The best thing about riding the bus is that every mile you travel is one mile closer to not having to ride the bus again - or maybe just not being in Utah.
Despite how that sounds, I really like the bus; how else would foul smelling vagrants like myself cross the country on less than a hundred bucks? My biggest problem is that my portable games were lost somewhere in the Vegas desert, forcing me to invent my own game.
The first thing the game would need to have was a certain level of complexity, as the trip to Chicago would take nearly two days. I decided that it should be a strategy game where the people on the left side of the bus were Napoleonic era soldiers, and the people on the right were the Blue Man Group performing the musical Cats, like in the poster for that new James Cameron movie - Avalon, I think. I then assigned each bus-rider a "power" value, determined by their class and modified by the estimated value of passing cars at the time they did something interesting. The more interesting the action, the bigger the modifier.
I was all ready for the battle royale when a fight erupted between a French Cavalier asking the bus driver where he could plug in his iPhone and a toothless Na'vi shaman in sweatpants scolding her three screaming children. Unfortunately, the game was cut short when it turned into a drinking game.
A few drinks later, a sudden stop woke me from my self-induced coma. We had arrived in Denver; a city that I believe was named after John Denver, the guy who played Gilligan on Gilligan's Island. At the diner in the bus stop parking lot I attempted to order a Denver Omelet, to which the waitress rolled her eyes and told me they were fresh out of mountain lion meat. I settled for two pieces of burnt toast and lukewarm coffee. Feeling slighted, I got even by stealing a butter knife and several packets of ketchup.
When I returned to the bus, I found a young man sitting in the seat next to mine, typing furiously on a laptop. Would this complicate my plans to remain unconscious all the way home? Would he disapprove of Mr. Flask or, more importantly, would Mr. Flask disapprove of him of him?
"Hey," I announced, hoping that my presence meant he'd stand up and let me sit down.
He grunted in greeting, but never took his eyes off the screen of the laptop. This was going to be awkward.
If you've never tried to cram your way into a seat with a person sitting in the way, then you cannot appreciate the gravity of the situation. Should one attempt to face the person blocking me and risk shoving my junk in his face? Or, should I turn around and almost certainly smack him in the head with my butt?
After putting myself in his position, I decided that "rear-first" was the way to go and got by with little drama. As expected, he moved instantly when my butt neared his face. That boded well for our partnership as row buddies.