Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getaway CAR-TA

Sometimes truth in the public transit realm is stranger than fiction. Considering a recent total eclipse of the moon, it's likely the odd scenario I’m about to describe to you could be further astrological phenomenon, typically resulting in crazy human behavior as noted previously in Full Moon Bus Rides. Regardless of the cause, what I observed last Friday night was nothing short of a mystery. With the worries of the office left behind I boarded the bus. I patiently read as we motored through Mt. Pleasant back toward Downtown Charleston. The bus jerked a bit to a quick stop and a random guy boarded. He passed in front of me and sat diagonally across from my seat near the back. At quick glance he carried what appeared to be a large cardboard box. A closer look revealed an item wrapped in a clear piece of plastic. It looked as if it was the clear wrapper from another product, retrofitted around the cumbersome object being heaved around by the young passenger. I was able then to make out what looked like an old desktop computer inside the plastic bag. Along the back wall, where the guy picked a seat, he was able to situate the large box to his right, snuggly tucked against the end of the intersecting row of side wall seats where there is just enough legroom to slide in against the wall. There his box was probably slightly more secure, being deterred from sliding forward should the bus jerk to another stop. Fascinated and totally nosy over the mystery object dude carried through the rain on a miserable Friday night, I spied over my book and eyed the man as he looked out the window. He was outfitted in black and I noticed the item was not a computer, but in fact, A CASH REGISTER. I almost began to laugh and cursed my own twisted sense of humor for finding scenarios such as this to be completely hilarious. I mean, come on, how often do you see a guy dressed in black get on the bus carrying a cash register protected from the rain? To top it off, no one on the bus looked a bit concerned. Not one person batted an eye or said a thing….including me. How could any of us know if the guy was a criminal without a car, or a cash register repairman without a car? In either case, how does one approach this question with a perfect stranger, anyway? Mystery intact, the bus finally lumbered up to my stop and I exited without incident or a further hint of what would unfold when the guy would later get off the bus. I thought about him carrying that cash register around on the streets of Downtown Charleston and snickered a little. I wondered if anyone would notice. It seemed to me the least the cash register carrying enigma could have done was wrap it in something other than CLEAR plastic! Honestly.

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