Saturday, September 21, 2013

You're Driving Me Crazy... The Bus Driver Diaries... Introduction

Too much... the magic bus!

This was another project I was just beginning to work on when my cousin presented
this blog idea to me.

I think it'll work here as well.

Lets face it
an entertaining read is just that...

And I'm pretty certain that some of these entries will cause a chuckle or two.
Well at least one chuckle.
Okay well I can guarantee at least the hint...
of a chuckle!

This entry is but an introduction to the idea.
I hope you guys enjoy them!

As always... your pal tommy

You're Driving Me Crazy

The Bus Driver Diaries


You just never really know where you're going to end up in life do you? Or what it is that becomes your primary source of income.

Like with me, I went from the U.S. Navy then right into the technology field. Where I was employed at a fantastic company for 16 years.

Had tons of technical hands-on training along with hours upon hours of classroom theory. Working on high-end datacom equipment that at the time was the backbone to this unbelievable thing we now know as the Internet.
Really neat stuff.

But then suddenly, that career was pulled out from under me by several company merges and well basically, when you get right down to it... corporate greed.

A year or so later I found myself here, on the banks of a brand new source of income. Which is sitting behind the wheel of a 45ft, 17 ton,
eight-wheeled menus of the roadways...
a bus.

At first I felt it was just out of necessity, and now, well believe it or not it's actually become
a pretty decent gig.

So yeah, then, I guess you could call me
Tommy the bus driver.

Not as lovable as Ralph Kramden mind you,
but then again who of us could ever be
as lovable as that, right?

The Honeymooners. Ralph Kramden Alice Trixie and Ed Norton

Now I've been doing this for over eight years at this point. Time flies doesn't it?

Dealing with the daily commuters and general public at large day in and day out 5 days a week. So you would think that I'd have tons of great stories to tell right?

Funny ones, serious ones, hell, anything!

But truth be told, I don't.
And yeah, I can't understand it myself.

Oh sure I've had my share of minor mishaps. Like closing the doors on people and such. But that's always come about because of their own lack of patience and flat out stupidity really.

Good grief. They always try to squeeze their way in through the closing doors
at the very last moment.

Now I ask you, is that the definition of impatience & stupidity or what?

I'll never forget the desperate mumblings emanating from the lopsided lips of this one would-be a-hole rider. As his face was being smooshed within the rubber-edged closing doors of my bus.

Oh, after I berated him for trying to squeeze in at the last second of course.

Caaan u peez oben da ooor naw?

What a fucking douche he was. Too funny.

I've also seen a handful of Johnny-come-lately's trip and fall while desperately running to flag me down. I do feel bad for them mind you,
if only for a second.

Because c'mon, you know as well as I do that watching someone fly head-over-heels is always a hilarious thing to witness. I mean coffee, briefcases, papers, shoes, everything goes flying through the air at one point or another.

And usually the only thing that ever gets hurt as a result is their slightly bruised ego. So it's guilt free laughter all the way my friends. Guilt free!

Listen to this one.

I had to actually stop the bus in the middle of the fuckin' Lincoln Tunnel to break up a fist fight between two women.

Can you believe that shit!?

My very first thought when the commotion finally caught my attention was that someone was trying to detonate a bomb or something

(This was less than 6 months post 9/11. And everyone is a bit on edge while riding through those fuckin' tunnels nowadays)

So I was literally ready to snap a neck and kill someone if need be I can tell you that much.

But no, it wasn't a terrorist at all trying to annihilate us. It was just two assholes fighting over how far the seat-back was reclined. Unbelievable right!?

Well once I realized that they were simply fighting over this bullshit and not trying to kill us all I just fuckin' lost it. Remember now, just a second ago I was actually contemplating the quickest way to take a life
in order to protect us all.

And as a result of that temporary transformation into John Rambo, I couldn't come down from that powerful adrenalin rush fast enough and I began cursing my head off at the them both.

F” bombs quickly overtook the thickening airspace of the coach.
Oh man it was too funny.

Well it's funny now, years later from in front of this stupid computer screen as I type away.
But back then... not so much!

I ordered one of them to go sit in the rear of the bus and then yelled at the other one to shut the fuck up and sit where she was. And these were grown women mind you. From a well-to-do neighborhood. Fuck me dude!

A handful of silly things such as that have happened over the years. Mostly just inadvertent verbal assaults heaved upon
the unsuspected riders really.
(Love that line, dont'choo!?)

Like this one time when I was pulling into a bus stop. I looked up into the mirror and noticed a woman who was awkwardly making her way down the center isle of the bus

preparing to disembark.

She was Asian.

So what's the big deal about that you ask?

