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Friday, January 14, 2011

Pardon Me, You Have Stank on You

Ladies and gentlemen, cats and kittens, welcome to Friday, the day on which we ask ourselves, Why didn’t I get an education and ensure myself a better-paying job?

The answer, my friend, is that I don’t know. Everyone tried to talk to you about it, but you know how you are.

You didn’t listen.

But it’s not too late. The future is still before us. And now, through my steadfast and possibly erroneous belief in the oracle-y powers of my iPod, played on the Friday morning commute and carefully scrutinized, you, too, can predict your immediate future.

Aw, come on! Play along!


I Feel It All by Feist
Frankenstein by The Edgar Winter Group
I Got Mine by The Black Keys
Super Theory of Super Everything by Gogol Bordello
Believe Me, Baby by James Hunter
Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Bellbottoms by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Well look at that. It’s high school all over again. Maybe there is still time to get that education and bring home the big money.

Speaking of which, I missed you on the bus yesterday. I wish you’d been there, just so I wouldn’t have to wrack my brain for all the synonyms I know for “stench”.

Join me while I relive the olfactory trauma that was yesterday afternoon's commute…

It was an afternoon like any other afternoon. Four-thirty or so, the citizens of Minneapolis mill about, dressed both sensibly and insensibly, enduring a cold that ensures that one can keep ice cream comfortably frozen in the trunk of one’s car, and here comes the bus.

What a relief.

Hello there, Mr. Bus Driver. I always smile and nod at the bus driver. I want him to know how important he is to me, how much I want him to know my stop.

And that’s when it hits me.

Oh, the bus is packed. That’s a given. There are a couple of seats at the back, and I’m in pole position to get one. No, the placement of available seating is not what hits me.

It’s the smell. What is that smell? Like a wet bag of taco chips with a sauerkraut-juice chaser, a hint of blue cheese, a smidge of rich, loamy earth. The bus is redolent with the smell of an unwashed and potentially fascinating human being.

My nose wrinkles. I’m not good at hiding what I’m thinking. I scan the bus for possible offenders. Unfortunately, many of us are dressed alike: enormous coats, salt-stained from getting too close to dirty cars, large bags full of life’s detritus.

The stinker could be anyone.

I moved, as all right-thinking people do, to the back of the bus. Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe.

I sat down.

Next to the stinking person.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not a particularly kind person, nor am I, despite my desire, a particularly tolerant person. But for the 20-some minutes that I was forced to close my eyes and think about hot-air ballooning, white-sand beaches, and amassing large amounts of seashells for no reason, I was those things.

I think the smell is still in my head.

I shall reward myself with margaritas.

Happy weekend, everyone. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow.

45 comments:

Oilfield Trash said...

I could write a book about this entire subject. Congrats to you for being quiet.

Great post.

bruce said...

the sights and smells of the great unwashed are plainly unveiled to me when i read your posts of MinneMassTransit

amazing!

i do not think it would be wrong of you to carry deoderizer, or bleach and and water mix, to help with the odiferousness of humankind...

you are a gem! i am grinning!

i have been very lucky to be scheduled in such a way as to hit your posts early this week.

next week, maybe not so early, but be here i will.

thank you for the gift you share!

Bruce
bruce johnson jadip
evilbruce
stupid stuff i see and hear
Bruce’s guy book
the guy book
Dreamodel Guy
dreamodeling!

haphazardlife said...

Margaritas dear Pearl, are the only way to go.

Unfortunately it isn't cats rather than people on the bus. Miss Lisa Bean Bitey would tell you that the felines, they do not stink.

- Jazz

Pearl said...

THere's something about the enforced closeness of winter that really brings out the "stink". Sat next to a guy this morning who had apparently spilled an open bottle of cologne on himself. I sneezed twice and then passed out. OK. Not really, but I did find myself thinking, really? Can I write another post based on smells in small places?!

Pearl said...

haphazard, you and Liza Bean are in wild agreement on that one. :-)

Chelle said...

I gagged.

Pearl said...

Chelle, as well you should :-) She (oh, yes, it was a woman -- didn't I mention that?) was truly a test.

Oh, and in case you don't see me around this afternoon, it is my birthday today. :-) Just about old enough to drink! So I'll be without the interwebs for a bit after noon or so, but know that I will be checking in and hitting you/your blogs up. I AM SO OLD NOW!! :-P

Jumble Mash said...

That has to be the worse thing ever. Sitting next to a stinky person. Or someone with bad breath that insits on talking to you. That sucks too.

Pearl said...

Jumble, I look forward to the day where there's some sort of filter outside of wearing a breathing mask. Where are my tiny insertable nostril filters?!

savannah said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEARL, sugar! xoxoxo

i shall toss you later with my last glass of eggnog (and rum) for the season! cheers in anticipation!

ellen abbott said...

I guess we know why those seats were available.

Flea said...

Happy weekend, Pearl. :) Head to the local Asian market (its own plethora of scents) and ask for a bottle of Eagle Brand Medicated Oil. Not only does it do WONDERS for sore muscles, it's a tiny bottle and can be held to the nose to mask ugly smells.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl! May your evening be filled with margaritas and the aroma of freshly bathed birthday revelers!

Camille said...

Happy Birthday Pearl! Did you get that big ol' bottle of COLOGNE I sent you? Ha! I had to step away from a check out line last month just prior to dropping to the floor and flopping like a guppy. The excessively-perfume-splashed-lady who was in front of me proudly announced she was wearing "Eternity". Yes indeed. I can still smell it.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Louisiana Belle said...

