Tuesday, August 3, 2010

CTA Story: The $2 Dolla Rida

Man, oh man. This only happened two weeks ago but it’s already one of my favorite CTA stories to tell. This particular day was nothing close to normal as it actually happens to take place during the first day of my upcoming “The Worst Weekend of My Life, Part I” post, but this occurrence deserved a post of its own accord.

For roughly five weeks, I’d pick up my nephew from summer school, Tuesdays-Thursdays and a couple of Mondays. After him hanging at my house for a bit, he’d leave to his house on the bus, either with me or without me if I wasn’t going to stay at his house that day.

We were standing at the bus stop and making comments to each other whenever one started a conversation to stop talking because it’s too hot to talk or listen, and that happened every day we were together. (What? Summer in Chicago brings out the worst in us, ‘specially during heat waves and when the CTA buses decide to run late.)

What appeared to be normal was a woman with her two children waiting for the bus along with us and they were hot from the blazing sun. She kept looking at me, and I’d look back whenever I had that feeling that I was being watched. From what I could tell, she was in her early twenties to mid-twenties.

The bus finally came rolling along and stopped to pick us up at our stop. My nephew got on first, and then I allowed the woman and her two children to get on before me as I always do. What happened next made me A) seriously give that look of astonishment and B) wish I had gotten on before her.

The lady paid only $2 and had the nerve to tell the bus driver while holding up a third dollar bill that she didn’t have a quarter to complete her fare. The bus driver looked at her from head to toe, then toe to head and told her that she also had to pay for one of her children that was over the age of seven. She then quickly inserted the last dollar into the fare box, told the bus driver, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Okay, but I don’t have more money so I’m gonna go sit down,” and she did just that.

That’s when my jaw dropped and I looked at her up and down. She was definitely attractive and well dressed for someone that didn’t have money. I was seriously just flabbergasted. There isn’t much out there that leaves me speechless, and this definitely just did it. What sealed the deal and made me shake my head was the fact that the bus driver just shrugged it off.

And you must also know that it’s serious business when I tweet about it.

I don’t know, people really get me when they think they deserve special treatment, especially when it comes to not paying the full fare on the CTA for their self and their children.

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