Sunday, November 23, 2008


BUS STORY # 108 (Land Of Entrapment)


The guy in front of me is bending the ear of the guy sitting across the aisle. He’s telling the story of how hard it is for him to get out of New Mexico. He’s sprawled over both seats, and his feet are sticking out in the middle of the aisle. The guy across the aisle occasionally nods, occasionally says “uh-huh.”

Here’s the story: he’s trying to get from Albuquerque to Amarillo. The amazing thing is the bus fare is only six dollars. But when he goes to make a reservation, the bus is full. The next one doesn’t leave for another 33 hours.

He ain’t waitin’ around for no 33 hours. So he takes the Central bus down to Central and Tramway and walks on over to I-40. In less than 10 minutes, he catches a ride. It’s a great ride. They smoke the driver’s cigarettes and drink his beer all the way to Cline’s Corners.

He’s still got six hours of daylight at Clines Corners. He’s just gotten a haircut, got showered and shaved before he hit the road, and his clothes are neat and clean. And there’s a lot of traffic. Traffic is just streaming through there. But when the sun is low on the horizon, he’s still standing on the highway at Clines Corners.

A cop pulls up and tells him he’s not supposed to be hitching out on the highway. He tells the cop his story. The cop says he’ll give him a ride back to Moriarty where he can catch a bus back to Albuquerque.

Can you believe this cop? He wants to take him backward from where he’s trying to go. Man, they’re all the same.

He’s only got three dollars, and the bus ride back will take the three dollars. He’s gonna starve to death back in Albuquerque.

So here he is now, still trying to get out of here to Amarillo. It’s tough getting out of this state, he concludes.

“Yeah,” says the guy across the aisle. “That’s why they call it ‘the land of entrapment.’”

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