Tag Archives: Mesa

The Final Leg

Relevant back stories: Crazy Train, “What’s your name, sweetie?”, The Wrath of Bonnie

After we pulled back on the freeway, the bus was running about 45 minutes behind, which posed a slight problem for Matt and I as we had meeting in Mesa at 6p.  It was looking like we’d get into Phoenix (about 20 miles west of Mesa) about 530 and were planning on cabbing it over to Mesa.  Before we got to Phoenix, however, Deb had one more outbreak in her.

On par with her ongoing saga of “Who’s kicking my seat?” (A: No one), she stood up and yelled at the three rows behind her, “I know the wind’s not moving my chair!”  As this was just before he had headed off to Phoenix, the driver came back and informed Deb that if she didn’t sit down, she’d be joining Bonnie on the road.  This seemed sufficient for Deb, as she sat down and we didn’t hear from her again.

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As we pulled into Phoenix, Matt and I jumped into the first cab we saw and headed to Mesa Community College for our meeting.  The driver was a friendly man named Troy, who was fully equipped with a GPS system in his car and we were looking good.  Luckily we were getting to Phoenix during rush hour, and the freeway was backed up quite a bit. This prompted Troy to give us an offer we (apparently) couldn’t refuse: “I’ll take you off the meter – $40 flat rate – and get you there by six. And I’ll pay any ticket.” Troy had once driven a man from Phoenix to Denver for $1700, so I’m pretty sure he was used to bargaining with his clients.  Matt and I decided let’s do it, and off we went! Roy seemingly disregarded his GPS system at this point, driving us through neighborhoods of Phoenix, through Tempe and to Mesa Community College at about five after six.

This wrapped up our most adventurous trip to date.  Matt liked it so much that he tried to one-up it by getting stuck in Albuquerque and riding through Texas in one go.   

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Part II of the Magical Journey

If you’re out of the loop, read part I before continuing.

After consuming a highway restaurant burrito (it was excellent, and the first of many for me since I’ve been in the Southwest), Matt and I continued on what was soon to be named the Crazy Train.  

Since we had left LA, Deb and Bonnie had had a few run-ins with other riders, nothing major, but enough to switch seats a couple times.  Deb was convinced that someone kept kicking the back of her seat (including Matt) and Bonnie… Bonnie was in another world.  Matt and I had relocated a couple rows back to seats with more leg room, giving us a good vantage point for the fun that was about to ensue. (It also placed us in front of a man wearing a plastic bag on his head, but that’s neither here nor there).

An incident between Bonnie and an older man (we’ll call him Archie) started the fun.

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Bonnie and Archie had a run-in earlier, when Bonnie (during one of her seat changes) sat down next to him, causing a small argument.  Overall, no big deal.  Later, on her way to the bathroom, however, she began yelling at Archie.  The exchange went something like this:

Bonnie: Don’t hit me!

Archie: I didn’t hit you, you bumped me!

Bonnie: And then you hit me!

Archie: Sit down before I slap you!

Bonnie: So you already hit me, now you’re going to slap me!

Archie’s seat mate tried to tell Bonnie to settle down and go back to her seat, which led to a string of expletives to the seat mate, Archie and anyone else who would listen.  Bonnie then took her rage to our driver, telling him that she wanted the police called because Archie had put his hands on her.  The driver, aware that Bonnie had been causing problems throughout the ride, told Bonnie to sit down and be quiet. Bonnie, obviously not happy with this, went on a “F- you” laced tirade (directed at the driver and everyone else on the bus), including the line: “Is there anyone here brave enough to say that he threatened to slap me?”  She then took the law into her own hands, calling the police, which necessitated the bus driver to pull over.  

The view of the Arizona desert is lovely.  It looks something like this:

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After waiting at mile marker 76 for a short time, the driver yelled “All Aboard” (ironic, as it is the first words in Ozzy Osbourne’s classic, “Crazy Train”) and drove us to mile marker 81.  Bonnie was not happy with this either, as the police told her they would meet us at mile 76.  When we pulled over to 81, she demanded to be let off the bus.  The driver allowed her off and she began walking back the five miles to mile 76.  And that, my friends, is the last we heard of Bonnie.  

End of the fun?  Not a chance.  Part three features the return of Deb and a taxi ride from Phoenix to Mesa.  

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A Magical Journey in the West

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Yesterday, Matt and I took an epic ride from Los Angeles to Mesa, Arizona.  It wasn’t our longest trip to date, only scheduled to take seven and a half hours. From the very beginning, however, something special was in the air.  Maybe it was some of that LA magic (which we had experienced while walking down the street the day before.  As we were crossing the street downtown, a couple in a Beetle convertible invited us to a party the next day with the promise of (and I quote): “So many b*tches!”).  Maybe it was the hot desert sun (it’s expected to be over 100 in Phoenix this weekend).  Whatever the reason, as we boarded the bus with the last two tickets, we knew we were in for a treat. 

Here’s a run-down on the first (and much calmer) half on the bus:

  • Matt is stared down by a women sitting in front of him.  The interaction began without incident, with the women (we’ll call her Deb) talking to a women sitting next to Matt.  Then, without prompting, Deb violently shakes her head and stares bug-eyed at Matt, only to turn around disgusted and cover her head with her jacket. (I received a wink and smile from Deb later in the trip).
  • As we’re approaching a bus stop, Bonnie, Matt’s seat mate, faces him, rubs his back and says “What’s your name, sweetie?”
  • During our food break, I saw what I believe was a man eating a raw piece of chicken while on the bus.  
At this point, the ride gets a little out of control, with a screaming match, police phone calls and a cab driver named Troy.  Look for part two soon.

 

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Huffington agrees with McCain on vision for National Service

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In a largely negative post in response to U.S. Senator John McCain’s speech yesterday morning in Columbus, Ariana Huffington did praise the presumed Republican Party’s Presidential nominee for his vision of expanding voluntary National Service, calling it “moving and effective.”

I’ll admit, I found McCain’s fantasy speech moving and effective, especially the part where he envisions a growth in national service, fueled by young Americans who “understand that true happiness is much greater than the pursuit of pleasure, and can only be found by serving causes greater than self-interest.” 

Will Senator McCain be a listed as an original co-sponsor of U.S. Senator Chris Dodd’s (now-titled) AmeriCorps: Improving Our Nation (ACTION) Act of 2008, to be introduced tomorrow morning?  How about Senators Clinton or Obama?  Thanks to all who have made phone calls to their Senators!

We had a great ServeNext Organizing Meeting last night in Senator McCain’s home state!  Special thanks to Tyler Cox (MA AmeriCorps ’07) for coordinating the event, Kate Craer (MA AmeriCorps ’05) for getting us back to the Phoenix Greyhound Station (and getting a tour of the city in the process), and to everyone from Mesa Community College who came out to learn more about ServeNext!  We’ll be in touch… 

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