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November 22, 2007 - 6:25 am

SayUncle mentionsa href=”http://www.saysuncle.com/archives/2007/11/21/a_couple_of_firsts_for_me/” a couple of firsts /a he experienced this week; one was listening to our a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2007/11/podcast-robert-levy-on-second-amendment.html”podcas/at on the Second Amendment with Bob Levy and the other was going to the local Greyhound station in Knoxville. The latter first is amazing to me, given that in the earlier part of my life, I spent a great deal of time at the Greyhound bus station going various places and can’t imagine never having spend even one day at the local bus terminal. A trip at nineteen was the most memorable bus ride I can remember. I rode back from San Francisco to Knoxville on a Greyhound bus and it was one of the worst experiences of my life. br /br /The ride was three days long and I sat next to a woman eating fried chicken for a day and a half. She made no qualms about taking up part of my seat and I sat slumped to one side for most of the ride trying to sleep in the middle of the night. I spent a day just going through Texas and have no fond memories of the place–you will understand this if you have experienced the seamy side of small towns on a bus for days at a time. I was traveling with a friend but the bus was packed and we could not get a seat together. At one point on the trip, people were standing in the aisle and had no seats. This led to some pretty grumpy behavior that soon turned ugly. br /br /The driver stopped at one Texas town and told everyone to get off to eat and that we had only 45 minutes. “If you are not back on the bus, I’m leaving without you,” he groused. The passengers herded off like cattle and went to find a fast food place for lunch. My friend and I got some food and got back on the bus, fearful that we would be left behind. At exactly 45 minutes to the second, the bus driver pulled out to the dismay of several passengers whose comrads had not come back to the bus. The driver took off and the passengers became irate and started accusing the driver of being prejudiced–the passengers he left were black and the driver was white. One passenger then stated that he was hijacking the bus, pulled a knife and starting yelling at those of us who were seated. My friend and I had been through such hell on that bus at that point that we looked up with boredom and tried to go back to sleep. The driver pulled into a police station that was nearby and the “hijacker” was taken off the bus and our ride continued. After this experience, I swore I would never ride a bus again, but I did and had a number of other adventures that I will not bore you with. br /br /My bus riding days are pretty much over, and I doubt that I will ride a Greyhound again, but after my last airplane flight, I can honestly say that I can’t really tell the differece between an airplane and a bus with wings.

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