Bus drama on Madison Ave

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My daughter and I boarded the Northbound M4 bus from Madison Ave the other day. It was packed to the hilt so we were standing at the back, with about 20 blocks to go. Somewhere around 60th and Madison, a massive verbal abuse fest broke out towards the front of the bus. I’ll keep race out of it to limit prejudice. A lady, who seemed like a worker for the city due to donning one of those reflective jackets, starts screaming and hurling abuse at a 40-something man. He’s sitting down, and he mutters something that really sets her off. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and she was furious. “You c*********, you think you’re all that, huh? F*****g d***, you’re nothing, you’re s***”. It went on. My daughter, S, understandably upset, looks at me with “what’s going on, Mum?” eyes. I ask her to ignore it and tell her that NYC is a tough place – this happens a lot. After all, if we wanted her to have a sheltered life, we could have just stayed in the suburbs. The bus stops and to everyone’s relief, she gets off, but carries on with her tirade while the man ignores her and pretends to look intently at his cellphone. His behavior sets her off even more and she continues to scream as the bus moves on. Few stops down the line and around 76th and Madison, we have a shirtless gentleman and a small child board the bus. The former claims he has no Metrocard for himself and his “grandson”. Says he served in the army and should be entitled to free rides, and that he only has a few stops. The little boy starts crying and wailing. “Please, please, I wanna go home.” The bus driver, most likely new, protests mildly. Given the last incident, he is probably overwhelmed and just wants to get on with it. The man ignores him, keeps walking into the bus with the child, and parks his heavy sweaty body (it was 90 degrees out) on a couple of seats. People, most of them well-heeled Upper-East siders, shift nervously in their seats and screw up their noses to try and breath less of the air around them. The next stop’s ours and we’re off the bus. Wonder if the drama continued.

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