Enough sweet talk already…REALLY???


By Kenneth Justice

Oh baby, I want kiss your lips, and I would wish you be on bus with me and we cuddle all night” he said

~ This past weekend I traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota on the latest leg of my Drinking in the Culture Tour, my excuse to get away from the daily grind and experience coffee house culture all around the Western World.

After being on eight different planes in the past month or so I decided to mix things up and take the Greyhound Bus out of Chicago. I haven’t actually been on a long-term bus ride since a trip I made to Ireland many years ago and I thought it might be fun to experience a form of travel that I wasn’t very familiar with……and it was interesting to say the least.

Shortly after leaving the bus station the State Police pulled over the bus driver, I was sitting in the front row so I had a bird’s eye view of the entire exchange.

Sir, do you know why we pulled you over” the short state police officer asked

Uh, not at all officer, I was going five miles under the speed limit” the bus driver said. He was clearly annoyed as he didn’t believe he had been doing anything wrong.

The officer was well dressed and I could tell he was one of those stick-in-the-mud types, maybe I’m wrong but I swear he was on some type of power trip, “You weren’t speeding, but you were driving to close behind that blue van” the trooper said

There was no blue van officer, there was a silver van, but no blue van” said the bus driver, he was now starting to get worked up.

Regardless of the color, I wanna see your license” said the officer

As the bus driver handed the state trooper the paper work, the trooper began to step off the bus but suddenly turned around, “While I enter your license in the computer, you wouldn’t mind if my partner walked around the bus would you?

The bus driver hesitated for a moment and then said, “Of course not, I’ve got nothing to hide”

The next thing I know the second officer is walking around the bus with a flashlight and checking through the bags in the overhead compartment and giving all the passengers the evil eye. After about 5 minutes of that, the first officer returns and says everything is fine, but they’d like to check the luggage bins outside of the bus. As I looked out the window I noticed a police dog; the kind they use to sniff for drugs. So that was what this was all about; the cops were doing a random drug stop, checking to see if any passengers on the bus had brought drugs aboard, most likely they were trying to catch a whiff of marijuana.

Eventually, after the cops couldn’t find anything they let us go; the bus driver was never given a ticket because presumably, he had never done anything wrong.

Because I don’t do drugs, that kind of thing doesn’t really bother me, but it was VERY strange to be in the United States and to be the subject of a random drug search; I’ve had that happen to me in Latin America but never in the U.S…….and it caused me to wonder what is happening to our country.

On my return trip to Chicago the older gentleman sitting behind me was on the phone with his girlfriend. He spoke very broken English, and because the volume on his speaker was pumped up to the highest decibel it wasobvious that his girlfriend only spoke English, the conversation sounded like something out of a Borat film,

Oh, you beautiful woman. Me so glad to be coming see you. I wish to kiss you lips all day forever” the man would say repeatedly.

I’m not making fun of the man’s grammar, not at all. His English is far better than my Spanish and if you were to overhear me trying to carry on a conversation when I’m in Latin America I’m sure I sound pretty pathetic. But it was fascinating (albeit a little annoying) to hear a man of nearly 60 years old, so enthralled with this woman he had only recently met (yea, after they talked for an hour I pretty much couldn’t help but figure out their entire romantic history).

Sure, listening to lovers spell out their silly little romantic idioms to each other can be extremely frustrating to the innocent bystander like myself, but on the other hand I thought to myself; I hope that when I’m older I don’t become so jaded that I forget what it’s like to feel the same kind of emotions I did when I was younger. I had been searching for my ear phones for the better part of an hour and I can’t tell you how joyous I was to have eventually found them in my jacket pocket of all places; I soon drowned out the sound of Mr. Foreigner in love to the sounds of Nirvana blaring Smells Like Teen Spirit, and soon I was fast asleep.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,



Categories: Culture & Society

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

71 replies

  1. Interesting story. “I hope that when I’m older I don’t become so jaded that I forget what it’s like to feel the same kind of emotions I did when I was younger.” Absolutely!

  2. It is the greatest gift I’ve ever received to be infatuated with the man I have been married to for 25 years. It’s necessary to choose this, to see each other as the most precious creatures in the world, to be continually grateful for the other. It’s not difficult as long as you maintain the I-thou attitude and express gratitude daily.

