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Friday, July 20, 2007

Hell, Thy Name Is Greyhound!

posted by on July 20 at 15:05 PM

Hello, everyone. I am desperately sorry for the light slogging lately, but I’ve been quite gone on a wee little trip. I regret to have been away. And God forgive me, I donít know why I agreed to go away, in the way I went away, in the first place. I canít understand what the fuck came over me. I clearly wasnít in my right mind. Iíll probably regret it forever. And ever. And ever.

My ďboyfriendĒ who is supposed to “love me” or something (ha!) decided a few weeks ago that it would be a novel notion to pursue an adventurous excursion via (Shudder! Gasp!) the goddamnmotherfucking BUS. He thought a bus trip would be ďfunĒ. Fun!

Indeed, I said the goddamnmotherfucking BUS, by which I mean GREYHOUND, by which I mean HELL on EARTH on WHEELS. I can barely bring myself to talk about it. My nervous system hasn’t even begun to digest the experience, and frankly, it may never fully do so. And therefore, for the sake of the shreds of my remaining mental health and faith in mankind, Iím compelled to vomit some of the story up here for you. Iím sorry. I have no choice. Itís a compulsion. Itís necessary. I canít stop myself. I have to heal, somehow.

Lucky, lucky you.

But (and youíll thank me later!) I have kindly boiled the entire 14-hour-long-sitting-bolt-upright-in-a-rolling-metal-death-tube-full-of-convicts-methheads-and-sociopaths-that-smells-like-an-alcoholic-catís-ass experience down to a few simple bullet points, rather than provide the world with an exhaustive and detailed point-by-point report. This is for your own good. Trust me.

However! Please note! A quick little disclaimer, to avoid any confusion before we begin: I do not travel via Greyhound, damn you, Iíve never done so before, and you can bet your sweet fannyís ass that the temporary lapse in judgment that compelled me to do so will never, by God, NEVER, happen again. It was a dreadful mistake. A one-time-thing. I may never be the same. Somebody hold me. I beg you.

Also! Before we go off to the simple bullet-pointed list of What I Learned on Sitting Up for 14 Hours on a Fucking Catís-Ass-Stanking Greyhound Bus, I have to get this off my chest, and I want to get it just right before my mind successfully represses it foreverÖ

ďI just want to say that itís only by the grace of God Almighty that anyone gets anywhere, and itís the men and women fighting for this country thatís the only thing holding this nation together.Ē

Yes, thatís how it went: a little rambling and disjoionted 3-AM public service announcement from our lunatic Greyhound driver forced upon his captive bus-bound audience. Amen and hallelujah!

Fuckety fuck fuck fuck.

Okay, here we go:

9 Terrible Things I Learned On a Goddamnmotherfucking Greyhound Bus

1) Everyone who has ever been to prison is compelled by forces beyond our understanding to tell everyone else all about it, all the time, at a volume of twenty million decibels.

2) Everyone on Greyhound has been to prison.

3) There is no such thing as quiet crazy.

4) It is completely appropriate, even expected, to scream things at the driver like, ďItís about fucking time!Ē and even more appropriate for the driver to respond, ďFuck you, too!Ē and then rant about Jesus.

5) The words ďniggerĒ and ďfagĒ are alive and well and thriving without a trace of irony.

6) You could be Osama Bin Laden, carrying a nuclear bomb up your ass and a dead hooker under each arm and nobodyís going to check your ID.

7) There is such a thing as The White Trash Gene.

8) For some, relish is a meal.

9) There is no hope for mankind. Not. A. Shred.

