Published: July 11th 2010July 8th 2010
Boarding my first Greyhound bus at 1 pm was an eye opening experience for me. I should have, but didn't, expect that it would be full of all kinds of weirdos and well... losers. I hate to be so judgmental, but it really was a thorough collection of the US's trashiest kinds of people.
During my bus ride I observed a lot of oddities and just plain gross behavior, and I started to compile some rough estimates of the people of the bus as a whole. The more I observed and heard, the more I realized that riding a Greyhound bus is a comedic gold mine for stand up comedians. There's just a ton of funny things about the typical Greyhound ride! For instance:
There will be anywhere from 1 to 3 normal people on the bus of 55 seats. You yourself are 1 of the possible 3, so you could be very unfortunate and be the ONLY normal person on the bus. If there is another normal person on the bus, its almost completely obvious who they are (and likewise, they can instantly tell that you are normal like them). The problem is they are already sitting next to Jethrow Bobby McHyuk-Hyuk-Hyuk (ya know, that hill billy that's related to himself) way in the back of the bus. Good luck finding an opportunity to change seats and feeling more comfortable knowing you're sitting next to a person who has showered within the last 48 hours.
If there are 2 normal people on the bus besides you, the odds are that they're traveling together (like a couple or just some buds) OR they've already found each other as strangers and begun to bond in their common feature of not being a complete freak show.
My rough estimates of the typical coach include the following:
90% have pungent body odor.
80% smoke a pack or more in a day.
5% have a single college credit or more.
95% only know 2 ways to have a conversation: bitch (about anything) or brag (again, about anything).
30% are fat and are wearing clothes too small for them (stretchmarks galore)
30% are obese (too fat to get through the aisle with out touching every person with an aisle seat)
20% grossly under weight (typically from being poor/extensive drug use)
99% have an opinion (typically a retarded one) about everything. ever. even if they have no earthly clue what the topic is, they have an opinion on it and if they don't share it they will explode.
5% will be tweaking on meth or coming down from some other hard drug.
5% have no luggage at all and no money. they will ask every single person on the bus for spare change and a cig at every single stop.
I could go on and on and on with these estimates which made me feel like I had enough material for a stand up routine at a night club. It's pretty raw material and would need to be developed into a more coherent dialogue of jokes, but man does it have potential.
Some of the grosser things I saw were:
a man picking his ears with his pinky finger... and then licking the finger clean.
a 50~ yr old man taking a lollipop from a 7~9 yr old girl's mouth, licking it, and handing it back. (strangers, not related)
a meth head spitting phlegm straight on the floor.
Anyways, I found my ipod to be a HUGE relief from the ridiculous conversations all around me. And I decided to keep my gaze focused out the window or just shut.
Leaving Ft. Collins at 1pm, the bus meandered westward along the southern portion of Wyoming. Hilly but otherwise boring desert like vegetation. The bus headed south into Utah as the sun started to set which irked me because this was the area of the trip with the coolest rock formations and I couldn't see them!
We arrived in SLC, UT around 9:30 where everyone on the bus got off to transfer to 3 or 4 different buses. I was glad to get away from the old man I was sitting next to. He smelled awful and because of his great size (about 5'10 & 200 lbs) he took up about 1/4 of my seat. Damn fat over flow...
The bus terminal was crawling with more weirdos from all over the country and everyone was scrambling for wall outlets to charge their phones. I was too late on that to get a normal wall outlet that was at normal height. Instead, I climbed a 10' pillar and shimmied across a beam to an un-used outlet, and plugged in my phone charger to dangle at roughly shoulder height.
When I finished sending my first text message, I looked up to see 3 obese people with phone and chargers in hand, all looking at me desperately. So I climbed and shimmied up to the outlet again and plugged in one of their phones in exchange that they watch my phone and hiking pack while I went to the rest room and cleaned up.
The lay over in SLC was just an extension of my Greyhound observations, seeing about 4 times as many people, all interacting and talking and doing/saying ridiculous things. And it was a big place for junkies to pan handle and try to guilt trip others into "helping them out"...
and a large variety of unwashed obese people.