Hey Bus Driver!

I’ve been hearing that a lot since I began driving a bus for Metro Transit here in Seattle. It started out as a way of supplementing my income from teaching, but since that wasn’t cutting it financially (for fans of the thought experiment: no, I was never busted for buying pot from a student), I recently went full time. Anyway, everyone keeps telling me to write down stories so I can publish a book some day, which of course puts me in stitches. I want to say, “Yeah, well, I’m actually trying out for the Mariners this spring, but if for some crazy reason that doesn’t work out – yeah, I’ll just go publish a book.”

But Korrektiv does give me an outlet, if not a forum, so maybe I’ll share a few stories here. It certainly fits the existential criterion well enough. Just try riding the #174 at 3:00am and you’ll see what I mean (if you actually do try riding the #174 at 3:00am, just remember not to look any of your fellow passengers in the eye too long). It’s also fun to come up with metaphors for “Life”. Here’s one I heard from a fellow driver the other day: “Driving a bus is just like Life: when you hit a bump in the road, just keep on going.” Unless that bump is an 80 year old Vietnamese man shaped like a question mark. In that case I’d recommend stopping.

That 80 year old Vietnamese man’s wife actually got on my bus the other day and paid me with an egg roll. She had a brown bag filled with egg rolls, so maybe it was her day to go shopping. I wish I knew Vietnamese so I could have learned more, but we did the best we could in English.

“I give you egg roll!”

“Fare is $1.75, m’am.”

“You take egg roll!”

“It’s 6:30am, m’am, I don’t…”

“Egg roll!”

“Yes m’am, thank you…” (putting out my hand, palm up, where she puts a warm, greasy egg roll)


I put the egg roll next to the emergency break, and gave her a transfer. Now if we could just collect 100 million egg rolls we’d be much better off.


  1. Rufus McCain says

    Great story, Quin. I laughed out loud. Maybe, indeed, your next book should be humorous tales from the bus. That might be your ticket (and transfer) to the big time.

  2. Yes, I think your best style is whimsical.

  3. Matthew Lickona says

    And you can hearken back to Tom Wolfe’s “on or off the bus” Merry Pranksters bit – you’re either on or off the bus, dude.

  4. Hey Quin– maybe I can add some of my ambulance driving stories to your bus stories–

  5. Once a forty-year-old Chinese woman got on my bus late one night and asked me what she should do now.

    “Go home,” I said.

  6. Why am I Ashley?


    Henri Young.

  7. ashley's husband says

    You are probably Ashley because she logged onto her Google account on your computer when we were at your house the other night and then neglected to sign out.

  8. Korrektiv introduces blogger Ashley Wilkes of the gentlemanly agrarian South.

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