Well, whatever. Itís still marginally better than flying, I guess.

greyhound-bus-2.jpg


RSS icon Comments

1

I remember taking greyhound to montana, and omg, the "everyone has been to prison (jail)" was hilariously true!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 20, 2007 3:26 PM
2

Ah, the Dirty Dog. I still cherish the memories of my 72-hour ride from Seattle to Burlington, VT in 2001. At least I had a posse. Though BECAUSE of the posse, we were being tailed by the FBI. I think one of the crowning moments was when I went to throw away a cup in the Chicago station and the man who had been using the wide-mouthed, full garbage can as a seat got up, pissed off - "oh, man!" because I'd interrupted his comfy lounging. Then there was the huge woman who decided to counteract the smell she made in the bus 'bathroom' by dousing the entire stall with the nastiest perfume possible, assaulting the entire bus for the next half hour with a stinging choking gas of cheap perfume and human shit. Greyhound has the power to take you through pity, beyond compassion and straight to disgust with American society: not for humanity, Adrian, for I've ridden on buses just as uncomfortable full of people even poorer in many countries, but those were countries with an intact culture. People in the outskirts only have the church, the malls and the media to show them how to behave, and lacking access to those three, there is just free-fall.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | July 20, 2007 3:33 PM
3

We have these things now called planes, that, get this, travel up in the clouds. Its called flying and while uncomfortable and cramped is blissfully short. And unless your flying Alaska, or seated next to an idiot, no annoying religious crap.

Posted by Giffy | July 20, 2007 3:34 PM
4

Prison or at least juvie. Last I was on one these kids were talking about some vocational rehab type program in Oregon. But it's weird: there were also these generically hot French snowboarder chicks, that looked way too rich to be travelling with us mendicants. I don't get it. Whatev.
-

Posted by christopher | July 20, 2007 3:35 PM
5

ADRIAN! Close your bold tags! Were you born in a barn?!

That is all.

PS !

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER! | July 20, 2007 3:38 PM
6

close your own damn bold tags!

Posted by adrian! | July 20, 2007 3:39 PM
7

-- For a girl once (I know, I know), I took a 59-hour Greyhound bus trip to see her. That was the last one, not since... never again. What you say is all true. FUCK THE BUS, VIVA AMTRAK!

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | July 20, 2007 3:39 PM
8

This is a mistake we must all make. My 16 hour bus ride to Idaho included a meth addict convinced he was being attacked by a tiny dog in the middle of the night.

My favorite part at the end of the journey was the incredible stench in the vessel. Not to mention the unbelievably random and unsavory businesses they consider valid rest stops.

Posted by ljg | July 20, 2007 3:41 PM
9

I rode the greyhound in the south last week and confirm the thing about people in jails. But I had fun seeing a side of America I don't usually see. Picture a redneck ex-con and an Amish guy sitting and talking for 3 hours, then we arrive and the con starts yelled at the drive hurry the fuck up and park mother fucker! The nice Amish guy just sat there thinking thank god I'm Amish.

Posted by Jude Fawley | July 20, 2007 3:43 PM
10

Takin' the ol' whiptail down the open road for some inspiration and a glimpse of real livin'.

Or better yet...

Fuck that shit.

Posted by Fly First Class Always And If You're Not On A Schedule, Private Room By Rail | July 20, 2007 3:44 PM
11

Oh, the G-Hound. Adrian, I feel your pain.

When I was 20 and college-broke, I took the G-Hound all the way to Washington, D.C., NYC and Boston (!!!!). I was on buses of the damned for days. It was straight out of the waiting room scene from Beetlejuice but with less hope.

On the way back, I was kicked off the bus in Fairfax, Virginia for copping a smoke in the bus's restroom (it had a very convenient window). It was actually a relief, even though my suitcase and I were stranded in the middle of nowhere and I had to pay a zillion dollar cab fare to get to the airport in DC, then another zillion dollars to fly home.

Posted by Original Andrew | July 20, 2007 3:54 PM
12

relish is a meal like cottage cheese is a vegetable. yeeesh.

Posted by Special K | July 20, 2007 3:55 PM
13

The Amish thing reminded me of the coolest thing that happened on the cross-country trip - we pulled into this Mennonite community in North Dakota in the middle of the night...oh, just scan this article down to the bus stuff and read about it here:

http://cgi.thestranger.com/2001-05-03/feature.html

Posted by Grant Cogswell | July 20, 2007 4:06 PM
14

The worst Greyhound experience I've heard of happened to one of my friends - not only was this bus full of the usual convicts and Jesus freaks, but its driver got lost and didn't know how to fucking get to his destination, and had to stop and ask the passengers, and eventually passersby, for directions. It was five hours late.

