When is it OK to run in front of a moving bus?

Well, unless you hear your actions being narrated in real-time, you have a mystery woman composing your life’s-script on an old fashioned black typewriter and a child really does step in front of a bus and you could save them, the answer is: NEVER.

Yesterday, I was taking my usual commuter bus ride home from work in DC when a man ran, I mean he really ran, alongside and nearly in front of the bus.

While it’s common place for people to try to  flag a bus down and run to catch the bus before it leaves a stop, I can’t recall a time when I saw someone run along side the bus and nearly in front of it to grab the driver’s attention.

There were gasps and yells of non-distinct half words as people saw him. Then the bus driver saw him, slammed on his breaks and looked at the man outside.

The man was dressed in DC business casual attire, he had no visible marks or distinctive characteristics to him (other than he ran along the bus) to indicate he was loopy. No, he just wasn’t going to let the bus leave without him.

“There has to be some sanctity of life,” the man sitting next to me said. Thinking he was referring to the bus driver who should have been more watchful, I nodded. My seatmate continued, “I mean you can’t just run around a bus like that,” he said.

I nodded as if I’d understood my seat-mate all along. “Once you pass 24, you’re too old to be taking stupid chances like that,” I said, ignoring the nagging memories of many a reckless act I’d made  in recent years. He nodded.

The bus driver harrumphed and motioned for the “bus runner” to cross to the other side of the road. He indicated that the bus would pick the runner up at the curb where we swung back around. The bus did just that.

To my surprise, when we picked him up a few seconds later, the “bus runner” didn’t look the least bit ashamed of his daredevil act. Either he has an inflated ego, a missing sense of self preservation, or he really, really had to pee.

On a side note, I wish people would stop grumbling on the metro when it takes an hour to make a 20 minutes trip? Haven’t you silly people listened to the news, read the WMATA alerts or noticed that it’s all messed up? I want to get home just as much as you do.  So, suck it up and stop blowing hot air on the back of my neck every time the conductor gets on the intercom to explain the delay.