commuter bus

The Daily Prompt: Groupthink

Write a post that includes dialogue between two people — other than you. (For more of a challenge, try three or more people.)

Sometimes when you’re traveling to and from work you overhear the most intriguing conversations. Some of them are weird, joyous, sad and some of them are downright exhilarating. The conversation I heard recently on my commuter bus, however, was none of them. It was a conversation that brought back to me that one, simple rule that every commuter should follow – watch what you talk about to strangers.

They were sitting in the seats in front of me. Both of them had  got on the bus separately so it did not appear that they knew one another. Both were women. One was about in her fifties and the other woman appeared a little younger. They never said a word to each other at first, but then quickly became engaged in conversation due to a young man who was talking loudly on a cellphone a few rows up from them.

“My god, can he talk any louder!” Said one of the women. She was the younger one, and appeared to be a businesswoman by the way she was dressed.

“Really, how obnoxious!” Agreed the other. This woman was wearing a UPS uniform. “He reminds me of some guy my daughter is dating. He’s very loud and talks the same way. I can hear him loud and clear over the phone when my daughter is talking to him.”

The businesswoman shook her head, then said “Lucky for you, and for your daughter.” She said sarcastically.

They both laughed.

“Yeah…I keep telling my daughter that she needs to lose this guy. He talks to her like she’s trash and treats her even worse.”

“Oh my god. That’s terrible!” Said the businesswoman. “If my son ever talked to a woman like that, I would give him a good beating. I taught my son better.”

“Good for you! Said the UPS woman.

Then there was a few moments of pause.

“But I can understand how you feel.” Said the businesswoman. “I told my son he needs to get rid of that girl he’s going out with. He’s always complaining to me that she’s always whoring around in school when he’s not with her. What a pig!”

The UPS woman put her hand over her mouth. “That’s horrible, and in school too. How awful. She needs to concentrate more on her studies and not shaking her tail around.”

“Right.” Said the businesswoman. “That’s what I’m always telling my son, Jake.”

For a moment, the UPS woman stared at the businesswoman quizzically, then said, “Excuse me…but…did you say your son’s name is Jake?”

“Yes, why?”

“And does he go to Central Valley High School in Petersville?

“Yes, he does. Why are you asking.”

I looked around the bus. Suddenly there was a dead silence, but it was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. The woman sitting next to me looked at me with her mouth wide open and her eyes bulging. She looked as if she had just seen a ghost.

Again, the businesswoman asked the same question, “Why?”

Just then the bus pulled up to the terminal. The UPS woman said, “Here’s my stop!” She quickly jumped up then basically pushed the other woman out-of-the-way to get into the aisle. After looking back at the businesswoman with a sadistic glare, she exited the bus.

As I sat there staring at the businesswoman, I thought to myself, “What are the odds?”
Joseph E. Rathjen is an Opinion Writer for 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.

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