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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wherein I Ponder the Transit System and All It Has to Offer

From my notebook: an account of why I am usually listening to my iPod – and why I always carry a notebook.

The woman in the seat two ahead of me on the bus is dressed as City Trash-Talker #3. From the tips of her talon-like and bejeweled fingernails to the way she is sprawled across two seats during rush hour, her appearance is one big “stay away from me”.

This is not what makes her remarkable.

Her remarks are what make her remarkable.

She is on the phone when I board the bus.

“What you calling me back for? What? What?! Yes it is! Yes it is!! I’m not interested – why you frontin’?”

Me? I have no idea why he’s frontin’, but her side of the conversation is so loud that I’m hoping I’ll find out…

Let’s listen.

“What? What?! Why you callin’ me? Why you didn’t give me what I came for? Don’t even! Don’t even!”

She does her best to “slam” the cell phone.

Her left hand goes to her mouth, and she sucks her thumb while she waits for the other person to call back.

The other person calls back.

The ring is loud, and if it were to go on longer, I feel I would recognize it, but she is waiting for this call.

The thumb is removed from her mouth.

“What? What?! Where you? No! No, it don’t matter!”

At this point, she suggests a physical improbability related to his “stuffing” his “junk” and again gives angrily shutting the cell phone the old college try.

The effect is lost, of course, but I admire her commitment to keeping it angry.

Her left thumb goes back into her mouth.

The phone rings.

The thumb is removed from her mouth.

“What? What?! No, it don’t! You don’t know him! It ain’t none of your business! You don't know him!”

At this point, she pulls the cord and, still arguing, steps off the bus.

“What? What?! No, it don’t!”

I want to yell at her: But how does it end?

The last time I see her, she is standing in the middle of the cross street, her arm stretched in front of her, demanding that a car stop.

Would I be out of line in assuming that that woman be trippin’?

43 comments:

Bevie said...

Sounds like she might be having a few attention issues.

Sounds like a high-maintenance type of person.

It might be interesting, though, to follow her around in order to hear more of the conversation.

Pearl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pearl said...

Bevie, I'll have to watch for her.
You know, she wasn't all that noticeable physically, not really, but I guarantee that anyone who did not have their iPod up REALLY LOUD heard everything she had to say.
As James Brown used to say "talking loud and saying nothing"!

Barbara Blundell said...

I think she travels on our buses too sometimes

Pearl said...

Barbara, she and her minions are on all modes of travel these days!

jackba said...

AHHhahahaha! Well done Pearl! You hit that one right on the money! Hilarious! At risk of offending someone, I'm 52 and I don't have a clue what "My Junk" is much less what the hell stuffing it means...you ever wonder if these people are really aliens? I mean culturally they are out there you have to agree! It's truly like overhearing a communication from space to the mother ship.

Jodie Kash said...

You know what this means.

We are now entrusted to finish the story. Mine will have some wacky turn at the end about the thumb.

Eskimo Bob said...

Ahhh the MTC. . . that sounds awfully like Joshuania from NE Minnie; she has a brother/sister that is transgendered, for some reason I'm thinking that is who she was talking too.

Get to know her; they make real good ribs.

Chris said...

Pearl, this is an amazing coincidence, but I think I heard the other end of that conversation. I was sitting having a French Toast Slam, and I overheard a well-dressed lawyerly-looking gentleman on his iPhone. Here's what I heard:

"Ma'am, I'm sorry to be calling you back . . . Is this Mrs. Laquisha Jackson? Would you like to know why you're being sued by the CEO of Maybelline cosmetics?"

"Well, Mrs. Jackson, I'm 'frontin' because when you burst into the Maybelline offices demanding a refund for your obviously overdone line of "Skanky Ho Eyeshadow" . . . "

"I know we didn't give you what you came for because . . . "

Obviously, he'd been hung up on. Stifling a chuckle, he redialed.

"Mrs. Jackson, I'm on my way to your apartment right now to serve you with . . . "

Interrupted, obviously. Then hung up on. Now he's giggling. He sees me glancing his way and can't help but let me in on the story.

"You wouldn't believe this lady. She just told me to stuff my junk in my own butthole. And she wonders why we're about to destroy her. Watch this."

He redials.

"Mrs. Jackson, I happen to know your father and his criminal history and it makes your situation even worse . . . "

"It does indeed."

At that point, he hung up and walked out.

I'm intrigued.

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

no no!! I WANT to know how it ends!!!

jackba said...

Chris....LMAO!

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Pearl,

I like MacBeth's description:
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"

Shakespeare or James Brown? I'll let you decide Pearl.

I do love these bus observations of yours.