Well under normal circumstances it wouldn't be an issue at all. But, since we're talkin' about Tommy Mondello here, it suddenly became one.

Ugh... listen to this disaster.

Now I have to preface this first by saying that I hadn't made any connection whatsoever about what I said and who she was... until... the fucking words were already outta my mouth.

(I fuckin' swear to whomever it is that you prey to I didn't make the connection! LoL)

Thus causing an explosion of red-faced laughter to erupt from the entire front half of the coach.

You see, as the bus was coming to a semi-rough stand still, I innocently... and sincerely
called out to her...

You're holdin' onto something right dear? We're comin' to the stop! We don't want you to fall and hurt yourself now do we?!
Use that Kung-Fu grip of yours!

Now ya gotta know that in my mind I was only thinking about one thing, and one thing only.

And that was of course
GI Joe with the kung fu grip.
(Remember him?)

Ya know, able to hold onto things such as a fucking bus handrail.
(Stop laughing you humps... LoL)

It had absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the fact that this chick just happened to be
of the Asian persuasion.

Well, I heard the laughter erupt immediately and then... it hit me, just what the fuck I had said. And who I had said it too.

I just told an Asian woman to use her fucking Kung-Fu grip to hold onto something for crying out loud. There wasn't a GI Joe in sight dude,
not a one!

Once it all hit me, within seconds I had rivers of laughter-driven tears barreling down both cheeks. As did half the fuckin' bus.
Am I an idiot or what!? YES!

But I was a lucky idiot though.

Because she was a very gracious, lovely lady who was also laughing herself. She knew I was only looking out for her safety. Albeit in a gross, Archie Bunker-like kinda way, but looking out for her best interest nonetheless.

But really that's about it. Some very silly, lighthearted encounters
and not much more than that.

Oh wait, I thought I had a dead body on board at one point. That would have been an interesting development to say the least right.

Nothing lighthearted about that.

He was as rigged as a steel girder and wouldn't wake for anything. But after the police and paramedic's finally rousted him from his overly stiffened, bum-like, drunken, drug induced near death slumber and got him to exit the bus,
I went right on with my duties.

So, almost a great story, but not quite.
My silly lighthearted record holds fast.

Probably one of the most ridiculous things to ever happen to me involving a “bus” so to speak didn't even occur while I was driving one. And I didn't even realize just how ironic it was until many many years after the fact.

You see, I recently came across the written test I had taken to acquire my CDL
(Commercial class 2 (B) Drivers License).

June 2, 1981 was the date atop the test.

Remember, this was way before the electronic age my friends. When they actually handed you a hard copy test to take at the Department of Motor Vehicles office. Unlike today where everything
is done on the computer.

I had gotten one question wrong out of the twenty asked. Not bad right? But of course the question I messed up on just happened to involve a fucking bus.

Can you believe that shit?
It was a bus question!

And I got it wrong.

I mean there were only 5 bus specific questions on the entire test and I got one of them wrong!

Too funny.

Tommy Mondello CDL drivers test class 2 (B) test June 1981 New York
There it is... look at that date... 1981!
Seems like a lifetime ago.
I got question # 5 wrong.
Nowadays everything is done on the computer, no more hard copy  : (

Well it took me some 24 years to finally put that CDL to use and begin my Ralph Kramden carreer. But here I am, literally sitting in the drivers seat and looking down at that one question I missed. Too funny!

So really, as you can see, my days of mayhem while behind the wheel have been very innocent and limited for the most part.

I mean one smooshed face, a fist fight, half dead dude and a Kung-Fu grip doesn't exactly ring out best seller now does it? Well maybe??

But, just because I haven't been lucky enough to been apart of, or witness to, the truly outrageously ridiculous behaviors and hilarious goings on of the riding public, doesn't mean that there haven't been other operators lucky enough to have been present
while the true mayhem unfolded.

I've heard a few of these crazy stories over the years, from the compelling, to the down right belly-laughable. And well,
I wanna hear sa'more damn it!

And so I've decided to compile some of that bedlam and craziness and begin to post it right here within the blog from time to time.

So buckle up, hold on tight, and don't even think about pushing that passenger
“stop signal” button.

Because this 17 ton diesel bitch is about to take off, and it ain’t stoppin' for nobody!

But please, please don't try any of this stuff you're about to read with your own vehicles, passengers, or with any other drivers

on the road.

Yes even that asshole who's been tailgating you for the last three miles.

Have no fear, one of us will most certainly be cutting that douche bag off for you

at any moment now.

You see, we cause more than enough chaos out there on the roadways as is. So just do yourselves a favor and put away

that middle finger.

Stop yelling your heads off out that rolled down window, and just be on your way! Believe me when I say, that we have the mayhem and chaos department completely covered and fully staffed out here on the roadways, thank you!

