Sunday, September 04, 2011

BUS STORY # 252 (ABQ RIDE Roulette)

Well, fudge. by busboy4
Well, fudge., a photo by busboy4 on Flickr.

The 50, which left the airport at 5:30 p.m., is caught in traffic. I’m not gonna get to UNM in time to catch the 6:00 No. 11 by UNMH. That means I’m not gonna get home until around 6:50 -- 20 minutes later.


I can walk down to The Frontier and take the Red Line. If it comes early enough, I might snag the 6:00 No. 11 up at the intersection with Louisiana. That would get me home at 6:30.

If it doesn’t come early enough, I’m where I am now: getting home at 6:50.

I get off the 50 at Central and hike to The Frontier.

Down at The Frontier, the electronic Next Bus sign says the Green Line is arriving in one minute. There is no announcement for the Red Line. This can’t be good.

I’m standing next to a young guy wearing a camo boonie who’s smoking a pipe. I haven’t seen a pipe smoker in a while, and I haven’t seen anybody this young smoking a pipe in decades. It’s an aromatic tobacco.

The Green Line arrives, people exit and board, and it takes off. It’s just me and the pipe smoker left at the stop.

He tells me he was waiting for the Green Line, but the sign said the next Green Line was 14 minutes out, so he fired up his pipe. It pulled up a few minutes later. He let this one go by so he wouldn’t waste the bowl.

I check the sign again. Next Red Line in 22 minutes. Well, fudge.

I figure the one that was supposed to be due next must have broken down, and that’s why there was no signal.

22 minutes. It’s just after six now. There’s a good chance I’ll now miss the 6:30 11 up at Louisiana and be left another 20 minutes out. That means I’d be getting home after 7:00.


I could quick-step up to Girard, then up to Lomas, and catch the 6:20 there at the intersection. That would get me home at 6:50. I take off for Girard.

I’m halfway between The Frontier and Girard when the Red Line goes roaring by.

Well, fudge.

So much for the wonders of modern technology. I should’ve known from the pipe smoker’s story the signs were all screwed up. There went my shot at being home by 6:30. Now I gotta get to Lomas in time to catch the 11 to salvage the chance of getting home at 6:50.

I get to the intersection just in time to see a bus coming right up the street. But the stop is on the other side of Girard! I hustle over and reach the stop just as the bus pulls up and the doors pop open.

“Whew!” I say to the driver as I swipe my card. She says something back, but I can’t make her out. I just smile and nod and grab a seat.

The bus pulls out, then pulls into the far left lane. Well, fudge. Sure enough, the bus pulls into the turn lane on Carlisle, heading north. I pull the cord. It now occurs to me the driver was asking me if I was sure I had the right bus.

It’s not a long walk back to Lomas, and when I get there, I see another bus coming my way. I get across the street just in time to catch it. This time, I check the front of the bus to make sure it’s the right one. Yes, it’s the 11 Lomas. I’ve lucked out. I’ll be home by 6:50 after all.

Two guys sitting in front of me turn and ask me if I wasn’t on the Montgomery/Carlisle bus just now. Turns out they got off just before Carlisle to catch the 11. Um, well, yes I was. And I start to explain what happened, but they’re way ahead of me. There is no end to their amusement.

I get home at 6:50. There are two places at the table, but it’s clear my wife has already eaten.

“I thought you’d be home earlier,” she explains. She says she figured I got delayed at work again, and so she went ahead and ate.

I know I shouldn’t, but I know how she feels about the time it takes to get home on the bus. And I know I didn’t think to call her to let her know what had happened. So I cut my losses and let work take the blame.

Dinner is terrific.


As of posting time, it’s been three weeks now, and the Rapid Ride arrival signage is still completely dissociated from what the buses are actually doing. At least, at The Frontier.


Anonymous Brenda said...

Ah, the well laid plans of mice and men.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

A friend who is also a Rabbi asked me years ago if I knew how to make God laugh. I told him I did not. He explained: "Tell Him your plans."

8:08 AM  

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