Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bus Got Your Tongues?

A couple months back I turned over this space to a lady named Angry Bus Lady. She was a lady that I saw on a Chinatown bus who was very angry. Well, I took another bus ride and as luck would have it I got to meet another fucking lunatic who I'll call Crazy Bus Guy (CBG). When traveling by bus you have a number of options. Megabus is usually the best in terms of the caliber of the people you’re going to find yourself traveling with. Not great, don’t get me wrong. There are still a bunch of losers running around. You don’t have nearly as many options with them though. So if you need to make it across the country, you don’t have a bunch of money to blow on a plane ticket, and you don’t mind it taking a week and a half to get where you’re going then you gotta go Greyhound. The best passengers are the ones you don't notice. Take only pictures leave only a weird smell. Take only naps leave only fart smells. The thing Angry Bus Lady and Crazy Bus Guy have in common is that they were very noticeable. Angry bus lady was very noticeable, but to her defense she at least passed out. Also she was a few rows a head of me which helps. But at least she didn't bring god into the whole thing.

Enter Crazy Bus Guy. CBG was a gentleman I encountered on my most recent Greyhound trip to Detroit who was crazy. Things seemed pretty normal at first. He was dressed like a dirt ball, but who doesn’t when they prepare for a trip on the Greyhound. You have to dress for comfort. It's not like flying on a plane, it won’t be over soon so you should dress accordingly. CBG was wearing ESPN pajama bottoms and a paisley thermal shirt. Short hair no weird shapes or things shaved into his head. As a regular bus rider I've gotten pretty good at being able to spot potential wild cards. I saw thing guy and thought nothing of sitting right behind him. It was a packed bus, so I didn't really have too many other options, but it seemed to be a safe bet.

CBG in all his glory

Things started falling apart a couple hours in. I was sitting there reading my book like a normal person does on the bus. He was sitting right in front of me staring straight ahead like a crazy person does on the bus. I stop reading for a second, look up, and realize the guy is looking at me. Don't think too much of it, but then he says "what do you want from me?" I just assumed that he thought I had said something. So I said "oh, I didn't say anything." He says, "no, what do you want from me?” I was starting to realize that I was dealing with a crazy person. So I said "nothing, buddy." Then he said "you know I will NEVER be like you." So I decided to end the conversation by saying “Oh cool you take care then.” I said take care like I was walking away from him. Not continuing to sit two feet away from him for the next dozen plus hours. After that I tried to not pay attention to him while paying a shit load of attention to him so I was prepared for when he went fucking nuts. He then muttered something about how he's a stronger person than me, then kinda shook his bible. Which was the only thing he had with him from what I could tell.

Our bus driver
From there he spent a lot of time just muttering things under his breath. It was hard to make out much of what he was saying. I think a fair amount was about Jesus. I kinda wanted to put my headphones on, but at the same time I knew he was gonna say something nuts that I'd want to hear. Because I like listening to crazy people. It makes me feel better about my own mental state. I might be hanging on by a thread, but at least my thread is a shit ton stronger than CBG's thread. I shouldn't take too much solace in this, but oh well. Life is all about these little victories so find yours where you can and quit judging me. 

Next outburst was him raising his fist to the air and yelling “this is my sword. I came here not to bring peace, but to bring a sword.” I remember this quote. It's a Jesus quote. I'm pretty sure at least. I've never read the bible of course, but I used to listen to this Christian talk guy named Bob Dutko. He was fond of that quote. I'm sure he knew more stuff from the bible, but he really mostly focused on the passages that talked about how awful gay people were and that whole sword thing. Though in Bob Dutko and CBG’s defense I've never read the bible maybe that’s all that it is. Just "all gays and no play make Jesus a sword wielding maniac." for thousands of pages. That would explain a lot about this character. 
89% of Christian radio stations are also called "The Light."

Then a few hours after that we were treated to the dude actually speaking in tongues. Listen, I'm not one to judge people for believing in religion. I'm not a religious person, but I've always kind of envied people who are. I wish I had the certainty that comes with a strong belief in god, but it’s just never been something I’ve had stick. If you have that thing that pulls you towards religion, bully for you. I took a bible studies class in college. I read the chapters that were assigned. So I’m not very religious nor am I a Bible expert. THAT BEING SAID, whatever you think is in there that tells you to speak in tongues is wrong. That's not what they're saying. 

The gloved sword of CBG
Multiple times he broke into rounds of tongue speaking. It's one thing to be in a group of people all cool with the tongues, but not when you're shattering the quiet of the bus with the shouting of your gibberish. It's just not cool. Lots of people believe in god, not everyone are using that belief to freak everyone out. Whatever chapter that says that in the bible is some horse shit. Don't buy it. If you're into that religion, for god's sake I implore you that a quieter religion will be much more likely to get you into heaven.

Real live audio of CBG speaking in tongues and the bus driver telling him not to.

The bus driver had to put his foot down. when we stopped and had to ask the guy if he was gonna be cool for the rest of the ride. He told him no more praying, and then crazy guy had to tell him that he was gonna pray. They went back and forth about the issue of praying, until finally they came to a compromise. The guy was allowed to pray, he just had to do so at a level that was only audible to himself and god. That seemed fair. 

CBG all tuckered out at the Cleveland bus depot.

Sometime after all this this went down a lady got a phone call. She answers and says “Hell… Just on the bus… no it's fine.” I'm sorry this is fine? You are locked on a bus with a guy who's referring to himself as the sword of god, who's been screaming in gibberish for the past hour. I don’t know how many more years phone lady has in bus ridership than I do, but I do know I have to find another way to travel before I find myself describing that trip as fine.

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