So without further ado,

lets find out why...

you're driving me crazy!

Click below to go directly to

Part 1

of the Bus Driver Diaries 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Great Divide

This life...

This muthafucking crazy,
wonderful, difficult,
interesting, boring,
magnificant, stressful,
and ever consuming life...
all comes down to 3 things!
Just 3.

And touching another's flesh!

That's it.

Everything else doesn't matter.
A lot of that other stuff is very nice to have, but not really necessary as long as you have
the big 3.

And that fact doesn't change just because you're in boot camp!


... our sister company! LoL

The Great Divide

My squad was a motley bunch indeed.

Our company flag was blue, with an over-sized number 42 embroidered on it. And I’m sure that after observing our military prowess, everyone on the base must’ve thought that the “42” was our collective IQ’s, instead of just
our company number.

We didn’t work too well as a unit. LoL

We sucked at marching,
the obstacle course was a disaster,
and pretty much anything we attempted
blew up in our faces.

The Navy set up a system within boot camp where each time your company performed a task better than everyone else, with speed and precision, they were presented a flag
with a large letter or symbol
that representing said task.

Similar to the Boy Scouts and the way they present the scouts with patches
for meritorious scouting.

The more flags that your company held, the more respect you received from the Petty Officers.

(Remember them? The assholes in charge!)

Also, the company that held the most flags always got to cut to the front
of the line for everything.

A top notch company with many flags unlike us
Well as you can guess... this ISN'T my company... LoL
We couldn't look like these guys even if our lives depended on it!
You can bet that these jerkoff's were way in front of us on ANY line!

If there was a line, they could go
to the front of it without waiting.

You know it must’ve been a cool feeling always stepping to the front of the line. But I would never get to experience that feeling though.

Why not, you ask?
Well, I’m gonna tell ya why.

Do you know how many flags
my company won during our stay?

Go ahead, and guess.


Just one.

You muthafucka you!

We collected one fucking flag besides the three others that they gave to every squad,
at the beginning of boot camp.

The one with our company IQ, oh oh, I mean company number on it. (42)

One with the letter "A" on it.
I forget what that stood for,
probably asshole.
Since we had to learn how to wipe our asses
with only 10 sheets of paper and all!
Remember that bullshit?!

And also, each company got to design
there own squadron logo flag as well.

So 3 out of the 4 flags we held were given to us! And thank goodness for that!

Tommy Mondello boot camp graduation company 42 Orlando Fla. 1981

Tommy Mondello boot camp graduation company 42 Orlando Fla. 1981
This is actually my unit at graduation in 1981.
I'm in there somewhere.
Do you see our pathedic 4 flags??
042... P... A... and our company logo flag.

So we never saw the front of any procession.

We were literally the last in line for everything!

But we really didn’t care all too much about that kind of stuff anyways. We were too busy tryin’ to get to know the girls in our sister company.

Fuck those stupid flags!

Who in their right mind would try to finish the obstacle course/Fit Trail as fast as they could when they ran the damn thing with the girls?

Tommy Mondello boot camp obstacle course company 42 slackers

Another company thats wants to be first in line instead of making out
That's some of the guys in my company in that first pic.
Yeah... we look like we're in a rush!!
That second pic is of another company. Obviously one with many flags.
I'm sure they've never been last in line for anything.
And I'll also bet'cha
that they never made out with a chick in boot camp either!!

I could just hear those other straight laced companies with all the flags
saying to one another...

Oh, we better not hide behind all those trees and heavy brush and make out with the girls. We have to finish in first place, so we can be in the front of the line for that crappy Navy chow
before anyone else!

You fucking assholes, you!

Not us, man!
We were lookin’ for those trees and bushes!
Not the fuckin' finish line!

C'mon dudes.
Keep in mind what was most important to us,
in company 42 that is.

Touchin’ some titties, and playin’ the jerk,
while shirking our duties,
avoiding all work!

A pretty simple standard to live by,
dont'cha think?

It didn’t always work out in our favor, but hey, I’d rather take a chance and try to cop a feel, then race to a finish line that offered nothing more than a little pride.

HA! Fuck pride!

I didn’t hav’ta prove nuthin’ to nobody but myself. And that’s pretty much how the rest
of the fella's felt as well.

Being in a company that really didn’t take this Navy stuff all too seriously meant that one; you would leave boot camp in top-notch shape.

Those pushups would be coming fast and furious as our lackadaisical work ethic surfaced.

Two, you would spend most of the day
waiting in line.

One flag does not a crack squadron make!

And three, everyone will probably get along just fine, as long as no one transformed into an asshole who needed to get that one foot perfectly in front of the other every time.

