CLEVELAND—Passengers aboard a northbound number 67 bus were reportedly filled with delight and joy Monday as they watched a fellow resident run helplessly after the rapidly departing vehicle.
The endlessly uplifting and entertaining chase, which took place between 8:23 a.m. and 8:25 a.m., began shortly after the Cleveland-area bus pulled away from its Sixth Avenue stop. According to passengers, it was then that they first noticed a large unidentified man in a business suit running in complete desperation to catch up with the bus.
"He was actually moving pretty fast," said Donald Schoemeyer, one of roughly a dozen passengers whose spirits were lifted by the hulking, heavily sweating man. "Even when it was clear that there was no way he was going to make it, he still kept running after us."
"I guess he really needed to get on that bus," added Schoemeyer, a faint smile forming on his lips.
Reports indicate that a number of factors contributed to the overall feeling of joy among those lucky enough to witness the spectacle. Among them, the fact that the man was not in very good physical shape, an indication that the act of running was in all likelihood his last recourse; the black briefcase the man was carrying at the time of his amusing chase, which not only added weight to his already cumbersome frame, but also suggested he was trying to be on time for some important business meeting; and lastly, the growing improbability that the man was ever going to reach the speeding bus.
"His face was getting all sorts of red," said Cleveland resident Roberta Washington, who sat inches away from one of 15 stop-request buttons and watched the whole frantic pursuit from her seat. "You could tell he was yelling something from the way his mouth kept on moving, and the way he was waving that one arm all around."
"Heh," Washington continued. "He was waving that arm pretty good."
According to public transportation sources, the morning commute aboard the number 67 bus is generally unremarkable and monotonous, with commuters sitting in silence and dreading another long, hard day of work. The appearance of the running, wildly gesticulating man, however, instantly altered the mood aboard the bus, bringing with it a kind of levity and cheerfulness not experienced in weeks.
"At first, I thought I was the only one who saw him, but then I turned around and there were like six other people also grinning to themselves," said Michael Schwarz, who takes the 67 every morning. "It was just this really nice moment we all got to share together."
Those on the bus weren't the only ones warmed upon sight of the increasingly exhausted man. Pedestrians and motorists along Sixth Avenue were also afforded a brief moment of joy after seeing the panting man momentarily trip, spill his coffee on the sidewalk, and then look up in despair as the bus sped further and further away from him.
Roughly one minute into the chase, when it appeared that the now-kneeling man had finally given up, and that no additional pleasure would be brought to the enthralled passengers, a serendipitous event took place. Witnesses at the corner of Howard Road and Davies Avenue reported that a red traffic light finally brought the speeding bus to a stop, allowing the delightful man one last opportunity to catch up.
"Believe it or not, that poor bastard actually got to his feet again and started running our way," said city worker Jerome Turner, who claimed that he had been rooting for the man the entire time. "He almost made it, too. But then the light turned green and, you know how it is, I just had to keep driving."