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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Now That I Think About It, Maybe That Does Look Cool!

As a person with a keen observational eye and humble demeanor, I am – as is well known in these parts – a big fan of the bus commute.

OK. So that’s not entirely true. I’m sometimes catatonically un-observant, I’m not terribly humble, and I’m not always a big fan of the bus commute.

The bus itself is lovely, don’t get me wrong. An engine, a seat, both roof and flooring intact? That’s all I ask.

But the human beings on said bus? Are they or are they not the most interesting animals on the planet?

Some days, I just feel such love for my fellow creatures. Look at us! How different we all are! Tiny, skinny little people; enormous people; people muttering into cell phones; people doing Sudoku/crossword puzzles; people with their hands down their pants…

Wait. Let’s just save that story. It’s disgusting; and, frankly, satisfying only to the creep that gets on the bus at 17th and Washington, just outside of public housing…

The police know who you are, dude! You're gonna get caught, you know! Just keep it up!

Wait. That may have been a poor choice of words…

Where was I?

Oh, yes. My love for humanity.

Some days, I have such a compassionate fascination with humanity.

And other days, I have a morbid fascination regarding how people see themselves.

Take, for example, the woman who got on the bus this morning. The one with the headphones on.

What was initially obvious was that these weren’t just your everyday headphones but full-sized recording-studio headphones. Headphones with purpose. Headphones that won’t take “no” for an answer.

Immediately following this observation was the fact that this person was in significant rock-out mode. Lip-synching furiously, her head going up-down-up-down-up-down with the metronomic intensity reserved for the meth-enhanced and the chemically unbalanced, this woman was serious.

She was here to rock!

Certainly whatever she was listening to was not audible to the rest of us; but if her facial expressions can be trusted, it was the greatest, rock-ing-est, bad-ass-est bit of tune-age since Jimi Hendrix said, “I think I’ll try my hand at music.”

Feel free, by the way, to insert the rockin’ music icon of your choice there. We will also accept Keith Moon, Jack White, Prince, Jaco Pastorius, Buddy Rich or John Paul Jones.

What? My what? Oh, sorry. I guess my “geek” was showing…

At any rate, I am sure that, as this woman amused me, I am, by the same token, amusing someone else.

And isn’t that nice?

Humans. We’re just funny.

32 comments:

darsden said...

Pearl you never cease to amaze me. I love riding the bus with you. Even though sometimes we don't get to talk at least our eyes can speak to what we are witnessing!

Dude keep it down!

Oversized headphones haven't seen them around in ions. Have a great day Pearl. Congrats on being above freezing for the first time in along time. :-)

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Wonderful bus story with characters popping to life.

I have taken the bus a bit lately and had forgotten what a great people watching place it is.

Pearl said...

Darsden!
I was diggin' how our eyes met when the chick with the headphones got on. :-) Takes all kinds!
And yes, it's practically WARM here. ha ha We've got another cold front showing up tonight, so Friday and Saturday should be pretty chilly again. My mom and sister are coming down (live about two hours north) to take me out for my birthday, have a drink, and go to an art exhibit.
I feel all cultural in my old age.
:-)
xoxo
Pearl

Pearl said...

PHST,
Some days I think "freaks!" and smile; and some days I think "freaks!" and shake my head...
Pearl

R~ said...

Though i don't ride the bus anymore I have been that woman (not with the humougous headphones, the tiny ones that fit in your ear are just fine) but mouthing the words, moving my head the whole nine. Now I am the woman seemingly giving a concert behind the steering wheel of her car. Yes I mean singing at the top of my lungs, hands in the air (well only one hand at a time since I am driving), giving a grammy worthy performance. Its the only way to get through traffic without becoming a raging maniac.

Ria~

Susan said...

I saw a few details that you missed while you and Darsden were making googly eyes at each other. She had a playskool tape recorder tucked beneath her code and she was rockin' out to, "The Wheels On The Bus."

Lyndsay said...

Regardless, the freaks (errr, fellow members of humanity) provide for endless blog material ...

Jess said...

Awww! I wanna ride a bus! I have to wait for these moments for when I am in the airport. Or mall. Ohhh, or the strip club...that is some good people watching there!

Pearl said...

R~, I, too, am the singer in the car. :-)

Susan, the tune freakin' RAWKS!

Lyndsey, the freaks (and I accept the idea that, on any given day, I am a freak to somebody!) are just good humor. Unless it's that guy that keeps knitting the same thing over and over only to rip it out and hit himself in the head. He's a scary freak and I worry about those knitting needles sometimes...

Pearl said...

Jess, the mall is the best -- so is the supermarket.
A strip club?! I've been to a couple, but the girls just seem so depressed. :-) The CROWD, however, offers numerous character studies!

Under the Influence said...

LOVE people watching and the bus is the best place to do that, as you have described so well!

Irish Gumbo said...

(removing big ass headphones to better compose a response):

Yo, Pearl, great story! I like it when I get on the bus, and that same kinda chick gets on the bus, wearing those headphones, and starts shaking that thing all in my face, and then says "Hey,bay-bee, ya wanna go for a ride)?" and I'm all "Damn, girrrrl, yeah, you be--"

(...)

