I’m on a Bus

Ever have a way of doing something that seemed a to be a bit of a hardship, only to have someone show you a much easier way of doing it so that you felt like a total idiot?

For me, that instance was learning how to get from UCSB to downtown Santa Barbara on the bus. Turns out that you can hop onto the Line 24, and it goes straight down the 101 to the transit center in the heart of downtown. Your other alternative is to take the Line 11, which goes the long way by going down Hollister Avenue through Goleta until it turns into State Street.

The 24 takes about 20 minutes or so, the 11 takes a good hour at the very least. And for the longest time, I was completely ignorant of the existence of the 24 and was taking the line 11 all the way downtown every time I wanted to go see a movie or something.

Not that I regret it completely though, as it gave me ample opportunity to do some interesting people watching. See, only normal people ride the 24…

The Line 11 is freak central.

All manner of oddballs and weirdos ride the line 11 into town… I remember this one time this woman had this basket with a kitten hidden in it since animals weren’t allowed to ride the bus, and every time it made a noise, she’d act like she was the one making the noise.

It was like, “No one cares that you have a kitten in a basket, just please for the love of God stop meowing at random intervals.”

There was another guy who had a lazy eye once who I overheard talking on his cell phone about how he’d just had surgery and now he “looked like a real person.” (I shudder to think of what he looked like before)

Another time a woman boarded the bus with shopping bags, announcing to everyone that she was going to return 22 pairs of shoes to a store downtown because they were too loud. Right.

Then there was this one guy who was mentally retarded who lived with his sister. To get rid of him, she’d put him on the bus, and he’d just ride the bus happy as a clam all damned day long until his sister got off work to come and get him.

And of course, there was that one time that I ran into the most unexpected bus rider of them all. That’s right, you guessed it.


I was just kind of spacing out while I waited for the bus to get downtown, when all of a sudden I notice that there’s a man in a black cape and cowl boarding the bus. Oh my god! Batman’s riding my bus! What are the odds?!

“Does this bus go to the police station downtown?” Batman asked, a tinge of irritation in his voice.

“No,” replied the bus driver, “You have to take this one to the transit center and transfer to the Line 12.”

Batman grumbled to himself. “Fine. Can I have a transfer please?” he asked as he fed a crumpled dollar into the bus fare receptor.

The driver handed him his transfer slip, and he stormed off down the length of the bus and sat down across from me as the bus started to pull away from the curb. “What?” he said after a moment, obviously noting that I was staring at him.

“I was just wondering why–”

“The Batmobile’s in the shop,” he said huffily.

“What happened to it?”

Batman let out a heavy sigh. “I really don’t want to talk about this…”

“C’mon, I’m your buddy. What happened to it?”

“I said I didn’t want to talk about it.”

“Did Robin total it while learning how to drive?”


“Did your mute hunchback mechanic Harold accidentally trash your transmission?”


“Did Alfred go senile and back it down into a bottomless chasm by accident?”


“Did you get outsmarted by a villain and spin out during a heart pounding car chase?”


“Did you crash it yourself because you weren’t looking while you tried to lean over and pick up a CD off the floor?”

No answer.

“Oh my god, you DID smash it up while trying to pick up a CD!”


“Man, that’s embarrassing. What CD was worth trashing the Batmobile for and having to ride the bus?”

“*Cough cough*Cher*cough cough*”

“Man alive, it was a CHER album?! I’d have never pegged you to be so… so… so… girly…

Batman coughed and shifted in his seat uncomfortably for a moment before leaping to his feet and saying “Oh, this is my stop!” and kicking down the bus door and leaping out into the street while it was still moving.

Man, that Batman. For a guy that can kick so much ass, he sure is a bit fruity…