U

Pearl said...

Jackba, if you can make it to 52 without knowing what “junk” is, then you’re doing all right. No need to complicate things now! :-D

Jodie, I’m thinking a Little Jack Horner scenario…

Eskimo Bob, you know, there is someone not far off the line that actually might be who you refer to! Seriously. I know you say it in jest, but we got all types…

Chris, well last I saw this woman, she was stopping traffic to get to SOMEwhere. Where? It’s best we don’t know…

Roshni, that’s the beauty of the bus ride. It never ends!

U, oh, if I’d only known that quote while on the bus! It’s perfect, and that poor woman (and truly, I do feel compassion for her and her lack of boundaries and seeming lack of self-awareness) is a perfect example of the strutting and fretting on the stage…
Well done!
(And I absolutely live for these moments, to tell you the truth. There’s a man on another bus that I sometimes take that knits, very very tightly, rips it out and re-knits, makes growling noises and hits himself on the head. I worry about him – and those knitting needles!!! – and have yet to see anyone sit with him, no matter how busy the bus…)

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

She sho' is!! Unh huh!!

You should've gotten off that bus with Miss Thang and shared a car ride with her.:o)

Pearl said...

Mary, I just don't know if I could keep up. Plus the thumb-sucking kinda bummed me out. The bravado, combined with the vulnerability? Kinda sad, really...

ladyfi said...

Sounds like she is breaking up with her partner! And she's angry!

DevilsHeaven said...

A Thumb sucking adult. Say it ain't so!!!

Pearl said...

Ladyfi, could be! I thought there might be a drug connection as well, just by the way she jumped off the bus and ran into traffic. I could be wrong.

DevilsHeaven, oh, but it's so! That's not the first time I've seen an adult sucking a thumb (their own -- I guess I should specify!) on the bus...

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Being that I live in...well, given the city in which I live...I have often been confronted by the woman standing in the middle of a busy road with her arm extended in order to stop traffic. I always wonder at this. Is she trying to work some magical Force powers or what? It boggles the mind.

Pearl said...

iNDefatigable, I think the extended arm is applied in the belief that, having seen this on TV, a field of invincibility is thrown about the wielder of the magic arm.
That or the legal suit brought against whoever hits them will make up for whatever physical damage is done.
Either way.

Eskimo Bob said...

Pearl - I was actually being quite serious. I got to know Joshuania and her eclectic family quite well. Seriously sounds like here - especially the thumb sucking.

That Baldy Fella said...

You see, I can't counter this kind of behaviour by reading my book at them louder. it just doesn't work like that which is, quite frankly, annoying.

lizspin said...

If you ever see her again, call America's Most Wanted!!!

ICKY said...

It was probably her insurance agent on the other end.

I had a similar situation...kind of.
I was sitting out on my steps smoking, as I don't smoke in my house anymore, and from 1 block away I heard young man and woman hollering at one another.
They felt the place way to solve their disagreement was the middle of the street. And the best volume for said negotiations was 11.
So here they come, louder and louder with
" well you say dis "
" I say dat cause you said dis "
" You said dis so I said dat"
( I am cleaning it up for family readers. There were more F bombs then vowels between the two.)
and so on, until they got in front of my house, where was, sitting outside. I chuckled at the loud nonsense and they both stopped mid F bomb, looked at me and said, " MOTHAF**KA, YOU MIND YO OWN MUTHAF**KIN BUSINESS, DAMN..GETTIN ALL UP IN OUR S**T !! DAMN! "
With that, I laughed out loud.
It seemed to unite the couple as for the next 2 blocks all I could hear was, "S**T CAN YOU F**KIN BELIEVE THA MUTHAF**KA, GETTIN ALL UP IN OUR PRIVATE F**KIN S**T!!?"



People are funny.

Cupcake said...

Yup, she be trippin'

Joanie M said...

What was our kitchen manager doing on your bus, I wonder??? Love the thumb sucking. lol

Yeah, I'm Still Here... said...

Dang, the shit ya miss out on when you don't ride the bus!

I'm sure glad I found you, to fill me in on all the happenins'!

Kevin Musgrove said...

I think she was a library systems administrator taking a support call outside working hours.

Not The Rockefellers said...

She trippin' aiiight, or she may be buggin'...but why's the person on the other end frontin'?

What's up with that?

There seemed to be some sort of transaction that went wrong.

The goods and services delivered by said "fronter" clearly did not meet her expectations.

So she's changing her carrier. She's moving on...

Apparently the "fronter" was willing to negotiate and get her into some sort of friends and family plan...