And Grant @2 is right: the buses I traveled across Thailand in were full of people with less money who were nonetheless infinitely richer in dignity than the people on the Greyhounds I've been on.

Posted by tsm | July 20, 2007 4:08 PM
15

Oh god. The terrible, terrible memories. For 4 years, I was broke, living in Boston, and dating a woman in NYC. I spent a lot of time on Greyhound. (And its lesser cousins, Peter Pan and Bonanza, and of course the omnipresent Chinatown buses.) Every possible indignity that could happen short of actual physical assault on my person happened at least once. Frozen? Check. Boiled alive? Check. Trapped next to a 700-pound man with an adenoid problem? Sweet mercy, check. Lost in northern New Jersey on a bus allegedly going from Manhattan to Boston? Yup. Screaming kids? Dozens of them. Fellow passengers getting terminal motion sickness? You betcha. And of course, the coup de grace: getting stranded in Providence, RI, at 1am, because the driver on the overflow bus for the NYC->Prov->BOS run didn't think he had any passengers for Boston. How much does a cab from Providence to Boston cost at 1am? Rather a lot.

It was incredible motivation to actually get a real job, so I would never have to take the bus ever again.

Posted by Doctor Memory | July 20, 2007 4:14 PM
16

I did greyhound to Vancity once.

Never again.

Amtrak or rental car for ever more.

The bus ride back got stuck at customs at the border because some shit head street kid didn't have their paperwork, but because it was the last greyhound going through for the night (it was past midnight at this point), and the driver was a "nice guy" who fell for the dumbass' girlfriends pleas, we waited almost three hours for customs to decide to clear the dumb ass.

What the fuck?

Posted by seattle98104 | July 20, 2007 4:19 PM
17

I'll never ride the Greyhound again. Ever. Again. I took the Greyhound with my friend from Seattle to Prosser in what should've been a 3-4 hour trip. 12 hours later we arrived, and instead of taking the bus back a week later we opted to hitchhike back to Seattle in the snow... at a truck stop. That was the best decision I made that Christmas break.

Posted by Carollani | July 20, 2007 4:21 PM
18

I almost just shit my pants.

I love you, Adrian!

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 20, 2007 4:25 PM
19

Oh God, I don't even know where to begin.

My last trip from Seattle to Chicago had three major fights, all of whom where kicked off. One was tripping off of something, accusing someone of stabbing him in his sleep or something insane when the guy who was sitting next to him was doing nothing at all. They both got kicked off in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming in sub-zero temperature at 3 am.

Then there was this senile racist man from rural eastern CO who insisted on calling this black lady, who ironically just got out of prison, a "monkey" and "nigger". I thought she was going to kill him. Luckily for his sake he got kicked off the bus.

Then once I got stranded in Montana overnight in the middle of nowhere on Christmas Eve when the bus broke down. No heat, no power, and the door was stuck open. I thought we were going to freeze to death. It took ten hours for the next bus to get us. I had to huddle next to some ex-heroin junkie girl from Vancouver who was od-ing on methadone juice and running away from home to NYC just, so I wouldn't freeze to death.

I did meet one cute girl once from SF on her way to Omaha though. she was a physical trainer and we kept in contact afterwards, so that's the little silver lining compared to numerous hellacious stories.

I could share some worse stories, but I would take up too much space on this comment.

I hate flying, next time it's Amtrak.

Posted by dirt doggy | July 20, 2007 4:38 PM
20

what kind of guy lets their girlfriend ride the greyhound? I wouldn't let mine near one.

Posted by aarons | July 20, 2007 4:44 PM
21

Where's Mr. Garrison's "It" in our time of need?

"It still beats the airlines."

