Traveling on a crowded #48 from Ravenna to east Capitol Hill late this morning, I was sitting in the back row beside two women, one of whom looked to be in her late twenties and was looking out the window, the other of whom looked to be in her late teens and was holding an inordinately cute baby boy.
I was sitting next to the one with the baby, and we rode from Ravenna through the U District without incident, unless you count the baby's inordinate cuteness or the various things riders used to busy themselves. (For me, this was an iPod. For the couple dozen, schoolkids on the bus, this was texting.)
But as we headed up to Capitol Hill, the woman who'd been looking out the window started hollering, spitting out a 30-second stream of "You need to shut the fuck up" and "Why don't you talk about how you jack off every night?" and "You're supposed to be so smart and you can't think of nothing better than to talk shit about me. You're gonna get a free fucking nose job." I assumed she was fighting with someone over the phone, but when I glanced over (along with most of the rest of the bus), I couldn't see any phone.
At this point, I was accosted by the younger woman with the baby, who told me to put my headphones back on. (I'd taken them off to find out what the hollering was about.) She then called me a faggot (which I took as a compliment of my shoulder bag) and chastised me for eavesdropping. Meanwhile, the other woman kept up her hollering, which I eventually realized was directed at a couple of teenage boys sitting near us. One had a trumpet-sized instrument case, the other had a Tupperware container of cupcakes on his lap, and both looked about 15—and neither of them had said anything to or about the hollering lady as far as I could tell.
Still, the hollering continued, with the older woman cursing the boys and the younger woman telling me to stay the fuck out of it faggot, her mother's problems weren't for my entertainment. Thus did those of us on the back of the bus learn that the women were mother and daughter, a revelation that was soon eclipsed by the daughter's sudden attack of one of the teenage boys (the one without the cupcakes), whom she began punching, slapping, and scratching.
The attack happened right as the bus pulled up to the stop at 23rd and Madison, and the mother/grandmother (who was now holding the baby) tried to pull her daughter off the bus and away from the cops that a handful of riders (myself included) were dialing. Eventually the older woman had to get a few swings in, too, ditching the baby on the sidewalk outside the back bus doors and re-boarding to lunge at the teenage boy, whom she punched and scratched down the face. As the bus driver made her way back to intervene, the two women jumped off the bus, snatched up the now-wailing baby, and took off around the corner.
The bus stayed put, portions of the attacked-but-alright kid's face started to swell, bleed, and/or turn purple, and the cops soon arrived and took statements. The women were last seen hustling west off 23rd. Watch out—these ladies have hair triggers and are having a bad, bad day.)