Recently I received complaints regarding this blog and the fact that I’ve yet to post.In reality, the reason for my neglect is that I was waiting for the right time.That time has now arrived.I recognize this is a long post, but you really do need to read the whole thing.
I’ve taken many bus rides to New York from Washington, DC.Many were on Greyhound and once other less expensive options became available, notably BoltBus and MegaBus, I switched.Our Brazilian Couchsurfers needed to get to New York, so I showed them the options and helped book the fares online.They ultimately selected MegaBus based on the schedule and availability, I’d never taken it, but I hadn’t heard anything bad, so they booked.Needless to say, it was a hassle getting MegaBus to email us the tickets.We spent over 2 hours on the phone with them, bouncing from city to city trying to figure out why their online booking system never sent us the tickets.MegaBus’ customer service is a nightmare, but finally we got things worked out and expected smooth sailing from there.We were wrong.
We arrived at the D.C. MegaBus stop a few minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive.As the bus pulled up, there were cars illegally parked, blocking the bus’ loading space and the driver refused to let any passengers on the bus.Immediately people began calling the city to get the cars towed.
One car quickly drove off, creating a single parking space and as a new car moved to park there I walked up and told the driver it was a no parking zone.The driver wasn’t very surprised and drove off.
There was still space on the curb for a single car, but not a bus.Seeing this, one of the girls waiting for the bus went and stood in the space with her luggage to ensure no one else would park there.Seeing the space, a Lincoln Navigator pulled up and began to park in the space.The female driver realized someone was standing there and a “gentleman” got out of the passenger side of the car and instructed the driver, presumably his girlfriend to park anyhow; never mind the girl standing there…he would take care of her.He began to yell at the girl to move out of the parking spot and yell at his girlfriend to back in and run the girls over. I walked over to see if I could help and walked toward the passenger window to tell the driver it was a no parking zone.
I never got the chance.The next thing I knew the gentleman was letting some frustration out on me.
“What are you doing by my car, don’t go by my car.”
“Just wanted to tell her it’s a no parking zone.”
“You want to die today”
A little surprised I answered,: “No, just want to tell her it’s a no parking zone”
“You want to die today”
Right, because asking someone if they want to die is my usual reaction to someone approaching my car.He didn’t care about the no parking zone and didn’t allow me to pass him to get back on the curb. Taller and larger than me, but not exactly monstrous, he continued to yell at me as the group of bus riders behind me grew in their support behind me.I ignored him and got away from the car as best I could. Jillian stepped up next to me and, along with several other passengers, told him to calm down. Although more MegaBus passengers stepped into the parking space to block his girlfriend from parking, he kept yelling at his girlfriend to park the car. This continued and since I was now the focal point of his rage, and his car wasn’t getting parked, he decided he needed to change his strategy.Still yelling at me, the next words out of his mouth were “let me get it out.”Then he opened the car door and searched for something inside.
Meanwhile, everyone one the street, thinking he was getting a weapon, began to yell at him to calm down.One of the bus riders had already been on the phone with some city official trying to get the other cars towed and yelled to the gentleman that the police were on the way.The gentleman replied that he hoped the “cops came” because I was going to “need some help.”He was serious, although I’m not sure why he wanted the police to come because he likely would have been arrested; clearly we were dealing with a highly intelligent individual.He reached back into his car and another bus rider, probably about as big as the jackass stood next to me.Expecting a gun or a knife to come out of the car, I had backed away.Instead, after some serious searching, out came… an umbrella.
Let me be clear, I hate umbrellas.People walk around town when it is barely misting with these huge beach umbrellas to keep the slight drizzle off their raincoat and pay no heed to the eyes they poke out as they force others out of their way.I hate umbrellas.Having lived in a city for over 8 years now I have often vowed that if I ever grew to a position of power in city government I would outlaw umbrellas in pedestrian areas.Umbrellas are horrendous contraptions.
In awe that he was going to threaten me with an umbrella, our dialogue continued as he approached me brandishing the umbrella.
“Say another word, I’ll kill you.”
“Just don’t park here.”
“Just say another word.”
“Just get out of here, just don’t park here.”
“I hope those cops come, you be need’n some help when I’m done with you.”
“Just don’t park here. Drive away.”
Clearly this guy was trying to be very tough, with his umbrella.He shook it at me.He swung it in my direction.He said would poke my eye out.He stayed close to me.He looked me in the eye and threatened to kill me.He was so close to me, I could feel his breath.The little bit of Krav Maga I’ve had prepared me to block the umbrella coming at me from the left (where he had it) and I was ready to strike with my other hand and put a knee in his gut at the same time.I was completely relaxed, which was shocking to me, but also completely ready to defend myself and strike back.Then I chuckled to myself. He was shaking.Once I saw that he was shaking, I wasn’t so concerned anymore.I had given him his chance to strike me on countless occasions at this point and he hadn’t done a thing.There were close to 40 people on the sidewalk behind me, and I knew that if he hadn’t struck me yet, he wasn’t going to. I hadn’t responded how he wanted and he’d lost some steam.He was trying to talk a big game, to scare me, but he scared himself more.
This guy was not backing down however, and he continued to taunt me.
“Say another word, just one word,” he said.
I replied, “Word.”
“Say something, I dare you,” he continued.
“Something,” I said.
Next thing I knew the other car blocking the curb pulled away and his girlfriend, who out of no where suddenly appeared ushered him back into the Lincoln and drove off.Talk about anger management problems!
I really don’t know what his issue was but the bus pulled up, we waved good bye to our couch surfers and walked away. Five minutes later, well away from the scene, still shaken a bit, we started laughing about the whole thing.