Posted by Original Andrew | July 20, 2007 4:52 PM
22

ah, the BUS, on the long haul

you never forget and tell the tales over and over

but if lucky, the long back seat is empty and you can lay out - or have sex - because all males get horny on the BUS - now tell the truth, every time I have been on Greyhound I had hand job and blow job sex, and once, fucking in the back row

the best personal encounter was a

Posted by Freddye | July 20, 2007 5:16 PM
23

Aww. See, I have memories of seeing those buses in the '70's and cooing "ooh, oggie!" And then being put on one from the gnarly Seattle Bus Terminal for the 5 1/2 hour ride to Grama's house in Brewster, WA. Coo...

Posted by gracynyc | July 20, 2007 5:27 PM
24

and you must never ride in the dog inwinter because a snowstorm could shut down the roads and get you stuck in davenport iowa and then they have to put you up in a hotel and you don't get your own room and have to share it with the amazingly gassy just got out of jail guy and you might possibly have to sleep in the same bed with him. and the bar is shut down so you have to walk in the midwest cold ass dead of winter to an inconvience store and all the liquor they have left is a six pack of champale. the just got out of jail guy will have some hash and you will smoke it.. but your lips will go numb and he will laugh at you and then pass out but not before crawling into bed fully clothed with his shoes on. and the tv only gets infomercial and only in black and white..
but if you do ride this bus you will never, ever, as god is our witness, ride the dog again

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | July 20, 2007 5:47 PM
25

Wow, sorry guys, guess I've been lucky...only had to wait a couple hours once for a new windsheild wiper...

Posted by Dianna | July 20, 2007 6:04 PM
26

Thanks, Adrian. Normally your posts are kind of schizo, but this one was just plain hilarious. Oh, the humanity.

Posted by Jamey | July 20, 2007 7:59 PM
27

Oh Adrian Darling - if it weren't for the fact that you're much too young and high-strung for me, I'd have you over to rub eau de cologne on your temples and give you a footbath.

Next time you want an adventure in ground transportation, take the train sweetie. Get yourself a nice little roomette or bedroom, and haul your ass down to the lounge car when you get all tense and nervous. Even if you ride coach, it's much classier and roomier than the bus. They kick trash off the train when they get too trashy.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | July 20, 2007 8:35 PM
28

Adrian, I feel your pain. I nearly pissed myself laughing while feeling your pain, but I do offer my condolences about your experience.

The first time I rode Greyhound, despite my efforts to keep my small duffel bag with me, because it contained basically everything I owned at the time, I was told I had to put it in the storage compartment.

I remember being the only who got off at the tiny town that was my stop. I went to right over to the storage part of the bus, thinking that the driver would disembark like he did for every other stop to allow people to get their bags.

The bus took off immediately. I actually ran down the road after it, waving my arms. I remember speaking with a Greyhound employee, begging them to please contact the bus, and giving them my contact information and the description of my bag.

I never got my bag back.

Another time I was on the Greyhound, I sat next to a fairly hyperactive person who claimed to be involved with the Salvation Army.

Although I tried to do every please-stop-talking-at-me trick in the book, I learned all about the history of the Salvation Army, that they really do consider themselves an army of god, that their main purpose is to convert everyone they possibly can, and I was treated to an excited description of the meaning and significance of their uniforms, et cetera et cetera.

I've since been unable to feel good about spending any money at a Salvation Army since then, although I had little choice after Greyhound ran off with all my clothes.

Posted by r | July 20, 2007 8:37 PM
29

So Bush meets this Marine who lost both his legs in Iraq and says \"Good Man, We\'re Gonna Get Him Some New Legs...\" Bush is the guy Dan Savage supported to start a war in Iraq. The Marine is the guy who is paying the price for Bush\'s stupidity and incompetence.

