Monday, January 18, 2010

Fistfight on the Greyhound

I began my Greyhound trip at 9 a.m. on January 2nd. It was -20, which made life a little interesting, considering that the door was held shut with a bungee cord. Things were going along just fine after a quick seat change (one guy just kept staring at me with scary intensity). I honestly thought that the trip might be fairly normal. Silly me.

I lucked out on the next bus change, as I got a seat all to myself pretty close to the bus driver. I spent the day reading and playing Sudoku. I finally drifted off to sleep at 12:30 a.m., but burst into consciousness as a scuffle broke out in the back of the bus.

The bus driver raced to pull the bus off onto the side of the slippery highway. We were literally in the middle of nowhere, and the fight showed no signs of abating. She came to the back of the bus, ordering the men to stop fighting. A minute later, they finally stopped punching each other. She made the instigator sit in the seat ahead of me, and forcefully told the men that if they fought again, she would call the police.

Turns out that the guy sleep talks (in a mixture of English, Spanish, and gibberish). I spent the night listening to a series of violent exchanges with himself. He also yelled in his sleep. It wasn't exactly a restful night!

Early the next morning, we stopped at a little rest area in Montana. Coming out of the most foul restroom I have ever witnessed, I was graced with the vision of yet another fight, which unfortunately blocked the entrance to the bus. When they finally moved a little, I climbed back aboard to wait for the cops to show up.

They took statements, and we all had to fill out incident reports, which took another hour. No one wanted to press charges, so the instigator was taken away to the hospital for some mental help.

At our next major break, one of the men who tried to break up the fight finally got looked at by the EMTs. He was taken out on a stretcher.

Who says riding the Greyhound is dull?

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