There’s never a dull moment on public transportation. Maybe that was a slight exaggeration, but it’s pretty close to the truth.  The #147 bus travels between downtown Chicago and the Howard Street station. 

Once it leaves the Delaware stop in Chicago, it runs express on Lake Shore Drive to Foster Street, which gives passengers like me a chance to look out at the lake. 

A few days ago, I caught the #147 down on State Street. A couple got on and sat down behind me. 

I gathered from the woman’s conversation that she had bought a dress that she was now showing to her husband. She wanted to know what he thought of it. He made some comment about it looking like a dress for her mother.

(Uh oh.) 

She then asked him if he did not like it. He evaded answering the question by saying, “If you like it, that’s what’s important.” 

His answer was apparently not satisfactory, so his wife asked him why he didn’t like it.  Again he evaded the question and said that if she liked it, that was what mattered. 

His wife then asked him to tell her what some woman (whom I’ll call Val) was wearing when he saw her. He said he didn’t want to talk about it. 

She asked him again what Val was wearing.  By this time a woman had sat down next to me. The woman behind us had got pretty loud. She continued to ask her husband loudly over and over again what Val was wearing. 

The woman next to me and I looked at each other and shook our heads.  “Good grief,” I said “I wish the woman behind us would shut up.” 

The woman next to me agreed. Unfortunately, the woman behind us did not shut up. 

She told her husband over and over again and louder and louder that he should be able to tell her what Val was wearing.  Her husband said over and over again that it wasn’t something that he wanted to discuss.  By now, both of them sounded angry. 

She then asked her husband loudly if he was not saying what Val was wearing because he thought what Val was wearing was sexy since he didn’t like the dress she had bought. 

(Oh my gosh!  How convoluted a question.)  

He told her to change the subject. 

She didn’t. I’m not sure what happened, but I thought I heard one of them slap the other. 

The husband got up in a huff and fled to the back of the bus. 

Yahoo – a getaway. 

A standing passenger immediately sat down in his seat. 


The husband did not return.  His getaway meant a pleasant ride up Lake Shore Drive.

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...