So then…my sister glares at the stranger with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns, telepathically conveying, “Someone’s getting’ thrown from this bus – and it ain’t gonna be me, buddy!”
Let me back up.
My darling sister Dawn is visiting me in New York City for the first time, along with her husband.
We’re all in our 20’s and I’m so excited to show off the city I’ve called home a couple years now.
I take them to:
Fabulous Broadway shows!
Cool dance clubs!
And world-renowned landmarks!
And for ever after, when people ask her about her first trip to Manhattan, does she share those wondrous sights, sounds, and experiences?
She shares this story:
Dawn, her husband, and I take the subway from midtown Manhattan all the way downtown to Battery Park for a huge 4th of July festival.
All day and night, New Yorkers make their way down to the harbor to see the ships and fireworks.
It’s a blast!
But then the event’s over. And all those hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers want to go home UPTOWN right now.
Like RIGHT NOW.
Naturally the mass transit system can’t handle ALL of us at once, so we walk in big massive sweaty throngs from subway entrance to subway entrance, hoping to find one that’s open. But they’re all packed from overcrowding.
Finding a taxi is laughable and traffic ain’t moving anyway.
We consider waiting it out, but late night in Battery Park’s a bit sketchy.
The crack ho’s and meth heads are puzzled why their ‘hood’s mobbed with anxious Uptown preppies. “Get out the way, preppies. You’re harshing our mellow.”
So we trudge onward, desperate for any mode of transportation.
FINALLY we see a bus. It is full. We board anyway.
Every inch of space is taken with tired cranky people in various degrees of inebriation.
In the mayhem, the three of us are separated as we stand in the aisle squeezed amongst tons of other people.
As the bus inches its way uptown, we hear some murmuring, annoyed tsking, and a couple “Hey!s” from the right side of the bus.
My sister’s on that side of the bus — but her husband’s in the back and I’m on the far left, so we can’t really see what’s happening.
We find out later from my sister that there’s a man who is…how do I say…slightly tipsy? intoxicated? – ok, SMASHED OUT OF HIS EVER-LIVIN’ MIND!
Apparently, this big tall guy decides to lean into the women standing next to him – and I mean LEEEEEAN into them.
He wants to share his Rocket Pocket and NO ONE is buying. As soon as he leans his pelvicular area into some girl or woman, they push him away, but he just gets gropey elsewhere.
Passengers complain to the bus driver, who says, “I’m not allowed to leave my seat – can someone back there help out!?”
Lots of mumbling, but no action.
Bus keeps moving; the drunk guy keeps leaning his Joy Junk into the women near him. People are telling him to cut it out but he just shouts belligerently. He’s bobbing and swaying – and lunges in my direction.
My sister Dawn – my sweet petite darling sister who wouldn’t hurt a fly says, “That’s it, buddy, you’re OUTTA here!”
He laughs. She shouts, “Off the bus!” He turns away. She calls to the driver, “Stop the bus! This guy’s gettin’ off.”
The guy curses and moves away from her, squeezing into the crowd in front of him.
MY SISTER FOLLOWS HIM.
She keeps telling him, “Off the bus. Off the bus, buddy.”
He resists. She follows and starts tapping him on the shoulder! He’s at least a foot taller than her! It’s like David poking Goliath.
She’s nudging him toward the exit. He resists and curses.
Her husband and I are in shock – we’re separated from her by about 30 people in each direction. We can’t even reach her to help her!
She keeps prodding him closer and closer to the exit. People try to squeeze out of the way to give them a tiny path to stumble through.
Now he’s in that little step well next to the doors, but hanging on for dear life. He does NOT want to exit the bus.
The driver stops the bus and pushes the door’s auto-open button. My sister keeps nudging the guy, pushing him politely but firmly in the back, saying, “You need to get off the bus now, go home – go home, guy” – and finally shoves him out the door!
THE BUS ERUPTS INTO HUGE CHEERS!
The driver quickly pushes the auto-close button, drives up a couple blocks, stops the bus, stands up and says,
“Men! You oughta be ashamed of yourselves! I legally can’t leave my seat or lay hands on any passenger! I can’t believe you let that tiny little girl throw that drunk pervert off the bus! You should’ve helped her!” Then he turns to my sister and says, “Good job, young lady. I thank you – we all do!”
And the bus claps and cheers for my sister again – and all the men look a bit sheepish – and honestly, the ones who were close enough to that section of the bus could have helped a bit –
But hey, hell hath no fury like my sister when someone’s shoving their unwelcome boy toy willy-nilly into a crowd!
And ya know what? That’s a helluva better First-Trip-to-New-York story than some dusty ol’ museum recap!
Go Dawn! Girl Power for the Win!
— Darcy Perdu
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(Do you agree the stories of what went wrong are often more memorable than what went right? Any tales of bravery to share?)