceded to have a quite comical “intellectual” conversation about what manliyness was. Sadly the bus stopped at Burger King before their conversation could reach a climax and we all moved back into our ignorant persona for the rest of the bus ride.
I have encountered ‘the drunk guy” (a different person than the first) one other time at this point and the scenario was much less eventful but still provided a common ground to connect with my fellow bus riders for a brief period of time. I am hoping that this interaction could be a much more common occurrence in my daily travels because I like the idea of a culture of public transportation riders and would like to see it blossom.