  3. “I haven’t actually been on a long-term bus ride since a trip I made to Ireland …”
    I would never cross the Atlantic Ocean in a bus. I need a motion sickness pill just to climb into the bath tub.

  4. “What is happening to our country.”
    Maybe they heard you were on the bus and wanted to be “extras” in your blog? Fame can be a curse (so I have been told)!

    And the phone call on the way back? That is why I so hope that mobile/cell phones on planes never become a reality!!

  5. our cops are totally out of control, we are already a police state and your experience is just more proof of it. What probable cause was there for a search? NONE! So, regardless of the bus drivers iffy OK of it, they did NOT get permission from every passenger to search, did they? Did they even bother to ask? Nope.
    Wether or not anybody does drugs is NOT the issue. The issue is that we ALL have inalienable rights. The cops don’t believe that anymore. You’re damn lucky that dog didn’t ‘alert’ on some piece of baggage. You could have been treated to some REALLY sick shit! Watching the cops beat terrorize and beat the shit out of someone on a dogs say-so. Yeah, we live in a free country, yep, keep on believing that people and see how UN-free we can get.

    • I agree with you 100%. They get to do whatever they want to do and we have NOTHING to say about it. Horrifying. Freedom is just a word in the dictionary. It used to mean something real…now we are ALLOWED to do what we do and when they want us to stop doing even those things…they can stop us.

    • Capt Jill,

      All I say is I agree with you fully 🙂

  6. That made me laugh out loud and I could just picture it.

  7. While failed relationships and a history of love-induced pain can cause one to hesitate, stay guarded and mistrust the affectionate overtures of people yet to prove their intentions are honorable, I have to believe that deep down we never lose our capacity to embrace love when it is presented. I am a bit disturbed to know that my hard earned tax money is being wasted on unnecessary traffic detentions of public transport. Just once I’d like to experience a positive interaction with police instead of just their fundraising tactics.

  8. “Sure, listening to lovers spell out their silly little romantic idioms to each other can be extremely frustrating to the innocent bystander like myself, but on the other hand I thought to myself; I hope that when I’m older I don’t become so jaded that I forget what it’s like to feel the same kind of emotions I did when I was younger.”

    I don’t think the emotions change, but our expression of emotions is what some people lose.

  9. I am jaded and I am proud of it. Your foreigner may have found himself a woman that is so lonely that she would listen to that crapola for an hour. It is hardly in the category of “an emotion”. He probably is some creepy computer dater trying to scam some old lady with money. Real lovers in love after knowing each other over time, do not need that sort of con. It sounded annoying because it pitiful that any woman woul be that desperate. I listened to my BBW describe an enlisted man that thinks she is the “bomb”. I told her to be very careful. I think he is running a scam on her. It has become a very common crime for low lifes.

    • Great piece Kenneth, which as always, provides lots of food for thoughts, feelings, expression. Love this community and all the comments too. It leaves me with a real sense that we are definitely all on this journey, called life together, whether we ‘like’ it or not and whether our journey is comfortable, or not:)

  10. That search was completely bullshit. The second that cop started going through bags on the bus, it became illegal. Be thankful no one argued or became irate over the illegal search.
    There should be a law put into place where a transportation service driver should not be allowed to grant a search of the entire bus. Police are getting too invasive and power driven. They’re supposed to be here to protect and serve. They never show up until after crimes have happened and rarely do the public any service. Happy Travels.

  11. If you ask me the police was just bored. Or that is what we say when they pull someone over to go fish for no apparent reason.

    her we have police that need to get a quota. Ooh yeah they need a certain amount of tickets a year. so in the first 2 and last 2 months it is raining tickets. and pull you over for picking your nose behind the wheel so to speak.

    ha ha but funny story. it would have never happened if we stayed indoors.We do need to get out more and have our own adventures.

  12. Great post, Kenneth. Random thoughts from me: when I graduated college in 1974, my roommate and I bought an “Ameripass” from Greyhound, where we had unlimited travel across the continental US for a full month. That was the first time I really left the confines of my home state of Massachusetts, setting off to “discover America,” for myself. I encountered lots of attitudes, sub-cultures, sights, people, and things I had never encountered before. What a great learning experience! I treasure that, to this day. Thanks for sharing your discoveries with us, every day.

