To cleanse your palette after reading our "True Tales of TriMet Terror," we turned to independent reporter Michael Andersen, who prints stories from TriMet every month in his car-free friendly newsmagazine Portland Afoot. Here are two of his favorites from recent issues:
DAN, TRIMET DRIVER, #85
My very favorite of all time is the Swan Island industrial area. About two years ago, we had these really hot days. The bus is already loaded with dockworkers and then the MAX broke down. So this MAX unloads and tries to get in my bus. These guys with shirts and jackets file on, sweating.
They start bitching, because of course there's no air conditioning.
And then all of a sudden this one guy who works at the shipping yard stands up.
He says, "SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU PEOPLE WORK IN OFFICES ALL DAY. HE'S THE BEST DRIVER WE HAVE. QUIT YOUR BITCHIN'."
And all the other Swan Island workers are like, "Yeah! Shut up!"
The next day I'm [driving] the #85 again, and I hit a skunk. There was a skunk on Swan Island! Where did they get a skunk? And I called in and I said: "I need another bus."
The moment my new bus came around the corner and I saw the model, I was like, Awaaaay we go.
I'd finagled a bus with air conditioning. I drive down and I get to the same dock shift from yesterday. I pull up and open the door and I'm like, "All up, boys!" And they all walk into the nice cool bus.
DICK, RIDER, #70
There was this woman sitting right across from the bus driver, crying. I don't know how long they'd been carrying on.
And the driver says, "After your husband left, did he ever try to get in contact with you again?" So calm, so supportive.
I'm thinking, "God, this woman's getting therapy for the price of a bus ticket."
And in the middle of this conversation, the bus stops and this guy who's about 6'4", huge, had to be over 250 pounds, comes up with kind of a Frankenstein step.
He just said, "My legs aren't working right."
So the bus driver says, "I'll kneel the bus."
And he says, "No. I've got to do this on my own."
The bus driver was so patient. For all I know, she may be a clinical therapist by now.
So he lumbers in and takes the opposite seat from the woman getting the therapy. And the therapy goes on with the three of them!
Then this guy gets on with a baby on his back and a pet carrier. And he sits and they all start talking. The woman says, "Nice dog!"
And he says, "That's not a dog. That's a pet monkey."
And she's like, "Yeah!"
The expression on his face was, "Why would you assume it's a dog?"