Moments of Blinding Brilliance Part 1 – “Express Bus”

At this point, Moments of Blinding Brilliance is a 3 Part “Saga in Stupidity.”  Just random little stories from my life that really seem to capture those fleeting junctures in time where I (and maybe you) just want to look around me (at all of those who are bearing witness to my daft behavior) and say “I’m really not an idiot.  I promise.”  If I were a betting woman (and I’m not at all… it makes my stomach hurt), I would wager that Moments posts become something of a regular occurrence here on DireMirth.  Most of you who know me would agree.  I’m about 9 parts “on top of it,” and 1 part… well I’ll just let the posts speak for themselves, shall we?

“Express Bus”

About a month ago my journeys led me to Portland, Oregon.  It’s a beautiful place full of recycle bins, pine trees, amazing brunch restaurants, a plethora of trust fund hippies, and more Chaco wearing groovy people than you can count.  Needless to say I love it.  What I also loved about Portland (and Europe) was all of the great public transport.  If I didn’t have to drive, I totally wouldn’t.  I mean, I love my new little old Volvo.  It’s just rad.  But if I could hop on a bus or a train to bumble around my city the old Volvo wouldn’t get out much at all.  I digress.

Picture this: I’m chilling on a park bench in lovely, sunny Portland.  It’s beautiful.  I ran on the waterfront, had a yummy lunch, drank french pressed “Stump Town” coffee, and wandered the streets of downtown.  I was happy.  It was 5:00 on Friday and I sat down to finish my book in the park until my Sushi Date got off work.

Pay close attention here, because the timing is just so perfectly insane.

*Ring. *Ring.

Sushi date: “Where are you?”

Me: “Reading downtown.”

Sushi date: “Cool. I’m at home, so just catch the 14 or 15 bus at…..”

(I begin walking here towards the directional streets indicated.  I was only a block away you see.)

Me: “Got it.  Well there’s a bus pulling up so I’m gonna hop on it. See you in a few…”  (if I only knew…)

I glanced at Mr. Buses numbers.  There was a 1 and a 5.  15 right?  Bought the ticket.  Sat down.  Read the last few paragraphs of my book.  Ah, done.  *Sigh.  We cross over the Hawthorne Bridge and instead of going straight, Mr. Bus turns left.  Hmmm.

Me: (to Mr. Buses driver) “Excuse me.  Does this bus go up to 30th Street?”

Driver: “30th?  In Portland?”

Me: (stares blankly while simultaneously beginning to freak out a little) “Can I get off here?”

Drive: “Oh no!  Why we’re on the interstate.  This bus doesn’t make any stops between Downtown Portland and Vancouver.”

Me: “Vancouver?”

Kindly, Apathetic Gent Listening in: “Washington.”


Me: (commences with the panicking)


Sushi date: “You here?”

Me: “I’m on the wrong bus.”

Sushi date: “Just get off at the next stop.”

Me: “Oh I will.  But I accidentally got on the 105.”

Sushi date: “I don’t know the 105.”

Me:  “Well why would you.  It’s the express bus (sheepishly) to Vancouver.”

That’s right folks.  I got on the one-way, no-stops, express bus to Vancouver, WA.  On Friday evening.  In rush-hour traffic.  The stars and planets that had to align for that mess of cosmic insanity to happen must have been impressive.  

How did I get back?  I hear you ask.  Well I took another bus to the Max (that’s the metro) Station where I proceeded through 11 stops until Sushi Date picked my sad self up on the corner of “You’re an Idiot Street” and “How did you do that? Drive.”

We missed sushi that night.  

You see my little jaunt up to “the ‘Couve” took about an hour and forty-five minutes.  I am, as you might have guessed, really super smart.

And so Part 1 ends.  But the Saga, oh it continues.


3 thoughts on “Moments of Blinding Brilliance Part 1 – “Express Bus”

  1. K-Dog says:

    Don’t feel too bad. One time when I was 16 I was driving with two friends and a friend’s French grandmother (no English) from Buffalo NY to Chautauqua NY which takes about 2 hours. there was heavy construction. I was 16. and cell phones didn’t exist. At about 3.5 hours We all knew something was wrong, but we were hoping it was just the construction delays. Then I saw a sign that said “welcome to Ohio”. Ohio does not border NY. Somehow I had driven through Pennsylvania. A very small slice of Pennsylvania, but no one in my family every lets me forget that I accidentally drove through an entire state.

  2. Jasmine says:

    Things like this happen to me all the time. I have actually had to say to people “I’m really not as dumb as I look.”

    I think I need to learn how to slow down and actually pay attention to things.

  3. Dufus Del Dia says:

    One time, when I was living in Hillsboro and visiting in SE, I hopped on the #4 bus to go downtown to catch the MAX out to Hillsboro. Unbeknownst to me, the #4 Division bus turns into the #4 Bus to St. Johns in the bus mall downtown.

    I started talking to a stranger, passed my stop, and ended up in Way North Portland at midnight on a Friday night. I didn’t get home until after 2:00 AM.

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