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