An autistic woman got on a city bus today, to the astonishment and applause of a dozen eyewitnesses in the Evergreen neighborhood of Springfield.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said local charlatan Bettel Brunoheim. “She was standing at the bus stop avoiding eye contact, when the bus pulled up. And she didn’t even hesitate. Just put one foot right on the bottom step, and then the other foot, and then she was inside. Showed the driver her bus pass and everything.”
“I was so thrilled,” said another passenger on the bus, who wished to remain anonymous. “An autistic person, getting on a bus! Just like real people! I didn’t even know they let those kinds of people out in public these days anymore.”
Autism experts, however, remain skeptical. “We have seen certain high-functioning autistic people mimic the behaviors involved in using public transportation very closely,” said autism bus researcher Simon Caron-Bohen. “At times, it even looks as though they intend to board the bus and ride it to a specific destination. These impressions are uncanny in their ability to mislead. In fact, while some autistic people do possess a certain amount of cognitive understanding of buses, their lack of Theory of Bus makes it impossible for them to possess a true emotional understanding of buses.
“In other words, no matter how much it looked as if the autistic woman knew what she was doing, sadly, she experiences buses only as loud, ugly metal tubes packed with incomprehensible water-bags shrieking gibberish,” Caron-Bohen explained. “It’s beautiful, in its way.”