Ticked off by the indignities of flying these days? The police state atmosphere, the delays, the status anxiety, the food, the rudeness, those people on their fucking cell phones? Jerry Weinberger reminds us that the bus used to be much worse:
In 1963, I took a Greyhound bus from San Francisco to New York. Though it was the cheapest way to get from coast to coast, the fare was about a hundred bucks; adjusted for inflation, that would be nearly $700 today, one-way. I’ll never forget that tripmy nose won’t let me. It took weeks for my clothes to give up the reek of intestinal flatus that suffused the atmosphere of the coach. The whores who plied their trade from stop to stop smelled like goats. And from the winos, sitting in the back with their brown bags of Ripple, came long, deep, rumbling burps that reminded you of rotting vegetables. The foodyou had to buy your own in the dumps the bus stopped athad all been fried in grease that came in hard blocks in boxes labeled HAZMAT. The trek took almost three days, and it was hard to get more than a couple of hours of sleep at night. So if you think flying is so tough, try taking a bus instead: though they’re much nicer nowadays, they still take a long time to get you where you want to go.