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Lessons from the CTA bus

  • Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan
January 16, 2012|By Tracy Swartz, RedEye

Here are some pointers learned from more than 2.5 years of riding buses point to point.

What your bus line says about you

>>No. 36-Broadway: You have a sense of adventure and may have lost the rest of your sense.

>>No. 56-Milwaukee: You're too cool for the bus. Shouldn't you be on a bike?

>>No. 151-Sheridan: You're a tourist in your own town. To the left is the Willis Tower. To the right, a fanny pack.

>>No. 66-Chicago: You are a patient person. You would the voice of reason on a reality show.

>>No. 29-State: Your jams are all slow.

Ways to annoy a bus driver ... or a first date

>>Pay less than half the tab.

>>Talk loudly on a cellphone.

>>Throw food on the floor.

>>Unbutton pants.

Five fashion don'ts from and inspired by the No. 36-Broadway

>>"World's greatest friend" medallion

>>A Santa hat in September

>>Pajama pants

>>No pants at all

>>Muffin top

How you know you're primarily a bus, not a train, rider

>>You still have your iPhone.

Things left behind on a CTA bus

>>Sunflower seeds

>>Lady products

>>A newspaper from last week

>>Hungry-Man dinner

>>Pride

Timelines on Twitter from Tracy's bus rides

>>July 2, 2010: my #cta bus driver is wearing a flu mask. im not fond of navy pier tourists as much as the next gal but a lil extreme...

>>Aug. 3, 2010: the guy next to me spit on me + yelled "she's no good." yes, this no good. no good at all.

>>Aug. 3, 2010: extra nice so woman doesnt stab me w/big toe.

>>Sept. 3, 2010: found rules dont apply in priority seats. ppl eat + talk loudly + noone complains. its a lawless society, a #gilligansaisle.

>>Sept. 23, 2010: witnessed 2nd cat fight in 2 wks in #cta priority seating. let's see if they have enuf jello in their purses for wrestling.

>>Jan. 28, 2011: is entering hour 2 on #cta no. 151 to union station. like being in a mobile retirement home w/milton berle as entertainer.

>>March 11, 2011: driver yelling "no 120" out the door at each stop b/c bus has "no. 66" signs. jesus or anyone w/a #cta map, take the wheel.

>>May 12, 2011: van just sideswiped #cta bus + now we're waiting as accident reports are filled out. no injuries or damage to bus. a #tracysbusride first.

>>July 14, 2011: guy on bus has live chicks in a brown paper bag. pretty sure this isn't allowed + the chicks are tweeting their disapproval.

Best pickup lines heard during Tracy's bus rides

>>"You got kids?" --a pickup line on the No. 75-74th/75th

>>"You're on the wrong bus." --all the Avon workers on the No. X98-Avon Express, designed to take workers to the Avon plant in Morton Grove

>>"Are you a terrorist?" --a bus driver on the No. 50-Damen asking about Blackberry photographing of the sights along the route

>>"Hey, Lindsay Lohan." --a male passenger on the No. 15-Jeffery Local

How you know you've been riding buses for too long

>>You set up priority seating at the dinner table.

>>You begin all your sentences with "Your attention, please."

>>You open your door so strangers can ask you for directions.

tswartz@tribune.com | @tracyswartz

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