KNOCKOUT KINGS ON THE Q32

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A journey through the bowels of the NYC transit system would not be complete without a trip on our vaunted Bus service. The Bus system in NYC is a whole other world complete with it’s own sets and real life plays.
I can quickly recall watching a driver allow a man who was so inebriated that his face was green climb onto a bus that was all ready packed like a can of sardines. The man had a ratty paper bag and was spilling beer on us. Thirty seconds in and he mumbled something about bad eggs and then blessed a man in a suit on his way to the airport with a lap full of fresh vomit. He then seemed quite relieved and left the Bus after only two stops leaving the man in the suit to have a complete physical, spiritual, and mental breakdown all at once. Five stops later I got off the Bus with an old woman who told me “I feel like I just got beaten up.”
Then there was that time when the on coming threat of a Hurricane shut the subway down and EVERYBODY went to the bus. I was packed in TIGHT. Not sure how I survived that 2 hour trip uptown. S’ok..I had survived the transit strike, the blackout and 9/11. I had the chops for that one.
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My best Bus drama however took place on the Q32 where I would travel daily from East Elmhurst to Jackson Heights so I could transfer to the Subway. I caught the train on a late afternoon as the sun was descending. The Vampires and Zombies were starting to stir in all the creaks and crevices of the shadowy streets. Everything seemed OK until a man sitting right up front started rocking back and forth. Never a good sign. It usually means somebody is close to popping his cork. Case in point.

The vagrant, I’ll call him Rocky, decided to start confronting the driver on a problem that didn’t exist. His wearing a full winter coat in the summer heat did not bode well either. He started cursing and making vague threats. Eventually he decided to get up and start waving his arms near the driver and escalate his accusations declaring that some kind of street justice was in order. The driver responded:

” SIR. I’M GOING TO NEED YOU TO RETURN TO YOUR SEAT. THE BUS IS IN MOTION.”

You can’t be any more clear than that. Step back and chill the freak out. Several of us became very concerned as we were moving about 30 miles per hour. Some teenage girl was playing Tetris on her phone near me oblivious as hell.

Rocky was NOT backing down and leaned in real close to the driver by the back of his neck. He started telling him that he was going to beat him down and “break his legs”. The driver now became visibly quite agitated and restated the reality of the situation.

“SIR. PLEASE STEP BACK OR I WILL BE FORCED TO RESPOND. TRUST ME. YOU DON’T WANT THAT SIR.”

“F*** you. You ain’t gonna do SHIT to me. What the f*** you gonna do? You’re driving the bus!”

What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion, it was so beautiful.

With his left hand on the steering wheel the driver stood up and pushed Rocky backwards off balance. Then the driver pulled back his right arm quickly and made a tight fist. His arm Snapped back like it was on a tight spring. With great force and precision his fist flew forward.

BAM.

Rocky stumbled back and fell into his seat unconscious. The driver had scored a direct hit and knockout in the first round! Control of the bus was quickly regained as we pulled over so that the driver could then finish his job completely. The driver then told Rocky in no uncertain terms:

“WAKE THE F*** UP. I TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU F(*(^ WITH ME. LOOK AT YOU NOW BITCH. GET THE F^%* OF MY BUS.”

Rocky was then hoisted up and thrown down the bus stairs into the street below. He was awake but unable to respond in any other way than to get tossed.

As the driver closed the door I’ll never forget what he told Rocky.

“Get in front of the bus so I can run your ass over.”

As we pulled out the Bus broke into spontaneous applause. I don’t have any issue with people that are out there like that. I do have an issue with somebody trying to crash the bus I’m riding in however.

Not today. Today it was Knockout Kings on the Q32.

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