In July of last year, Cathy, Evan and I traveled to Washington D.C. for the 4th of July. Our adventure began and ended on the Megabus which was chronicled as a series of posts on Reality Me. Now you can read those posts in order in one place.
Notes to megabus passengers
Notes for megabus passengers: morning arrivals require sunscreen and Tilley hats, both left at house.
First Megabus ride
Megabus adventure thus far. Bus was already pretty full when arrived in Knoxville presumably from Atlanta. We were very fortunate to actual find 3 seats near one another. Bus is relatively comfortable if you don’t mind “warm” and “friendly.” The older lady with the neck brace has reclined her seat into my lap which is nice in that “this provides a sense of security like the safety bar on a roller coaster. The low rumble of road noise and blowing of something they toy with referring to as air conditioning has me wishing I had purchased the Parrot Zik noise canceling headphones. For some reason I can’t get the pressure equalized so my jaw is tiring from trying to pop my ears. Evan is thrilled and so am I. Cathy looks happy. The crowd is very subdued. The bus appears maintained with the exception of a blatant problem with the windscreen. (See picture) Not sure if that growing smell of sweaty person is odeur o’ Doug’s failing deodorant or my traveling companion. In an attempt to keep the bus a constant “warm” I am certain the driver is recirculating the air. I don’t know Washington D.C.’s pollution index (insert mandatory congress joke here) but I am quite looking forward to inhaling it deeply.
Would I ride the Megabus again? I can guarantee I will make one more trip.
All my life I’ve been amused with Virginia’s road signs “speed limit enforced by aircraft”. It’s one of those signs which makes me wish I were a cartoonist or animator. Instead I’ll have to stick to written word. I think the signs should be appended to read “speed limit enforced by aircraft…because if our plane can catch you then you were really flying !”
30 minute lunch break complete. Now the bus smells like warm sweaty bodies AND grease.
We seem to be making great progress. We’ve only got another…6 hours?! Forget Guantanamo. They should have just driven the detainees around the country on the Megabus. Shoot, I’ll talk!
To contend with the ordeal, children have been subdued with movies and video games. Passengers hide from the misery by trying to awkwardly sleep double-overed upon one another in odd pretzel formations using the other body as a contrived mattress or simply leaning back and accepting the reclined seat in front of them as some peculiar top sheet.
A mutiny has occurred and the driver has been ejected from the bus.
A passenger from London thinks she can drive the bus since it’s a doubledecker. We pull out with cheers all around. The oncoming traffic is quick to get out of the way.
We’ve gone down a deadend road and now sit in the back parking lot of a run down motel. Insert obligatory hooker joke here.
“Mom, I’m crowded.”
Our new driver made it known that the downstairs passengers have comfortable climate control while the upstairs passengers sweat. As night befalls us, the downstairs passengers will lose light and electronics while the upstairs parties on. Ignorance is bliss. The bus grumbles. We have become fractured into the haves and the have nots. A battle for limited resources looms.
Hipster water bottle
The problem with voicing the question, “Good God what’s that smell?!” Is that you may not want to hear the answer.
Passengers have begun to realize that dinner is not being served on this flight. I cannot recall the last time the stewardess walked down the aisle. Rations are running low. The poker players in the back of the upper deck now wager with pretzels, potato chip crumbs, half empty water bottles, and those hard candies granny brought but no one wants. The upper faction has elected leaders who now sit in the front seats with the great view. Congress is in session debating war. The lower faction, now a dictatorship led by the bus driver with the really accurate watch, has realized that they control the bathroom. The poker players are pleased knowing the intrinsic value of their half empty chits increases with every passing minute and every sip. Tension is high. Stomachs empty. Bladders full.
The clans agreed to meet. A tentative truce had been worked out via couriers. The plan was to allow the Lowers shared time in an Uppers seat for light and tech withdrawal therapy while the Upper was granted time in the bathroom. All looked well until the tribal councils attempted a meeting on the stairs only to find a drunkard had declared himself a lone state and would not allow anyone to pass without correctly answering three questions to which he promised a wrong answer would have you ejected from the roaming realm. With the degrading conditions physically and politically, the patron saint of steering elected to pray to his deity Dispatch for guidance and a holy grail glowed thusly betwix a sacred McDonald’s and, for those read a similar albeit somewhat but not quite different book, a 7 Eleven (now open 24 hrs). The Patron Saint of Steering declared the respite for air, bio breaks, and cooling down to be exactly 30 minutes and not a minute longer. The Uppers, forgetting the patron saint had previously been the leading dictator of the Lowers, enthusiastically rushed into their respective churches of convenience. And promptly 15 minutes later, the bus left.
What’s it like on the upper deck of a Megabus with no a/c in a rain storm? Remember the Santa Maria…
The natives were satiated by the impromptu stop. Peace found between the clans. Giddiness resuscitated as a rail line appeared simultaneously indicating our close proximity to the promised land as well as an alternative yet perhaps only slightly less hellish means of transport.
Mild skirmishes threaten to erupt as Lower and Upper pushed to rapidly exit the now mobile roaming realm bringing back ancestral memories of our youthful days and fights during the Great Eternal Drive. But as the rush of cool, exhaust filled, urine tainted, dead rat stinking air inflated our withered lungs, love grew again between the clans for we survived The Ordeal.
Luggage retrieved, I turn to my wife, “We should try an Uber!”
And now the Megabus journey is complete