By Creed on July 19, 2007 at 20:33
In my younger days, I spent a lot of time sleeping in a lot of places. Some of those places were bus stations. Everyone knows that hotels are for suckers, so why pay for lodging when you can get it for free? The problem is, there are a lot of crazies out there, so if you’re going to sleep in the bus station you’ve got to be savvy about it.
First of all, make friends with the night watchman. That’s the guy that can have the fuzz come and take you away. Find out what kind of candy he likes and bring him some. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stayed in a station worry-free because of a few Bit O’Honeys.
Pick up an old bus ticket. That way, if somebody gives you trouble, you just say you’re waiting for a bus and show them the ticket. No one ever really bothers to look, so you should be golden. If they do look, run like hell.
Some idiot security guard comes by and asks why you’re sleeping on the benches? You’re from the bench company and you’re testing comfort levels. Be creative. Whatever you do, don’t say you’re the bus driver. I made that mistake once in the 60’s and I ended up driving a busload of people to Jacksonville.
It was a weeklong trip and it was hot as hell. By the third day, some of the passengers started cooking bacon on the floor. I couldn’t complain, though, because I was driving the best smelling bus on the East Coast.
There was a young man sitting in the back of the bus who claimed to be a magician. Said his name was “The Great Alamundo.” He went up and down the aisles doing card tricks for people to pass the time. His deck of cards only had diamonds and clubs, though. He told me he sold the spades and hearts a while back for a few packs of cigarettes. Now that’s a smart magician. When we stopped in Macon, GA, I bought a new deck of cards for the guy, but he wouldn’t accept it. Didn’t want to be a charity case, I guess. His loss.
Once the card tricks lost their fun, the passengers started to get rowdy. I knew I had to keep them occupied or they were going to revolt. Long story short, I got everyone singing Johnny Mathis songs and the mood changed in a hurry. By the time we got to Jacksonville, I could hardly pry those people out of their seats. I ended up selling the bus for $400 and living in Florida for eight months. All in all, it was a pretty good trip.