  13. Haven’t ridden a bus in years, but I am not surprised at the stop by the police. We are, for many reasons, becoming more of a police state. Being forced to listen to others phone conversations is to me, usually torturous and I try to save others from having to listen to my conversations. As someone else mentioned here, I hope they never allow calls on planes, but I am sure it’s coming soon. Train and bus passengers should be afforded the same courtesy.
    Good post. I am enjoying your blog tour!!

  14. You know, in the past, I’ve taken the greyhound to AZ and back (home is CA) and both times the state troopers checked the bus with drug dogs. It’s a sad commentary, it really is. I mean yes, it’s a good safety precaution, but the fact that we need it is sad.

  15. I’ve ridden busses in Ireland in the Dublin mass transit and the Galway tours systems. I liked them. I hope you had good experiences.

    Must have been a slow days for the police. They should use their time differently.

    I’m an older guy 67 married to someone 13 younger for over 30 yrs. We’d probably ask you to put on your headphones so we could talk freely. 🙂

  16. Romance in the elderly can be very sweet. My widowed mother-in-law fall in love at the age of 68 with a 72-year-old, who thought she was an angel. They were like turtle doves, devoted to each other, and lived very happily until his death 12 years later.

  17. Isn’t it interesting that we are so concerned about addiction to drugs but show absolutely no concern about addiction to power. Power causes far more problems than drugs ever could yet we place the blame on drugs. Hmmm… I wonder why that is?

  18. I don’t think bus travel suits you.

  19. Hot ascent, didn’t know you can act too 😃

  20. we give excuses..work..tired…whatever for being negligent to ourselves…and not feeling the rush of love..and most of us believe..through our actions that it only happens once..and if it happens when you are older..you are whooped…being taken for a ride…because who would want someone older…hmmmmm

    • i’m with authormandycarroll on this- it makes me unhappy that being 60 and in love is something people are so…. surprised, suspicious and annoyed about…. (that being said, I hate loud cell phone conversations near me whatever the age of the person!)

  21. I would hope that as I’m younger I don’t become overly jade when it comes to love! And, kudos for opting for the bus! As someone who has grown up in the suburbs and not using public transportation -like ever – I can tell you that I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything!

  22. Unless there are some laws specific to the state you were in, that little search expedition doesn’t sound legal. Maybe the police were really looking for someone they thought may be a fugitive on the bus, I don’t know.

    Cell phone etiquette should be taught or better yet mandated so people aren’t subjected to the conversations of others. Many conversations I hear are loud, obnoxious and vulgar. Planes will probably make a fortune selling headphones if calls are permitted during flights.

  23. When you said “I soon drowned out the sound of Mr. Foreigner in love to the sounds of Nirvana blaring Smells Like Teen Spirit, and soon I was fast asleep.” I had to smile, reminds me of being a teenager and not wanting to acknowledge what my parents were getting up to … same song

  24. Wait so what you are saying is that the drug suspicion and the rambling lovey dovey guy are COMPLETELY unrelated, is that right Kenny?

    Lol I’m kidding (for the most part). I love the word love and wish people would more often respect the sheer gravity, force of it. It’s not just romantic it’s being alive! Love is the grooviness 🙂

  25. I’ve been on one Greyhound bus. I rode from LA to Fresno, needless to say it was an experience. While I was waiting for my bus a fight broke out, because someone was trying to steal someone’s luggage. Anyway, I slept the entire bus ride, clutching my backpack.

  26. The world in motion. Nice post.

  27. Our rights are only as good as those of the least of us. We too often forget that.

  28. Nirvana Teen Spirit? Really. You like Nirvana? I used to love them. However, I liked Blind Melon even more. I was just actually singing one of their songs to myself while I was puttering about cleaning up after lunch. “All I can say is that my life is pretty plain…” You know it. I guess living in Brazil for the past 12 years has got me out of the North-american pop scene. I often play a lot of MPB (musica popular brasileira-easy to understand eh).

    Anyhow, yea, Latinos are a lot more expressive than Americans (but then again, I guess you already know that). And not just verbally, but public displays of affection too.