Excerpts below from Dan Savage\'s \"Say yes to war\" piece Oct. 2002

\"While the American left is content to see an Iraqi dictator terrorizing the Iraqi people, the Bushies in D.C. are not. \"We do not intend to put American lives at risk to replace one dictator with another,\" Dick Cheney recently told reporters. For those of you who were too busy making papier-m‚chť puppets of George W. Bush last week to read the papers, you may have missed this page-one statement in last Friday\'s New York Times: \"The White House is developing a detailed plan, modeled on the postwar occupation of Japan, to install an American-led military government in Iraq if the United States topples Saddam Hussein.\"\"

\"In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we\'re going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves\"

Posted by Fuckety, fuck, fuck, fuck | July 20, 2007 10:17 PM
30

@ 29 when will everyone just accept the obvious: dan is cia. he's a plant. a ghost. a ghost plant. his mission: via the stranger/savage love, skew and confuse and the the politics of the left. it was the most clever thing they came up with since using the simpson's to launch and fund fox propaganda network. it's obvious. it's true. and i swear on the holy stack of bibles to every word. but really, now, @ 29....now that we've got all that out in the open, can i ask? what the fuck does ANY of this have to do with fucking greyhound? WHAT? honestly, now. can we FOCUS here for two seconds, for fuck's sake?! what the hell's the matter with you!? we're talking about greyhound here. GREYHOUND!

Posted by adrian! | July 20, 2007 10:47 PM
31

HELL YEAH!!! What adrian! said...oh oh when does that new Simpsons movie come out again? looks pretty cool from the previews, and anyone know if there is going to be any coverage of how people celebrate the new Harry Potter? ohh ohh and Brittney stripped down to her frillies yesterday and went for a swim, that was kool!! oh yeah and Greyhound SUX!!!

Posted by hipsterlite | July 20, 2007 11:44 PM
32

Dude, I'm living back here in Iowa, I swear that dude is Mitt Romney.

Posted by MR | July 21, 2007 2:14 AM
33

July 19, 2007
Cpl. Brandon Craig, a 25-year-old Fort Lewis soldier from Earleville, Md., died Thursday when an improvised explosive device struck his vehicle in Husayniyah, Iraq.

October 2002
\"Say Yes To War\" Dan Savage

Posted by In other news | July 21, 2007 11:46 AM
34

good thing our federal & local s governments have let america's passenger rail service fall into decreptitude, huh?

buses fucking suck, whether they're local or long distance.

pray for peak oil - its the only thing that will revive rail.

Posted by maxsolomon | July 21, 2007 11:59 AM
35

Actually Maxsolomon, the passenger rails were much more decrepit in the late 60's,which is why we have Amtrak - Nixon-era corporate welfare at its best. It was cynically designed by the GOP and the big railroads to last a few years, "until the people who liked trains died off" - then succumb itself. As usual, the Republicans were wrong, and that didn't happen.

I admit to being old enough to have taken a Union Pacific local from Omaha to Columbus, Nebraska: two nasty old cars tacked on the back of a slow-moving freight. No personnel on the train, or at least not any who cared enough to protect my mom, sister and I from a weirdo who wanted to carry me around. We had to sit out that ride in the ladies room to avoid the perv.

Amtrak, for all its flaws, is at least somewhat consistent. And the local areas who have been enlightened enough to invest in rail (California, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, the New England region) have had very successful partnerships with Amtrak.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | July 21, 2007 10:37 PM
36

Adrian, I don't know anyone who *hasn't* been terrorized on the bus. My skin broke out every time I had to ride the bus between college and home. Before one of my acne-inducing departures, my father saw how afraid I was. He started to cry. A few months later, he gave me a car. WenG

Posted by WenG | July 22, 2007 3:00 PM
37

What I want to know is why there is always someone on the bus who feels compelled to do something that breaks the toilet. Every.Frigging.Time. Either they take a crap the size of a bull elephant's, and clog the thing so that it overflows out the door, down the little step, and down the bus' corridor, they let their idiot child flush a toy down it and clog it, they fill it with Kotexes and condoms, or someone simply takes a crap so inhumanly vile that the rest of the passengers would rather shit their pants than voluntarily enter that filthy gas chamber.

And all that is if you're fortunate enough to have a bus whose toilet is working in the FIRST place.

I've had all the crappers break down on a train, too, but they always get those fixed in an hour or two. On the bus, not so much...ever endure 5 hours without a stop on a busload of people who stuffed themselves with greasy food and beer at the last pitstop, several small children and old people with incontinence issues and an inadequate supply of diapers, and a broken crapper? It's an experience not to be missed. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by Geni | July 23, 2007 3:10 PM

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