Why do I call it the Chicken Bus? Because all that was missing from last weekend's ride was a live chicken, and perhaps a dice game in the aisle and an albino banjo player.
The ride began with various bus company employees gesticulating wildly, trampling one another in their haste, sorting us into a line, and hurling luggage into the bowels of the bus with resentful venom. The driver had a trendy mullet and a phone that blared snippets of dreadful pop music as we lurched our way through a hailstorm.
The women behind me yapped their way across the miles, question talkers both, with nary an oxygen break. One complained bitterly to the other about being pushed out of her family's business. Of course, the fact that she was the sort of person who would loudly air private family information on a crowded bus might have branded her as unprofessional, but I'm not one to offer free career advice. (If I was, I would have told the intern I shamelessly eavesdropped upon during a previous Chicken Bus journey that yes, interns do answer phones, and no, that did not mean their work was "unfulfilling.")
After the first few hours, I thought to myself, "Oh, well, at least it can't get worse." A moment later, both women popped in some globs of chewing gum so they could slurp and smack their way across New Jersey.
The best part was the journey home. The two Question Talkers were in our bus line! I turned to my travel companion and, between clenched teeth, stated that I would lose. my. MIND if those women sat anywhere near us. I said a little prayer to Getoff Mylawn, the Patron Saint of Curmudgeons. My prayers were answered and the yappers moved to the back of the bus.
The victory was fleeting, however, as my new neighbor turned out to be a woman who ranted in sub-Saharan French, while shoveling noxious-smelling kebab into her mouth with nary a break to chew.
In the comments, tell me if you've ever ridden a Chicken Bus.