    • I DO Love Nirvana!!! I’m a big Cobain fan… but I like all sorts of music, and Blind Melons I adore! The lead singers daughter (the dude from blind melons who died) liked a few of my tweets on twitter a couple weeks back and it made me smile 🙂

    • NO WAY! That’s awesome. Yea, I saw Blind Melon in concert twice. Once together with Pearl Jam and Neil Young and the other time they opened for Lenny Kravitz. Blind Melon was forced off stage because he peed out into the audience. Oh the joys of getting completely s@*% faced.

  29. bus rides possibly are stranger than flying

  30. Oh no! If I had been sat behind the old man, I’d struggle not to laugh out loud. But yeah, to enjoy romance at that age (or at any age) is wonderful.

  31. I hope I don’t get flamed for saying this, as I seem to be in the minority, but here it goes…
    Police are just like most other professions. Some people get in it to serve and protect and do a wonderful job. Others get in for a power trip. There are a lot of generalizations here that definitely don’t apply to the police I know. That being said, I’m wary of putting blanket statements on folks. I know how unrealistic they are in my profession, and I imagine most of us don’t meet the stereotype of our own respective professions. Yes, those guys shouldn’t have gone through those bags; I agree completely. But that profession is also expected to risk life and body every day as part of their job. They see the worst of humanity, so I don’t know how it affects them on a regular basis – but it can’t be healthy.

    • Kira, well I would never ‘flame’ you 😉 I totally understand what your saying and in many instances I do agree that police get the short end of the stick in the way us the public acts towards them. But, there is a point where I feel police have forgotten that they are public servants; they are not public authorities i.e. they don’t rule over us… they are supposed to be serving us…and I believe the mindset needs to be changed.

  32. Once I was driving at a perfectly respectable speed through town and got tailgated by a cop for about a mile and finally he pulled me over. He asked if I was ok. Yes? He told me I had a little light that illuminates my rear licence plate out and to get it replaced. It was daylight… Anyway, I think he saw that there was a man in the passengers seat who had his hand on my neck. I was getting tired and we were looking for a place to pull over and switch drivers but he was trying to keep me awake by keeping a hand on my shoulder/neck. It was a weird situation but… I think most of the time, they are just trying to keep stuff safe. – the wifey

  33. I’ve always hear the saying “youth is wasted on the young.” The older I get the more I believe it, to some extent. It’s not quite fair that by the time we have the knowledge, experience, and maturity to truly feel deeply our bodies are starting to betray us. But if I had to choose between the physical stamina I had then or the depth of experience now – I’d choose now hands down. The older gentleman was a lucky man and it sounds like he knew it.

  34. You’ve done it again Kenneth, you’ve made my heart zing with pleasure. Growing old doesn’t have to be about resignation to one’s lot. Or to drift towards the banks of the Styx alone. Old age should be about feeling loved, even if may not last.

  35. I was recently on a Greyhound as well and was subject to the most inane conversations. There were two girls who just met on the bus as they were having a debate on the merits of cream filled items. The incredibly loud and ridiculous conversation that turned into something disgusting dirty took place at 3am. The whole thing was disturbing but what was worse in the next conversation. One of the girls had met a guy on the bus and judging by the conversation they hooked up somehow, I wasn’t about to ask questions. The girl entrusts this strange dude with her belongings and sometime he got off the bus and made off with her purse and laptop. The girl never got the guys number but she did get his Facebook not like that would be much help and then she proceeded to hysterically cry!

  36. Hmmm…I do believe that what those officers were doing was borderline illegal search. I’d hazard a guess that they had suspicions, but no warrant and used the safety violation as a ruse to pull the bus over and inspect it. It really depends on the company policy on whether he should have allowed the officers entry onto and in the luggage compartment. If it had been my bus, I would have at least called my supervisor before letting them board. The bus driver was probably concerned about getting points on his license which could prohibit him from driving. Both your on duty and off duty violations are reported so keeping yourself free from reports is a high concern to any bus driver.

    The last time I took a bus for transportation it was going from Oklahoma to Virginia and we had two bus break downs. The first one was a three hour delay waiting for a replacement bus. The second broke down in Virginia and fortunately there was only an hour delay on that one. That was the longest trip ever…and the last time I’ll ever go by bus. But trains…they are a different matter altogether. I love trains!

    • Mrs. P…I love trains as well! But I gotta say; overall I was pleasantly surprised with the Greyhound experience. The ride was smooth, the seats were basically first class, and they had power outlets by every seat…..I was pretty amazed how restful the ride was.

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