That's what I'm reading out of this :)

Hey, I once had a buddy who tried to storm out of a party through a sliding door with two sliders...

Awwwwkwwward....

Peace - Rene

FrankandMary said...

Anything that encourages conversation leads to progress. No, tht isn't exactly true but I like to say it to sulking people who refused to speak to whomever they are mad at. At least she kept talking to the guy, probably in an addictive way. ~Mary

Pearl said...

Eskimo Bob, oh! :-D

That Baldy Fella, you and I are in wild agreement on that one.

Lizspin, but first I ask her what happened with that guy that was frontin’.

Icky, I have to admit that I’ve been to your house and I know that you’re telling the truth. Your neighborhood is not only really loud but it seems to be unencumbered with the usual societal constraints.

Cupcake, I thought so, too!

Joanie, you may love her thumbsucking, but I’ll bet her dentist is against it!

Yeah I’m Still Here, it’s just one of the many services I offer: listening in and recording the people you may not be running into anymore!

Kevin, libraries! It’s always libraries with you! :-D

Rene, I agree. I think the person on the other end was both a lover and a provider of other services/products…
You can’t slam a cell phone, and you can’t really storm out a sliding glass door…

Pearl said...

Mary, the subject is really so much deeper than the lousy 300-some words I gave it. Every time she shut the phone, she held it, KNOWING that it would ring again. And she was right -- it rang every time she hung up on him.

People are funny.

jackba said...

Pearl....NEVER ride a bus in the big city without your kevlar undies!

Pearl said...

jackba, I've got better than that -- I've got Icky! :-D

powdergirl said...

I'm gonna buy a buy pass.
Right Now!

Warty Mammal said...

Wow. Your life is way more interesting than mine.

ugich konitari said...

Pearl, the mind boggles about the repurcussions if this were to happen in Mumbai buses. First, you cannot, simply sprawl on 2 seats. You cant sprawl, period. Secondly, the person at the other end would have heard several people around her, asking who she thought the bus belonged to, and whether it was her father. Then several women would have enquired and advised her on how to teach the fellow a lesson. Finally, she would have, in an effort to stop 15 people leaning on her, simply exited a couple of stops earlier. But good entertainment, and like our old Hindi movies; except the heroine would have been in an artistic pose on the bonnet of a moving convertible, and singing her stuff to someone, telling him off, while the hero drove the car....

Lilly said...

When you know how to slam the cell phone let me know because I sure as hell would like to try it sometime! She sure gets around though because I have seen her all over the place here!!

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

Oh yeah, she be trippin' for sure.
(That's the best I've got. I'm not cool enough to know the lingo.)

♥ Braja said...

I loved Ugich Konitari's comment, because while I was reading your post I was thinking how impossible it is to behave like that in cultured countries, like India. The so-called freedom that people have in terms of the way they behave in western countries really is atrocious; however the solution in India is so comical, like Ugich explained, it had me laughing at the image of an Indian version happening here :))

troutay said...

This is why I hate taking mass transit. I haven't been on a bus in years. I did take the light rail to the airport once. I guess I am like Howard Hughes .... "don't touch me, don't touch me".

mkreider said...

This is a riot! The loud ones always have the least to say and the worst way of saying it letting all around them know what a cramped and wrinkled life they lead. The quiet ones are a mystery.

Pearl said...

Powdergirl, I highly recommend the bus both for reduction in commuting stress and as an economics maneuver. There’s also the entertainment…

Warty Mammal, I don’t know if it’s that much more exciting or if I’m just so easily amused…

Ugich, well then I very much want to be in India. Perhaps we could work out an exchange program? What is sad, of course, is that most Minnesotans will not tell someone to move over or get involved in any way with a dispute. Very non-confrontational but silently jealous of those who CAN say “Hey! Move over!” or “Will you please talk more quietly?”

Lilly, they need to build a cell phone that DOES slam! (And it is good to know that Minnesota is not the only place with loud-mouthed people on the bus…

Bloggin’ Mama Andrea, word. :-D

Braja, I agree wholeheartedly; and may I add that the ease of buying a gun in the U.S. does not help. On the one hand there is telling some loud-mouthed person on the bus to simmer down and let us ride in peace and on the other hand there are all the video surveillance tapes of people (on buses, in shopping malls, in schools, in airports, at work ad nauseum infinitum) pulling guns on the people who have asked them to quiet down. And so we are torn between wanting to behave civilly and risking our blood supply to do so…

Troutay, well, the light rail to the airport is the only way to go! And not all buses are bad – but there are definitely some that are louder than others…

Mkreider, “cramped and wrinkled life”. Oooh, I wish I’d said that (and am tucking it away for future reference)!