Radio Dan, the Bus-Ridin’ Man

May 30, 2007 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

You want to know what’s wonderful? The late-shift. I’m working 3:30 to midnight now, which is exactly as much fun as it sounds. From 5-10, there’s non-stop calls.

But enough about that! I have come not to complain, but to entertain. In fact, you may want to play Joplin’s (Scott, not Janis) “The Entertainer” in the background, in order to supplement the effect. Ready? Let us begin….

The city bus is a wonderful place to meet crazy people. I once met an old man with a huge, unkempt beard and strange smell who spent the ride ranting loudly about how Johnny Cash and Sammy Davis Jr. ripped him off. When the woman sitting across from him tried to ignore him, he got up and started yelling at her until he was escorted off the bus.

That’s just a small sample of what you’re likely to see on the bus. Many of the people that come on are merely strange, but every now and then you get someone truly bizarre like our friend above. But all those crazies, with all their strangeness, pale in comparison to the bus rider I call “Radio Dan”.

Radio Dan is a bit of a legend on the bus circuit. I’d heard stories about him for awhile, but yesterday was the first day I saw him for myself. Our friend Dan, as you may have guessed, is obsessed with the radio. But where Dan differs from most fans is that he is also convinced he is on the radio. As Dan rides the bus he gives detailed weather reports, does commercials, segues between songs, and performs all the responsibilities of a Radio DJ. He even brings a CD player and extra discs so he can switch tracks.

I find this endlessly fascinating. What causes someone to be fixated on the radio like this? How does he think he’s broadcasting when he lacks any equipment whatsoever? Why does he do it on the bus, of all places?

Radio Dan has a bit of a funny voice, as well. I like to imagine that it was his lifelong dream to become a radio DJ, but when he auditioned for the role he was rejected for the way he sounded. On the bus ride back, utterly crushed, he began his own “broadcast” to prove to he could do it, and now he continues with that same broadcast to this day.

Of course, reality is never that obvious. I imagine there’s a lot of complex and deep-seated psychological issues involved in Radio Dan’s behaviour. Still, no matter what the origins of his delusion, he’s great for a weather update. And for that we can all be thankful.

Radio Dan, There Shan’t Be Wit Salutes You!
Crazy Bus-Person of the Year!

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