Cold weather brings out the crazies

Cold weather brings out the crazies

It’s January. It’s Chicago. IT’S COLD! Hey people, most of you who live here should know by now that it’s winter and it’s going to be chilly. Quit complaining and deal with it.

It’s been a fairly mild winter. Not much snow and above average temperatures. But we’ve just finished some really cold days. Single digit temps and minus zero wind chills. You can handle this in a couple of ways. There’s hibernation which usually includes alcohol or you can bundle up, go outside and live like a somewhat normal human being. I do a combination of both.

On Sunday, it’s brutally cold but I needed to go out and do some research for a piece I’m writing for another outlet. I know…you’re all shocked that there are other places that let me write for them…me too, but that’s not the point. The point is I needed to jump on a train to get to the library. No biggie, right? Normally not, except someone decided to jump on the train track. OY!!

Yanno….nothing good can happen when you jump off that platform because:
a. It’s a good distance to the bottom
b. The rails are electric
c. THE TRAIN IS GOING TO KILL YOU!!…of course, maybe that’s the idea.

Okay, so I was a little inconvenienced by this. No biggie again, especially compared to the guy who ended up on the tracks. I eventually ended up at the library. I say eventually because I kinda forgot where I was going…got off a few stops early, went to Barnes and Noble, realized it was the wrong place and then went to the library. OY…told you it brings out the crazies.

I’m done with the research and head for home. Halfway there I decide it’s a good day to go to Costco. After all, it’s a good idea to walk 1/2 mile in dangerously cold weather just to eat bad samples for lunch. Wow…as I’m writing this, I’m just figuring out that I’m the crazy one!

So the samples suck (all they had were Chicken nuggets and oranges) and it’s really time to go home. I need to jump on the bus and according to my CTA Bus App, I only have to wait four minutes for it to arrive. FOUR MINUTES! Not too bad, right? What could go wrong in four minutes? OY!

There’s one gentleman who is also waiting for the bus. The first word he said to me was Zero. He then went on a three minute rant about the weather, Chicago and the United States of America.

I don’t know how you people live here. It’s fucking cold six months of the year and the other six months have mosquitoes. It’s much nicer in Europe. Paris beautiful. Vienna beautiful. Madrid…oh how I love Madrid. No mosquitoes. South Africa is better, too.

You know how someone is talking to you and they won’t stop talking and after a while you aren’t listening anymore but you’re just bobbing your head up and down in pretend agreement? That was us!

Now look….I know it’s really cold and that’s going to be a big topic of discussion but if you’re going to bitch about it to a stranger, he might take you more seriously if you’re not wearing a jean jacket and shorts. Just sayin’.

The bus shows up…we get on…separate seats, thank goodness. He reaches into his grocery bag, takes out two nice looking tomatoes, admires them and says to me “Beautiful! Tomatoes. $1.79. Love Aldi’s. Love America.”

Alrighty then!  Just another day in the world of Public Transportation. Seriously…I need to start driving again….seriously.


Every year I like to add a new topic or series to the Shakes. This time we’re going to lighten it up and tell stories of the craziness of riding the CTA. You can find them here or on my Facebook page Great Moments In Public Transportation.

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