I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bus Envy, or Yours is Bigger Than Mine

I’ve developed a craving for one of those accordion buses. They’re almost twice as long as a regular bus – that’s gotta be twice as satisfying, right?

The urge for a bigger bus came the morning of the first.

That’s yesterday, if you’re keeping score at home.

The first of the month is a very special time in many people’s lives. There’s money, after all, on the first, if only for a few minutes. In my experience those minutes come between receiving a check for a job well done (or the check you receive before they catch on to the fact that you’re not much of a worker, or the check you receive from the government) and writing another check (or five) for rent, utilities, books, beer, and other must-have items.

Which brings us to the bus.

The dead bolt to my front door refused to lock Monday morning for reasons it did not disclose. It took forty-five minutes of sweating, swearing, and seriously considering calling in to work “disgusted” before the door was locked.

And I had dramatically missed my usual bus.

You know, you think you know a bus after riding it for six years. You think you know the drivers, the faces of your fellow commuters. Generally speaking, the people on the 7:15 are all going to work.

The folks on the 9:00 did not have the look of work about them.

My fellow riders were loud and unconfined by societal expectations. Speculation as to where they were headed dressed in pajama bottoms and sleep in their eyes we shall leave to the professionals.

Normally, I’m a firm believer in listening in on other people’s conversations, particularly if avoiding them means turning up my iPod to levels likely to induce ear-bleed. The normal commuters do not spend a lot of time on the phone, preferring to stare blankly out the window, so my listening in on the myriad calls going on at one time promised to be a treat. They were, however, not a treat, and the following conversation is actually a conglomeration of the five or six cell phone conversations that went on around me.

To get the full effect, it’s best delivered at the top of your lungs.

“Where you at? HUH? Where you at?”

As a quick aside, the phrase “where you at” is the quickest way for me to stop paying attention, but I persevered.

“Nah, nah. I be downtown in 20. Who? Wha’? Girl I can’t hear you! Speak up!”

There was a brief pause while the girl spoke up.

“What? No, he trippin’. Him and Trina/Ray-Ray/Boo/Mary Elizabeth be out at the clubs and I KNOW he ain’t tryin’ to tell me he ain’t! I’m gonna take care of my own, you hear what I’m sayin’? I’m gonna get PAID and he the one gonna pay me.”

I lost consciousness momentarily while these sentences were repeated in varying permutations.

“She best watch her back, that’s all I’m saying. What? No, he don’t. NO HE DON’T! Hold on a sec, I got another call.”

She then went on to answer her other line and spent the next several minutes bringing the new person up to date.

I thought it would get interesting at some point, but it didn’t. After all, there may have been reasons around all those stained, baggy pajama bottoms. There may have even been reasons behind the wild hair, the just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-into-boots look.

But she didn’t go into any of that.

I’m telling you. She either coughs up the “why’s” of the situation, or I’m putting in for a bigger bus.

I’m getting satisfaction one way or the other.


Fnord said...

This is the exact reason why I have bought a car. I need the independence of driving myself. The bus is too chaotic an uncontrollable for me.

Anonymous said...

I also find that if I remove words like "are" and "will" from my sentences that I can communicate more in a shorter period of time. Of course that conversation will never get interesting, or accomplish anything - that's why she's on the 9:00 bus.

sage said...

I know where this is going... Tomorrow's post will be about you breaking down the door as the deadbolt now refuses to open!

ICKY said...

....Mary Elizabeth......
Bwaaaaaaahahahahaha !!
Your a gem pearl-me-gurl !

oh yes I did !!

De Campo said...

I’m chillin with mines bloods Ray-Ray and Boo right now and let me tell you…

Oh yes theys did.

Jeanne said...

A bigger bus would just hold more of the same....

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I'm having flashbacks of taking DC buses to school...

Anonymous said...

Your regular bus, full of workers, that's the deal. The other one goes to the looney bin, last stop...


Lisa said...

What a hoot. Not for you as you had to endure it, but for us, as written by you.

I rarely miss public transportation. I mean that I rarely miss having to take public transportation. A couple of missing words and my meaning could be all misconstrued.

Thanks for that laugh. I wish for you a bigger bus.

Kr√ęg said...

Sometimes, you just have to envy those lucky fools who were born deaf and/or blind.

Jeanie said...

You are a great conversation rememberer. I guess that comes with being the pro eavesdropper that you are. Nothing like adding a little texture to your life (and ours) by getting acquainted with a new bus crowd.

Marla said...

Girl, I can't comment right now cuz my peeps are callin...yo yo...you hear what I’m sayin’?

powdergirl said...

Its just delightful how how you segue into the Ebonics, Pearl. You kill me : )

Pajama pants are a problem here too, ugh.

But just the other day I saw a guy out picking up a coffee and he was wearing his, at least I assumed it was his, fuzzy BATHROBE !!??

I mean, really man?

Fragrant Liar said...

People who stay in their nastified jammies while riding a bus are sending one message:

"I don't be needin' no -- I'm just sayin' so listen up -- I don't be needin' no stinkin' job, yo."

And I be trippin' if the likelihood of that ever changing isn't extremely remote.

Laoch of Chicago said...

We have the accordion buses here in Chicago. Sadly they are dreadful. Uncomfortable, very bad in handling pot holes, cold and in a word lame.

Kavi said...

The small problem at the door has given you big insights into stains in baggy pants !

life is beautiful ! Isnt it !

Tgoette said...

Dat waz a great post! Ridin’ da’ bus ya’ll be lernin’ a talk like da’ common foke do! Jus’ cuz they be wearin’ pajamas that don’t mean they no be workin’, gurl. Summa gotta be watchin’ all dose babies now, fo sho! Dats why theyse be gettin’ dis heah money fwom da gubbament, you know wha' I sayin'? Word.

Yo, thanks fo’ stoppin’ by an’ followin’. You iz havin’ a great blog an’ meh iz happy to follow ya’ll as well.

Tempo said...

I thought you'd finish your rant about the bigger bus by saying size doesn't matter..at least that what we've been told..
Listening in to phone calls is just never as interesting as you first think it will be huh? Seems most people have even more boring lives than I do...poor things!
Perhaps you could brighten their day by going into detail about some bank robbery you had planned while talking into your inoperative phone?

Tamsin said...

"I lost consciousness momentarily while these sentences were repeated in varying permutations."

Oh, that made me laugh so hard.

Thank you, Pearl!

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Yup..just like you 7:15ers to judge us 9-11:23ers who like to sit on the folds of the acordian bus. You are just too uptight and squaresville daddy-o for that seat. I can see you judging me with your clean underware and healthy bag lunch. And that smell you are smelling - yeh, that is coming from me. But us late busers don't look at someone who may just have a MEDICAL SMELL PROBLEM with such distain. If you cut us, do we not bleed? And YES, that is blood on my tshirt from last night. Now if you will excuse me I have to make a call on my walkman to my BOO who is also my Baby Momma. Peace Out!

Nota Bene said...

Accordion bus...is that what we call a Bendy Bus. They have a habit, over here at least, of bursting itno flames. Fortunately they have lots of doors

Kevin Musgrove said...

No! Not a bendy bus!!!

It's bad enough having the too-much-flesh-on-display-despite-acres-of-crimpelene tottering round the aisles indecisively for hours while they yabber on their phones until they finally fall out of the door at the front of the bus. The bendy buses give you a choice of exits, the one to be opened at the discretion of the driver. It's funny the first time, but palls quickly after that.