Sometimes, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
And sometimes, when the going gets tough, the tough retreat to the comforts of their own heads and drink bottles of imaginary beer there.
This is not to say, of course, that I am not rooted in reality a good deal of the time. As has been noted (primarily by me), I am the Queen of Side Jobs, She Who Will Clean Your Bathroom for Cash. I may clean a house on weekends or “butler” appetizers to people who will hand me used Kleenex without embarrassment or acknowledging my existence, but there’s no reason I have to do these things with 100% of my brain engaged.
Which brings me to my fantasy life.
Have I told you about my fantasy life, the one where I awake each day with a spring in my step? It’s nice. The crabgrass is always under control and the air smells like fresh sheets.
My current fantasy involves my heroic efforts to save my fellow bus passengers.
Come along won’t you? It’s totally safe!
It’s an early-morning commute when the bus is hijacked by gang members of sketchy design. What they want is unclear. Perhaps they want us all to wear baggier pants. Perhaps it’s a tattoo drive of some sort: “I Was Hijacked And All I Got Was This Lousy Tattoo”. Whatever it is, it is murky at this point and unimportant to the fantasy itself.
Where was I?
Oh, yes. Hushed cell phone calls are clandestinely placed by those unlucky enough to be aboard, and in no time at all local news vans are following at a safe distance. Eventually of course, the bus runs out of gas and we are forced to sit at the edge of the road as people get hungrier and the need for a restroom becomes more pronounced. Demands for pizza and port-a-potties are unmet. During the panic and uncertainty of the day, my cool head and ability to relate comes to the fore; and it is the skillful offer of my iPod to the head guy (“Just to relax. Just a song or two to help you get your head together.”) that eventually convinces the leader to give up.
Perhaps it was Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”. Perhaps it was James Brown’s “Sex Machine”. Whatever the song was, the man has had a change of heart; and the news vans film our triumphant and injury-free exodus.
“Haven’t we all had enough?” he tearfully exclaims. The hijackers hold their arms out for the handcuffs; and the leader mouths the words “see you in court” at me, a rueful smile on his lips as the cameras roll…
Later, as the Mayor of Minneapolis presents me with a key to the city, I make a heartfelt plea for civility and brotherhood, reminding everyone of the tenuous bonds between human beings. The speech is met with cheers, and flowers land at my feet in aromatic and sneeze-inducing hillocks. Following this event, there is a sharp increase in babies named “Pearl”, pearl jewelry experiences a surge in popularity unseen since the Kennedys, and for months afterwards, I am met with cheers and free food and drink…
And then, as they say, she woke up.
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