Happy birthday, Pearl! May you have a year free of unpleasant smells. Good health and happiness, too. :)

Big Fat Gini said...

Gag.

Also. I recognize none of those songs. I'm not really sure what this says about me. And by the way, thanks for the sweet comment yesterday. Things went well and hopefully we'll know something early next week (his MRI is on Monday)...

Simply Suthern said...

Happy Birthday to you Mrs. Pearl. Hope you get a chance to throw down this weekend to celebrate. Lets also hope it is a bit less odoriferous.

They need to intall a sniffer and a Febreeze station at the doors on the bus.

Kate Mohler said...

The best thing about graduating high school was not having to ride the bus anymore. I'm glad it's you now and not me--but you seem to have a good attitude! Far better than I would...

Eva Gallant said...

Well, Happy Birthday, Pearl. You are to be congratulated for continuing to use public transportation, despite its many drawbacks!

Leenie said...

Hey, hey. We almost share the birthday. Isn't January a crappy time to try and celebrate? Everybody's cards are maxed from Christmas. If you get a gift at all it is the other sock, shoelace, or oven mitt that matches the one you got from Santa, and there's no possible way to have a fun in the sun pool party. No wonder Capricorns are crabby and miserly. Have a good one and celebrate like it's 1984.

Roses said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Enjoy the margueritas. Hope they don't have the effect on you as they did on me. After 2, I was anybodies, and then I was talking to god on the porcelin telephone.

Ugh. Festering human, so not good. Keep a small tin of Vicks and rub it under your nostrils. Silence of the Lambs says it's the only way to get rid of nasty niffs.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Hey Hey...it's your birthday and you can even cry if you want to!

I hope you spend today laughing instead of smelling stinky people~
=]

Bouncin' Barb said...

I used to have to wait on an old couple in the bank who smelled so bad that you had to breath through your mouth or you would gag. Urine, sweat and just the fact that they never changed their clothes. They were filty. And filty rich. I'm talking millions. It boggles the mind.

Belle said...

I'd give you an education for your birthday, but I didn't finish high school, and later when I went to University I didn't finish that! I can, however, always educate you what not to do in life!

Ponita in Real Life said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl!! Hope you have enough margaritas to have a blast but not so many as to have a hang over!!!!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Clearly you now know WHY that seat was free. :) And margaritas are mandatory any day of the week. But especially after a session of sitting in stank.

a Broad said...

Well that stinks ! :)
I am both intolerant and bordering on rude on the best days, I would have either walked back off the bus or made a lot of tsking noises and gone to stand by the driver .. or as far from the stinky person as possible. This would be good for all concerned, I get car sick on buses anyway .. the odor would be the last straw .. if you know what I mean ~ I am typing on my dear "old" iMac with a brand new hard drive that seems to only want to type or read Spanish. I am getting cranky as I sit here :(
TGIF Pearly Girl !

Jhon Baker said...

I've always hated the stench of human when it goes unchecked. Maybe waiting for another bus wasn't an option but there always is the "excuse me, but I think you died and may want to go to the morgue now." comment.

a Broad said...

BIRTHDAY !! Did someone say BIRTHDAY !!!
Hap Birtday Pearl, ( as my baby brother would sing) Hap Birtday.

Joanie said...

Yuck!! Yes, by all means, have a margarita... or three. I might even join you.

WrathofDawn said...

Happy Birthday, Pearl, from a fellow (pre-Christmas) Capricorn! Although now we're Sagittarius or something. Whatev! Party hearty!

Gigi said...

Raising a GIGANTIC glass of wine in your honor! Happy Birthday!

darsden said...

Have a wonderful evening Pearl!

Ricky Shambles said...

Terrible experience! I spent a couple months riding a bus to work and good lord the experience has congealed into a combined stank of old body odor, sour milk, bong water, oily hair, cigarettes, and that sluice in the bottom of the garbage can.

Or, from Anchorman, "Aagh, it smells like Bigfoot's dick!"

Have a great weekend!

Lisa said...

Olfactory Trauma. I think that should be a new TV show.

HumorSmith said...

Time was when we couldn't wait to get home after a long day at the ol'factory. Now it goes with us.
Happy birthday, and I am still older. So there! Wait, should I be self-congratulatory about that?

Sandra said...

Your description of the stank was so vivid, I'm actually smelling it...wait, that's me...

alwaysinthebackrow said...

Happy Birthday! I am sure the stinky one would agree.
And things will not smell better in the morning if you have too many margaritas tonight.

Symdaddy said...

I am nasally challenged!

I would have swapped seats with you Pearl!

Roses said...

How's your head this morning honey?

David L Macaulay said...

love the post Pearl, try the London Underground at rush hour, shoved up someone's stinking arm pit - and thanks for the blog comment too.

the walking man said...

I read your description of the scented blossom and became hungry for Pizza.

Bth said...

Oh isn't public transport awful? Stinky people, rude people, pushy people, weird people... it's a wonder we don't all give up and stay at home. Loved this post though - and thank you for stopping by my blog!

Pat Tillett said...

You are too nice! I would have had to say something or spew on him...something!

Lynn said...

I'm afraid I would have pinched my nose as if I were about to jump into the deep end, and catapulted out of the seat!