February 15, 2007

...and I was all, like, "What the...??!!!" (Hit by a bus)

You know that thing that people do when something embarrassing happens to them in public? I know you know what I'm talking about. That thing people do, for example, when they randomly trip while walking down the street?

I'm not talking about the people who start running and try to play it off. (Those people are their own breed, requiring their own separate post. They're the type who do the thing where they raise their hand and wave to someone down the street, thinking they know them, but then realize they don't and instead use their hand to slick back their hair, all, like "What? I'm cool... just fixing my hair!". This is unacceptable behavior for anyone other than Guidos, and real Guidos only live in Little Italy and are drunk and fat and leacherous most of the time, anyway, so their bad judgment doesn't count. By the way, I'm part Italian, so don't call me racist.)

I'm talking about the other people. The people who get pissed. You know, when they trip on their own feet, but instead of laughing their clumsiness off, they stop, and turn around, and, like, glare and the sidewalk, all "What the...??!!" like it purposefully tripped them. Or they point, which is always funny. Or examine the street closely for the crack that obviously caused them to stumble. Or -- better yet -- they kick the curb. God, I love that. It totally ridiculous, because regardless of what they do afterwards, they almost just tripped, and nothing they do is going to make that go away.

Tara Reid is really good at this. Or maybe she's mostly good at just falling and being coked up and skanky. Either way, a photo, because I think it's funny (and hear it encourages you guys to continue reading... thank you, US Magazine):

Anyway, this "What the...?!" behavior didn't make any sense to me until this morning, when I was (wait for it...) HIT BY A BUS.

Yup. A huge articulated bus -- carrying what seemed like a thousand commuters -- ran a red light and met me in the middle of a crosswalk -- head down in the rain, minding my own business -- half a block from my office building.

I'm okay and everything. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that it's not like it plowed me down, it just sort of met me. The moment it was less than 10 inches from my right shoulder, I looked up and stiff-armed it while jumping sideways, effectively pushing off its front left corner before it knocked me down.

The first nanosecond after the bus hissed to a quick stop, the first moment I knew I was going to live, I was embarrassed, convinced it was all my fault, because who gets hit by a bus unless they're doing something idiotic? What the fuck? I thought. I am so oblivious to the world that I just almost got hit by a bus? I mean, how embarrassing! Surely, I thought, I must have been jaywalking. But when I looked up at the crosswalk, I was stunned. No red STOP hand. Instead, a bright green WALK man. And this one was animated. His legs were moving. He was, like "WALK! LIKE ME!! SEE? DO IT!"

Just like that, (I snapped right there, in real life, while typing the word "that". So please, when reading this, snap, so you can get the full effect of my enthusiasm for this story.) Just like that (thank you), my embarrassment turned to anger.

How in the fuck does a BUS run a red light and almost hit a GIRL who clearly has every right to WALK in that crosswalk, with her legs moving and carrying her across the street just like the blazing green WALK man? That WALK man was suddenly my shining beacon of right-ness. And, to add to my anger, I noticed that on top of the sign, there was a speaker playing piped-in audio instructions for the blind. The piped-in audio woman was saying this, still, even in the seconds after my near-death-experience:

"Walk signs are on for all crossings. Walk signs are on for all crossings. Walk signs are on for all cross..." etc. etc. etc.

God damn that bus! Now I was really pissed. My bright young life was nearly smeared across the bumper of a public transporter, and it was totally not my fault.

I was going to show that effing bus driver.

Yeah, I was.

I was gonna.

Show him.

That effer.

So you know what I did? I'll be damned if I didn't, almost instinctively, do that thing.

I stopped, mouth open in shock as I realized the audio and visual signals were all telling me to walk and the bus to stop at the moment of near-impact, and gave the driver the "what the...??!!!" look, with my forehead all scrunched up like he was an idiot, then pointed to the green WALK sign, then pointed back at the bus driver, shaking my head and again doing the "What the...?!" face before disgustedly throwing my hands down at my sides and marching the rest of the way across the street, shaking my head.

You could almost hear the spectators crowding the sidewalks giggle and whisper. I actually saw a few point. I was that girl. Doing that retarded "What the...?!!!" thing.

But I didn't care. It felt good. Not as good as swearing at the driver, but good enough to satisfy me as I stomped across the street and into my building, brushing my hair back all cool and calm. All, like, "What? Nothing! I'm cool, and stuff. Just fixing my hair..."


A tale of two come-ons is coming... but forgive me, the bus incident took precedence today, as it was practically a near-death experience. Have a good day, and please--look both ways.


Chuckles said...

Jesus Christ! I am surprised the driver let you walk away. Or that the witnesses did. I would have called the cops and gotten a checkup to be sure I hadn't thumped my head or something. Maybe I am just paranoid.

Trebuchet said...

I know! I was so pissed, though, that I think I just sorta shook it off and marched along my way before anyone really had a chance to stop me. Bystanders were just staring, and the driver kept going. I mean, it didn't knock me down, so I guess everyone assumed if I was still standing I must be cool.

I did consider trying out my best rendition of "girl with post-accident neck pain", but just didn't have the heart.