26 January 2007

Riding The Rails

Mass Transit is very entertaining. When I first started working in downtown Minneapolis, I took the bus from a pretty decent suburb. We were all 'commuters' and although there weren't any freaks aboard, there were some pretty quirky people...who thought they had assigned seating, who sneered at people with headphones, who glared at you if you spoke a single word.

Then I moved to closer into the city and took the bus from the Mall of America. Sure, the 'commuters' were there as well - and so were the crazy people who argued with their own reflection in the window, shortly before getting off the bus and screaming at trees (and no, I'm -not- kidding).

Then came light rail, feared as the biggest waste of taxpayer dough - now 22 double cars strong and jam-packed during rush hour, sporting events and the Holidazzle Parade. Everyone from all over the world takes the train. After all, it goes to the Mall (hey, that rhymes!). The homeless hang out on it, making their rounds begging for change at different stations. High School kids use it to get to MOA (making out, talking 'gangsta', etc), college hipsters go half-way and connect to their bus, but today I saw something that will forever be burned into memory...

I saw a man pull a 'shorty' (8-oz. can of Budweiser) out of his lunch bag and start drinking, finishing in 3-4 decent swigs. This was at 4:20pm, with no fear of getting called out or seen by the hidden cameras. Of course, I couldn't remain silent - and asked him if it was, indeed, a 'shorty' of Bud that I saw him with.

He replied, "Yeah..." with a sense of pride and 'i-don't-care-ism' and then exited at his stop. I think I've now seen it all...

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