Michele On January - 27 - 2011

I had a dental appointment yesterday down at the medical center. And because there is still so much to get ready for the rodeo I told Doug if he’d take me there I’d take Metro to get home so he wouldn’t have to wait for me.  Other than commuters who use the various park and ride lots on the outskirts of the city then take the bus downtown to work, most Houstonians just don’t use mass transit. It’s somewhat of an alien concept; at least to those of us who were raised here.

I actually once dated a guy from Boston who didn’t get his drivers license til he was 30. He said he just never needed a car til he was moving to Texas. I remember thinking that seemed so odd to me.

So knowing that I was going to be traveling with the huddled masses I went to the Metro site yesterday to use their trip planner. I wanted to be prepared. According to their computer there was no way to get home from there. Knowing that was wrong (I knew I could at least get within  about 5 mi.)  I called back to speak to a human. Anthony at Metro was actually very helpful and gave me all the information I needed.

I thought.

I’d been lulled into a false sense of preparedness.

At 5 pm I walked from the dentist to the train, bought my ticket, and made it without incident.  After the train I had to change to a bus. I was ready. I had cash in hand when I boarded the bus and went to put the money in the money box thingy by the driver.

He stopped me.

“Where’s your Q card?” he asked. I’m sure I looked like the RCA dog with my head tilted as he repeated the question. “Where’s your Q card?” By the time he repeated the question a second time there were 10 people lined up behind me all anxious to get home. By this time it was about 5:30, prime time for commuters.

“Just sit down.” he said with resignation. And I did, as fast as I could which happened to be in the first seat.  As I sat there  putting the cash back into my purse, all the people who’d been standing behind me boarded the bus flashed their Q cards and looked at me like I should be riding on the ” short bus”. I got the same look from the people on 5the bus who’d been witness to my shame.

I felt like everyone else was a member of a secret club; one to which I was not a member. They all had their secret decoder rings.

A woman in the seat behind mine took pity on me and explained the Q card, something Anthony at Metro had completely omitted telling me about, that bastard.

I rode the rest of the way quietly not wanting to draw any more attention to myself. We got to the final stop, the doors opened and I just sat there. Since I’d taken 2 Benedryl before the dentist and still had a boatload of lidocaine in my mouth, I planned to exit the bus last, so if somehow I made a fool of myself exiting the bus like I did entering it no one would see.

Everyone lined up to exit the bus and stood there for about 90 seconds not saying a thing. Then they started filing by me giving me the same condescending look I’d gotten when I got on the damn bus.

WTF?? What could I possibly have I done now?

When everyone else was off the bus, the bus driver looked at me and said “You were supposed to get off first.” as he pointed to a sign which said the first seat was reserved for people with disabilities. I’d been in such a hurry to sit down I hadn’t even noticed.

I probably reminded them of Kramer.

Check out the clip from about 2:13 onward. Sorry you’ve got to click on the link. The embedding was disabled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BveKDWXqyRU

And no, I’m not making fun of anyone but myself. Remember that after Brett’s stroke he was in resource classes for years.

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17 Responses so far.

  1. Susan says:

    Oh, Michele…I totally feel for you. I used to be a savvy NYC subway rider but now they use the Metro Card instead of old reliable tokens and it confuses me horribly. I’ve had people look at me in the very same way…

    I hope your mouth feels happy again after the dentist. Mine does because it was just smiling at your sweet, funny post…

  2. Liz C. says:

    I’m sure that they would probably lock me away if I were to attempt taking public transit. The last time I rode a bus it cost something like 20 cents (in OKC). It makes me wonder how out-of-towners fare when they try to ride the bus these days (with or without lidocaine). What the Hell is a Q card? I’m assuming that Anthony skipped that part on purpose….
    Liz C. recently posted..The Love-Hate Relationship I Have With My HotMy Profile

  3. Michele says:

    The Q card I was told is like a debit card. You get one from Metro, at one of their offices, load it with $$, then just scan it when you get on the bus, thereby eliminating the need for cash. Just how in the Hell was I supposed to know that?

  4. LMAO…. oh no BB! That was a hapless episode indeed. I couldn’t have done better myself! After reading your post, it has reinforced my age-old decision to NEVER use public transport. As you say, buses are full of bastards! (that made me laugh again!)
    Annie (Lady M) x recently posted..Ive learnt a new word and it is scootingMy Profile

  5. Connie Baum says:

    This made me feel the same way I did in 3rd grade arithmetic class all those many years ago. UGH

    Lucky for those people you aren’t the type to go Postal. Your sense of humor is just admirable.

    Maybe someone will mail the guy you spoke to a hard copy of this post?

    Hope your tooth is better.

    ~MC
    Connie Baum recently posted..Mother Connie Sez- Thank Your Lucky Stars!My Profile

  6. Jewell says:

    LMFAO. OMG BB that was hilarious!!! I read this out loud to the husband him as we were driving!! We were laughing hysterically! Probably not a good idea when he was the one driving! At least you made it home…was going to email and see if you were ok-silence doesn’t become you! Love you bunches! Xoxo

  7. Darla says:

    Well, you have helped me out. I would have assumed tokens as well, but I should know better because I had to use a card for the Metro in Paris in 2002. I almost always try the bus system in a city I live in but I haven’t done it since I got here to Texas, as of yet. Again, thanks for the warning.

    Too funny about you sitting in the disability area, but you were temporarily, from the dentist! That must be why the bus driver didn’t kick you off the bus. Don’t worry, I have done dumber things than that.

    Kudos on getting reduced cost dentistry! I have applied to be a candidate for their services, but haven’t heard back from them yet. I don’t have insurance either and to be honest, I don’t have to have a dentist that caters to me, just one that is competent.

    • Michele says:

      Don’t hesitate calling them back to check your status. I did before I got accepted. They have saved me over $2K; and my care has been great.

  8. Oh no, you poor thing..I believe Anthony just did what many people do…left out a key piece of information because it was something that although obvious to him, isn’t really obvious at all…It was actually very nice of the driver to let you stay on the bus…and I guess they all thought you didn’t know what was going on because of the “disability”…
    Kim Wright (Pinkim) recently posted..Its Post it Note Tuesday!My Profile

  9. Michele says:

    Just for you Kim I’ll assume the best view on Anthony, not that he was just an incompetent twit; which was what I was thinking prior to this.

  10. Donna says:

    god you crack me up.
    Donna recently posted..Weird Me Wednesday 12611My Profile

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