There’s one on every bus, and about five at every station. And they all usually want to sit by you. The good news is that they are pretty normal and they will never do you any physical harm. The bad news is that they are too normal, at least for the Greyhound bus, and them telling you so throughout your whole trip will probably do you some emotional harm.
You see Mr. or Mrs. ‘I’m too good for Greyhound’ are mortified that they have to ride the Greyhound bus. They have a certain vision of where they should be in their life at their current age and sitting on the floor by the bathroom at a Greyhound bus station in Orlando, FL was nowhere in it.
So they pass the time during their trip (and try to soothe their wounded pride) by basically telling anyone within earshot how much better they are than everyone else and what horrible chain of events has transpired to force them to be lowered to the rank of being ‘Greyhound People’.
They usually start off by saying something like: “Well, normally, I always fly Delta but…..” Or: “These seats are so uncomfortable. Not at all like the ones on Amtrak.” Occasionally, they will ask you a question that they are secreting hoping you can’t answer. Like: “Is it just me or are the bathrooms at this station WAY smaller than the ones in the American Airlines VIP lounge at JFK.”
Anything to let you know that this is not their normal mode of travel. To convey the message that unlike mere mortals like you, who travel on Greyhound regularly, they have only descended from the heights of Mount Olympus for a short period of time, and solely due to circumstances totally beyond their control. On their next trip they will be back where they belonging, hobnobbing with the other pretty people in an Amtrak Roomette like fate intended.
Of course, the ‘circumstances beyond their control’ are usually totally within their control but they can’t accept this. So you will have the pleasure of hearing all about whatever unfortunate event transpired in their lives to make it to where all they had was $83.00 in the bank and therefore had to ride the Greyhound bus.
It usually has something to do with a divorce or breakup, problems with children, or the loss of a job (due, of course, to absolutely no fault of their own.) Or it can be a combination of all three depending on how well you pretend to listen. Once these people get on a roll, it’s hard to stop them from talking.
Throughout the trip, however, you may start to notice that for someone who claims to never ride Greyhound, Mr./Mrs. ‘Too Good’ are pretty familiar with the ways of Greyhound. They always have their tickets ready for the drivers. Their carry on bags fits perfectly in the overhead bin. Their checked bags weigh exactly 50 lbs. They bring extra quarters for the bus station vending machines. Some of them will even know some of the Greyhound employees by name.
But don’t let this familiarity fool you. It’s not due to the fact that they ride the bus at least once a month and have been doing so for the past year. No, it’s because they are seasoned travelers who just happen to know the ropes. At least that’s what they want you to believe. In all actuality it is because they ride the Greyhound bus at least once a month and have been doing it for the past year. They just can’t come to terms with the fact that they are ‘Greyhound people’. So they make up all these stories about other modes of travel that they rarely if ever use.
How do I know? Because the people who are truly riding Greyhound for the first time because of something beyond their control are far too scared to tell anyone about it.
You will find them sitting near the front of the bus, staring straight ahead making no eye contact whatsoever with anyone. Desperately praying that they can get this bus trip over and get back to the warm embrace of an airport with security and TSA agents, and clean bathrooms.
And you will find me sitting right next to them trying to strike up a casual conversation. I usually start off with: “Well normally I only fly Delta but….”
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