When the Hobo Lady Strikes

April 8, 2008
By Amanda Inglesh, New York, NY

Someone just made a hilarious joke, and as we all laugh I notice someone sneaking on from the back of the bus. I poked Peri to tell her but she didn’t care. I then whispered my noticing to Lucy, no response. She won’t bother us, right? She looks homeless but harmless, just here to get a ride. But when Theo opened his bag of chips Hobo Lady was ready for action. She stumbled over to him mumbling “give me some, give me…” She stuck her hand out to collect the food. Theo handed over a handful of chips, “uh, um…here you go,” he murmurs. Now that’s when the hysterics started kicking in.
I was laughing my head off and I could feel my face turning red. I could hear Max giggling while Lucy was trying not to. Now that made me laugh even more! I took my vest and pulled it over my head so she couldn’t see me giggling up a storm. I was so embarrassed, but you have to admit it was ridiculously funny. When I pulled off my vest she was in the front of the bus begging from other people. No such luck. But of course she had to make her way back to us.
David was near the front and he was desperately trying to blend into the wall. He then popped up from his seat and made a run to the back where we were. But of course, Hobo Lady had to block his way. He squealed and said some things I will not repeat. He got through and sat next to me. Phew, that’s a relief. That old woman could’ve come over and sat right next to me instead. But she took a nice cozy seat next to Jakob who was typing away on his phone, trying to mind his own business. But Hobo Lady strikes again!! She started grabbing at Jakob’s phone; apparently she wanted to make a call. Jakob shrugged her off and cursed under his breath. But that wasn’t not enough for Hobo Lady. She then took off her Yankees hat and tried to place it on Jakob’s head. He finally got up and walked to the front of the bus to tell the driver about the stowaway. David screeched, “Run Jakob run. Run for your life!!” as the Hobo Lady descended on Jakob, following him to the front of the bus.
I couldn’t hear what was going on up there but I could hear David breathing really hard in my ear. “That’s some crazy -beep-,” he says as Hobo Lady comes bounding down the aisle. She apparently was sent back here. Um, WHY??!!! Does the driver not realize there are kids back here? Jakob was still up front waiting to get off at the next stop. Now there’s a smart kid.
As she thumped down the aisle she stops right in front of us and then she started to... dance?! She’s humming some beat to herself but then immediately stops when she hears the crinkle of chip bags. Before she makes her move she blows Lucy a kiss. A wet, sloppy sounding kiss. Ugghh!! I turn to her and smile. I couldn’t help it. I felt like yelling “We’ve got a nut case in aisle seven”, but of course I don’t. She pounces for Theo again and successfully gets some chips. She then sees Sam’s bag of chips and Max’s Twix. In a matter of seconds she has a whole meal. Yum, Twix and barbeque chips. As she gobbles down her food David says “I’m getting off at the next stop, where do you live?” “ Oh, take me with you. I have to get off at the last stop,” I groan. “Well we all gotta make a run for it sooner or later” he whispers.
We all get up and head for the back door, crowding around ready to make a run for it. But Hobo Lady’s there in a flash. She’s trying to block David from the door but someone gets up from their seat and comes to put that crazy woman in her place. He tells her to sit down and leave us alone. “Watcha messing with these kids for, huh? Leave em’ alone you hear.” “Sorry”, she says, “see ya’ later.” The bus pulls to a stop and we try to open that door as fast as we can. But before we leapt off the bus David turned to the stranger and said “you’re a very nice man and you should definitely try out to be an officer for the NYC Police Department.” We all laugh and jump off the back steps, not wanting to take one last look at that treacherous bus. But David was right, if more people did more good things than this city could be a better place. Even for the hobos.

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