Today some lady sits nearby and angrily dials her cell phone, muttering that she's had enough, by God, and TriMet's gonna hear from her. I stare at my knitting and listen, wondering what's bugging her about the bus. A rude driver? A late bus? Scary fellow passengers?
It turns out the be that last one. She's had it, she tells the TriMet employee on the line. The bus is just getting too dangerous to ride. Her fellow passengers are torturing her, and she's afraid.
What are they doing? She'll tell you what they're doing -- they're pointing devices at her that cause her great pain.
"I just don't understand it," she sputters into the phone. "I mean, we are not third-graders! Why are they acting like this?"
Do third-graders normally use torture devices? I wonder, knitting faster. I always knew kids were evil.
"I just don't understand how they get away with it," the lady says. God only knows how the hapless TriMet employee responds, because the lady gets more agitated. "No, I can't describe the devices! If I knew what they looked like, I wouldn't sit near them!"
Exactly what kind of training do the TriMet phone people get? I wonder. Are they trained to deal with this? How much would you have to pay me to deal with this? I can't count that high.
The TriMet person, to his or her everlasting credit, does not try to dissuade the lady from her delusion -- she works with her. "Well, I've tried telling them to stop!" the lady cries. "Why do you think I'm calling you? I've exhausted all my other options! Why are they getting away with this? We are not third-graders!"
WTF is it with third-graders? I wonder. If you wanted to fixate on evil kids, wouldn't you pick seventh-graders?
Even I know middle-schoolers aren't human, for Chrissakes. If she doesn't know what the devices look like, will she see me and think they look like knitting needles? Could I use my needles to defend myself? What if I have to stab her? Will blood come out of this yarn?
Mercifully, I never find out, because Crazy Lady leaves the bus, still complaining bitterly to the TriMet worker, who you gotta figure is frantically signaling his coworkers for help by now.
This is why I don't answer the phone at work. And lately, I avoid third-graders, too.