Sunday, December 28, 2008

How I got busted riding UTA* in SLC**

OR How my blond hair saved me.

*UTA Utah Transit Authority
**SLC Salt Lake City

Some might argue that my blond hair got me into the pickle in the first place. Meaning Blond = Airhead. I'll be the first to admit that what I did was pretty silly. I'll take responsibility but there were some factors working against me, i.e. snow lots of snow.

Here is how it happened:

It was a dark and stormy night and it was 5:45 pm. I had 13 minutes to get to the U for a dress rehearsal. We live one mile away from the U so any NORMAL day I would have been right on schedule. I would have had:
2 minutes to look for my keys
5 minutes to drive
5 minutes to park and walk
2+5+5=12 + 1 Bonus minute to spare!

But like I said it was a dark and stormy night and in snow all elements of the commute double in length. I convinced Spencer to drop me off thinking I could save time by eliminating parking. We slid out of the drive way and halfway across the street. Our car inched along. I think it was the thought of the steep hills that lay between us and our destination that prompted Spencer to say "We should just put you on that bus behind us. It goes strait to the U"

Thirty seconds later I was getting out of our Focus hailing the bus driver and stepping onto the bus. I only had time for a quick briefing from Spencer on how to scan his free bus card on the newfangled card reader system. This was new to me.

As I entered the bus I tried to look nonchalant like I knew what I was doing. This façade lasted 2 seconds: the time it took me to enter the bus, walk past the card reader and jam my card into the dollar bill acceptor. Wait, something is wrong! I grabbed the card just before it got sucked into the machine and held it down to keep it from advancing.

“Ooops” I said to the driver. “I think I put my card in the wrong place”

“What did you do?” asked the driver, an 80 year old white haired man.

“I accidentally stuck my card in the bill acceptor instead of scanning it. I guess I just got confused.” I tried to act like this was no big deal and ANYONE could have done it. He didn’t buy it.

“I never seen anyone do that before.” he said looking at me like I was the dumbest woman he had ever seen, blonds included. This says a lot considering the normal UTA clientèle.

Meanwhile Spencer had circled back around in the car. Looking into the bus windows he saw me standing in the front of the bus with the driver obviously involved in some kind of commotion. I knew he was worried. He thought that our little scam had been busted and the driver was taking away his card and maybe writing me a UTA abuse ticket or WORSE!. I couldn’t even wave to him as my hands were occupied trying to keep the card from being sucked down the dollar bill acceptor. I made huge sweeping motions with my head trying to convey to Spencer that he should keep driving. The bus driver looked at me strangely and said “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine.” I shot back “I just need to get my card. Can you help me?”

The machine thought the card was a dollar and was trying to suck it inside to scan. I couldn't get my fingers underneath the card to pull it without risking having it disappear forever inside.

Fortunately this bus driver carries a knife. He whipped out the knife and warning me to keep my fingers clear he slid the blade under the card allowing me enough space to lift up a corner and get my fingers under far enough to pull my card free.

Whew! Saved!

Once I had the fully in tacked card in my hand I casually reached over to the scanner and slid it across. Easy as pie. I decided to revert back to my casual nonchalant state and took a seat. I could tell from the looks the people in the bus that they also believed I was the dumbest person they had ever seen. My attempt to look cool act had totally backfired. Luckily no one bothered talking to me.

We continued onward through the snow. I estimate that my card jamming error took about 7 minutes. Then another 10 to the U and 3 to walk in. I ended up being 5 minutes late for the dress rehearsal. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!


Julie said...

Hilarious! Nice to know I'm not the only blonde out there.

Evenstar said...

Another reason to hate buses. Oh well, at least you survived the experience.

Kate said...

Joanie you are so silly!

Angela said...

That is really funny.

Gotta love UTA buses...sigh.

Sugarsmax said...

But are you really a blond? only your hairdresser knows for sure.

Aly Goalen said...

That's hilarious. You're a good writer Joanie.

Ramanda said...

I love your blog and the way you write! So hilarious!

Cydne said...

I know this is (again) two years after the fact, but OH my gosh I SO could have done this!