The Art of Barter on the 71-Noriega on a Thursday Evening


Good Evening:

So I was heading home on the 71-Noriega at 9:30 p.m. after a meeting of one of my theater groups when a young Hispanic couple in their early 20s hopped on board and ended up standing near me. They did what every young couple in love has a moral obligation to do in public and started necking on the bus. That’s one of the rules governing being young and in love: young lovers must kiss in public. Look it up. I obeyed the rule when I was young and you probably did, too.

However, the necking didn’t last too long, a clear violation of those same rules: after all, being young and in love is a spectator sport. They broke apart and stood side by side. He said that it just wasn’t the same when you’re starving, and his ladyfriend agreed, adding that they never should have smoked those two joints, now they’ve got those marijuana hunger pangs and there’s no food at her place.

At this moment, an African-American male of about the same age, but shorter than the other two, snuck on board via the back door without paying his fare. He carried 3 1-pound Hershey’s White Chocolate Bars and a single 1-pound Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar. Turns out that he happened to be a friend of the couple, so he fist-bumped the young male lover and air-kissed the young female lover.

The young male lover asked, “What are you doing with those bars?”

“Oh, I ‘lifted them from the Walgreen’s.”


The young lady pulled her young man’s head to her lips and whispered into his left ear. He whispered to their friend with the stolen chocolate. They looked around quickly to ensure no one was looking, somehow missed me staring at them from three feet away, and made the trade: a single 1-pound Hershey’s White Chocolate Bar in exchange for the butt ends of two joints. The chocolate thief disembarked immediately, whilst the young couple did not wait for another second before tearing off the wrapper and noshing away. And that is the Art of Barter on the 71-Noriega on a Thursday evening.

Vonn Scott Bair


4 responses »

    • planeman: Very true! I had forgotten. You can tell how often I partake of the sacred bud–less than the number of fingers on one hand, and never within the past quarter-century. Vonn Scott Bair

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