"So, do you think I can sue TriMet for this?" my passenger asks.
"Sue them for what?"
"Well, I was sitting there for well over an hour. The last bus just never came."
I ponder this. "Sue them for what, exactly?"
"The cost of paying you, of course."
"Certainly. I'll write you a receipt."
"Can you put the time on it?"
So far, we're just perhaps one standard deviation out of the ordinary, but we're about to start heading into serious outlier territory. "There's also the value of an hour of my time. My time is worth something." Looking at her, I'm thinking that an hour of her time usually equals an hour of television accompanied by an entire box of Ding-Dongs. But that would be unkind. "Certainly, ma'am, time is money," I almost sing.
She agrees, vehemently, which is when I realize she's opened a bag of Cheetos; her vehemence sends forth a little orange spray to brighten up the upholstery. "Then there's the danger to my life, making me sit for an hour in a neighborhood like that" (37th and Belmont). "The trauma, just sitting there thinking of what could happen to a lone woman like myself at this hour. They should pay for that as well, goddammit!"
She asks me for the police non-emergency number, which I give her. What I wish I had was an Incipient Schizophrenia Hotline number. Pity there isn't one. I'm sure we all know at least one person who would benefit.