Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get Off the Bus

While questions remain about just what behavior by the Occupy Wall Street whiners caused the Greyhound bus driver to evict them, his reprimand speaks volumes.

“Sit down and shut up!”

This “sit down” part of his order indicates that the passengers were standing, which is patently illegal to do while a bus is in motion.  Standing passengers pose a danger to themselves and the other passengers.  The bus company doesn’t want a lawsuit and neither do law enforcement authorities or insurance companies.  You may be a member of the “99 percent” and feel entitled to your right to free speech, but when you’re on a moving bus, you do have to sit down.

You don’t have to shut up, unless you’re making a screeching racket that disturbs the other passengers or distracts the driver from his job of driving.  Apparently, there were only 14 passengers on this bus en route from Amarillo, Texas to Washington, D.C., where the Occupy Wall Street protestors were travelling to sing “99 Percent of Whiners on the Wall, etc..  (You kick one out and continue to pout, 99 Percent of Whiners on the Wall!).

“99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” has been the bane of bus drivers since buses were invented.  Bus drivers are obliged to endure this teeth-grinding song.  My mother endured all sorts of nonsense on her bus during her 28-year career as a bus driver.  “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”  “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round.”  Illegal immigrants trying to cross the Canadian border on her bus (she kicked them off on the Canadian side).  Drunken passengers.  Passengers having heart attacks (she drove one directly to the hospital).  Foul-mouthed teenagers (her potty-mouted sales letter speech is a classic in our family).  Seniors battling over the front seat.  Snowstorms.  Ice storms.  Tire blow-outs.  Brake failures (one in a snowstorm, coming down a mountain).  High school athletes and class trip passengers who left her bus a mess (once, she drove the bus back to the school and swept out the garbage in front of the school).  Dope-smoking passengers (she stopped the bus, opened all the window and told them the stuff was affecting her driving; if they didn’t cease and desist, she’d radio for the police).  Punks throwing a rock through her window and blinding one of her passengers.

Mom would have told them to sit down, definitely.  She’d give them three chances to stay in their seats, then, having given her the opportunity to speak her mind, she’d tell the passengers off.  She’d probably rather they got off voluntarily than kicked them off.   Besides, she’d enjoy giving them a piece of her mind about their politics.  Mom’s bus speeches inevitably brought silence.  That would have taken care of both problems on the Greyhound bus:  the protestors illegally standing up and espousing their communist views.

That was Mom’s way of getting passengers to sit down and shut up:  standing up and telling them off.  Feel free to get off the bus at anytime.


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