Horoscope on the bus


A homeless guy walks into a bus. He sits at the back, facing another man, visibly a first or second generation immigrant. At the very corner sits a woman, mother of 2, who's thinking what she will make for dinner tonight. A few other passengers are sitting elsewhere.

The sitting patterns on the bus contain some hidden gems of social behaviour and self-organization. Most people will tend to choose the corners first, as if to distance themselves maximally from the potentially crowded areas. Continuing with this pattern, the next people will sit at opposite sides of a bench, and later ones will leave empty seats between their neighbours. The last seats taken will fill the gaps between the already sitting passengers.

But the homeless guy sits right smack in the middle of the back lateral bench. He picks up a newspaper that's lying there, and opens the horoscope page. What he reads obviously does not convince him. He starts muttering derisively and throws the paper aside. Looking up, he spots the immigrant in front of him and asks:

  • What's your horoscope sign?

The man takes some time to respond. The shock of being addressed by a total stranger, homeless person, on a bus is compounded with his shaky grasp of his host language. The accent of the alcohol-imbibed hobo is not helping. After a pause, the immigrant answers:

  • I don't know.
  • What do you mean, you don't know? How can anyone not know his sign?

The homeless guy looks around, as if seeking help. The woman is still here, half-listening to the absurd conversation taking place. She is no stranger to absurd situations herself.

  • Can you please explain to him what a horoscope is?
  • How can I do that? Where can I even start? He just doesn't know what his sign is!

The homeless guy seems to think for while, then addresses the man again:

  • I don't mean to ask you a personal question, but can you tell me on which day you were born?
  • May 24.
  • Then he's a Taurus! exclaims the woman, eager to end her participation at the soonest.

The homeless guy stands up suddenly as the bus pulls to a stop.

  • I now pronounce you man and wife. Goodbye!

He steps off the bus. The immigrant man stands up too, and walks off.