Yours is not that kinda bus, is it? Woops, hehehe, uh, no I like a nice quiet bus ride where I can do character studies, too...

adlibby said...

Pearl, I'm a little jealous of your bus commute and the AWESOME material that falls (nearly sits) right in your lap. Not so jealous of the smell of bus exhaust, but hey, it comes with the territory. My mom is one of those bus riders rockin' out to "Afternoon Delight" or maybe a little BeeGees. Now my husband is more of a plane man -- he's got those kick-ass Bose Silencing Headphones. Not a bad way to travel. Anyway, your post reaffirms what I've been thinking -- I really have to get out more!

Barbara Blundell said...

Hi Pearl, I don't drive so have done a lot of travelling by bus,. Love it ! especially now it's free.It's possible to travel from one end of the country to the other using the free pass although it does take time !
One day when I was about 12 my mum sent me to the electricians on the bus with an upright vacuum cleaner to be repaired I did feel a fool !

Kavi said...

If there is a Mega Head phone and a silent headbanging...well, even the blind would observe ! just by the shake of the ground !!

So, no credits to you there ! ( I am in a sadistic streak ) So ! ;)

But i must say, i am amused ! And curious too. About this chap who gets on teh bus at 17th ! Hmm !

And i must say..the geek did show up. quite a bit ! :)

Vic said...

I have to admit I kind of miss those big headphones. The ear bud style hurt my ears (must be some kind of ear deformity)and fall out. Besides, they're like a big warm hug for your head!
(Too bad about the skeevy pants-diver....)

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Some people just gotta let their freak flags fly! I am guilty of walking to the beat and occasionally lip syncing to my headphones.

My one true love, though: ROcking it out at top volume in the car. Even with the windows closed, I'm afraid other people can hear me.... but not afraid enough to stop. ;-)

Keep on bussin', girlfriend, and reporting back on the freaks (and geeks) that ride along.

Douglas said...

I try not to notice people too much since... I am also a person in whatever environment I might be observing others. That is, who's watching you?

Also, we tend to become overly self conscious. As in, "Ever notice how a person's ears always move when he/she eats?"

Also, we don't have buses here and I am patently jealous.

nsiyer said...

Nice one, Pearl.As long as we amuse others we don't miss the bus.
I also get amused with younsters today in India walking on the road with mobile phone ear gadgets. Sometimes, I wonder are they talking to themselves? Till I see the gadget on the ear. Still more wonderful was the gentleman in the washroom who said hello and I returned the greeting. Only to realise he was on the phone with a ear gadget on and chattering with someone else.

Heinous said...

That's one of my favorite pastimes too. Watching people.

My wife looks at me strangely when I write something down after seeing so I cna use it in a blog or a story.

Steve said...

Hands down pants? Hmm. Either (a) very cold hands and no gloves, (b) holding together a severed / shattered organ and on way to hospital or (c) pervert. What was the expression on his face like? Glassy, terrified or cross-eyed?

Douglas said...

Steve, consider another choice:

(d) lice.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Yes, the headphone jamming chick is cool, unless there isn't really any music playing...then I suggest you find another seat away from her - quickly.
:)

Captain Smack said...

I used to ride the bus alot. There was this one guy whom I would often see on the bus, I guess our travel habits were synchronized or whatever. He always had walkman headphones on. Always. And you could just glance at him and instantly see that was was... different.

Then one day I went to my mom's work. She was a secretary at a mental health facility at the time, and there was headphones guy, sitting calmly in the waiting room.

Later I mentioned it to my mom, and she was familiar with his file. It turned out that he was receiving transmissions from Martians on those headphones. Not just aliens, but Martians.

As for rockin' icons, Jimi totally works for me.

Jeanne said...

I could never get over the fact that the Twin Cities have bus stops on the freeway....

SweetPeaSurry said...

Pearl, you always amuse me ... I'd like to observe your bus route, and not in a critically creepy way either. I am usually oblivious to the people around me.

Oh craptastic, I've been oblivious to actually posting my own blog today too.

I'm off!

Michelle said...

Dear Pearl,
A lovely touching post and i thank you!!! Please keep them coming so i can be entertained!!!

No pressure girlie!!!! :O)

Love ya!!!

The Wife O Riley said...

It's the circle of life; Be amused to amuse.

De Campo said...

(coming in from 29th Street and taking hands out of pants to better compose a response)

It’s a freaking rash, cut a guy some slack.

ahem,

I really felt left out during my days of utilizing public transportation. It seemed like I was the only kid on the bus that didn’t wear Ode de McD Grease Scent and/or mumble to myself in the Kings English.

Braja said...

And you my precious are one of the funniest.... :))

I know, I'm a total little shit :)) LOL....

The Unbearable Banishment said...

If you ever get the chance, ride the New York City subway. It’s a circus! A free freak show! When I first got to the city (mumble-mumble) years ago, you could take your life into your hands by riding the subway. Now, it’s no longer dangerous, but just as interesting.

Brenda said...

Public transportation is the best place to people watch. Even better than airports. I ride the bus now and then just for the show.