When I realized my mistake late last night, I thought, well, I'll get up early, go do what I need to do, get out and get home. So, I armed myself with a list I could use to just sail through WalMart, grab what I need and split.
Things started going wrong early, when I missed waking up as early as I intended.
But I raced around and got out to the bus stop, where the bus had arrived early and was waiting.
I got on, said clearly to the bus driver that I had a Senior Pass, showed him a pass, asked for a day pass, and put my money in the container, he gave me the pass and I sat down.
A lady on the bus started yelling at the driver about how I had only paid a dollar and he had given me a day pass, and you can only do that if you have a Senior Pass, and that I hadn't shown it to the driver and he hadn't bothered to look at it.
I asked the driver if he wanted to see it again, and he said no, he'd already seen it. I asked the lady if she wanted to see it, and she said no. We left the bus stop and everything seemed to be OK.
A half an hour later, almost at WalMart, the bus stopped at the Prince William County Clinic, and the lady got off. I was sitting behind the driver, and there's a big partition behind him, so I didn't see part of what happened. But the lady who was making trouble earlier got off.
She had two very small children with her, and she got up and got off as fast as she could go considering that she was using a walker. At no point did she glance behind to see if the children were still with her, or if she was abandoning them on the bus. One was about two and a half and the older one was about a year older. The little one was bringing up the rear, and he got to the bus door, and was confronted by a step down that was almost as high as he was tall. I felt so bad for him. But he took a couple of deep breaths and jumped.
In the meantime, the lady was steaming away at top speed (considering the walker), and had disappeared into the clinic.
The driver got off the bus with the cell phone mounted in the bus and made a phone call. Then he went in the clinic for a few minutes and came out again. Then he made another call.
Then there were sirens and flashing lights and the police arrived. They parked their cars in front of, beside, and behind the bus, blocking it in so it couldn't leave, and also blocking up the parking lot.
They went into the clinic, and a few minutes later, they came out followed by the annoying lady, who had, once again, walked away and left her children. A big, long conversation ensued, which ended with the police handcuffing her, and fastening some kind of restraints on her feet, although they let her keep her walker.
A representative from the bus company showed up and spoke with the driver and the police, and got started taking names and addresses of the people on the bus.
Finally, another woman, who worked at the clinic came out with the kids and made the annoying woman take them. I was a little relieved by that because I was afraid the cops were going to take her away and leave the kids without knowing that they were abandoning children.
So, it turns out that the lady had grabbed a book of transfers off the holder on the bus, which may have had something to do with why she was so keen to abandon her kids. A regular fare is about $2.50, so that represents a chunk of money.
I'll leave you to imagine the circus that developed from that point. Compared to the sirens, flashing lights, and handcuffs at the beginning, it got steadily more boring and time-consuming.
I haven't even started on the back cover yet.
I hope you're having a better day than I had.