If we all adhered to these simple principles then all of the joking and pranks that went down would be rewarded with laughter and slaps on the back, and not with frowns,
or fists to the face!

Thank goodness the guys in my company could really take a joke, and weren’t looking to impress anyone. We had a lott’a laughs.

They had us learning all sorts of things.
Water survival, firefighting,
and even how to shoot a gun!

Can you pick me out of the gun safety class??
I'm the one idiot sleeping through the most important part of the safety lecture. LoL
Fourth from the left.
What a dickhead.

Tommy Mondello sleeping through gun safety course 1981 boot camp
There I am folks... 4th from the left.
Oh how nice, let me grab a snooze
instead of learning how to shoot a fucking gun properly... LoL

We never really excelled much or felt comfortable in any of those situations.
Well I didn't anyways.

But the one place that we truly felt at home
was in the classroom.

We were in class for a couple of hours each day learning who knows what. To tell you the truth, I can’t remember anything at all that went on in that stupid classroom, except hanky panky.

Our sister company was in the class with us animals. It was beautiful!

I couldn’t understand why the Navy let us share the same room as the girls. Didn’t they know what was bound to happen?

That was like slapping a hunk'a raw meat down next to a lion and saying no, you can’t have any.


That lion is gonna swallow that meat whole, and then he’s gonna chew you up next. And, you would deserve it for being so damn naive.

Anyway, by now anyone who was going to become an item between the two companies during boot camp had already done so.

And was well into all of the silliness that goes along with being an item. This made that first day of class simply the best.

At this point before our first class, we didn’t know that we would be sharing the same classroom with the girls.

You should’ve seen everyone’s eyes light up when they marched both companies
into the same room.

We just couldn’t believe what we were seeing. A gift from the gods, perhaps. Maybe a little reward for all of those pushups
we’ve been doing.

The only drawback was that they arranged the girls on one half of the room and the guys on the other. We weren’t all mixed together in a boy girl arrangement or anything.

All of the chairs were in the normal position as any other classroom setting, but it was just understood that the room was psychologically divided in two.

The left side was for the girls, and the right was reserved for us animals.

This was a divide that would have to be crossed and compromised by any means possible!

The seating arrangements on our side of town were nowhere near the way
we wanted them to be.

But that was about to change.

And change it did.

The first time our teacher left the room I confidently kicked the chair out from under me, stood up and barked...

Okay, no way am I fuckin’ sittin’ all the way over here in the corner away from my partner! Fuck this! Okay, this is what we’re gonna do.
((My partner Karen, in our sister company, was into of course. ))

It was as though Arthur Fonzarelli...
aka The Fonz walked off the set of Happy Days and into our little classroom!

Okay, you, out!
You move over here, and Robinson, you over here. You, out, that’s gonna be my seat!

And so on and so forth.

I was standing there, pointing fingers, directing traffic, and conducting the classroom transformation like the maestro at Carnegie Hall.

I had just re-arranged our destiny
for the next several weeks!

(((Imagine being THIS fuckin' cool!!
I only wish dude... I wish!)))

This went on for about three or four minutes. Then the teacher walked back into the room and didn’t even notice a thing. Or, at least didn’t care enough for an explanation to bring it up.

He was no dummy.
After all, he was a lion, just like us.
So, he knew what it was like for someone to place that meat next to them, and be told no!

He was a cool dude.

Standing ovation for
maestro Monzarelli! :)

Mission accomplished!

Now, the people who pulled any weight whatsoever had seats right on the boarder separating the two towns.

Truly, our great divide.

And, as we were in the process of rearranging our seats, the girls (just as horny!) picked up on what we were doing, and made sure
the pairing off of partners was completed.

Soon, we would be together at that great divide. Which once kept us apart,
but now helped bring us closer together.

Oooo... so dramatic huh. LoL

Now, for the next month or so, we were passing notes, holding hands, and playing footsy with one another. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever been involved with.

But, it was so great at the same time.

I felt like little Kevin Arnold from that show
The Wonder Years tryin’ to get
into Winnie’s pants!

And that’s what it all boiled down to.

Forget about the marching.

Fuck the flags!

Salute this, asshole!

Who cares how to tie a fucking knot
into a piece of fucking rope!

Was this gonna get me laid?

Fuck no!

I could only say that if it wasn’t for the sheer stupidity and downright not giving a shit attitude of the guys in my company, then I actually might’ve become one of those uptight assholes that I learned to despise so much!

Uummmm… nah, forget that!

No, I wouldn’t.
I just wouldn’t.
I couldn’t!

Could you picture me
being one of those assholes?

Me neither!


Ahoy muthafucka's!!!!