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Monday, March 14, 2011

Rockin' Out on the Bus, or You're Gonna Hurt Yourself!

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 the gee-tar.”

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.

37 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

John Paul Jones?? I thought he just rocked the boat.

Oilfield Trash said...

You could write a book solely on your observations of riding the bus.

George said...

Pastorius? You are a music lover to bring up that name. Do people look at you like you made the name up if you mention his bass playing prowess? I am more in awe of you each day.

Pearl said...

John Paul Jones -- bass player for Zeppelin. :-)

Oilfield, the next chapbook is a toss-up: Either about the subversive lives of my cats or the bus...

George, it was either Jaco or Bootsy. :-) I'm a big fan of drummers and bass players.

FabuLeslie said...

So true! This glorious mix is also apparent in the kids I teach...the precocious one, the nose picker, the cutie pie... each has their own special gift. Even he does have to make his nose bleed to get it.

Pearl said...

FabuLeslie, each at his own speed. :-)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I have to admire someone getting their rock on in public like that.

Simply Suthern said...

Ahhhhhhhh, "I have not yet begun to fight!" I spose that could fit a Naval Captain or a band member.

Pearl said...

Green Girl, I am torn between admiration for their lack of self-consciousness and irritation at their lack of self-consciousness...

Simply, :-)

haphazardlife said...

Jaco does indeed rock.

- Jazz

Scarlet Blue said...

The bus is fun... until it crashes into the post van because the bus driver has been rocking along to Kylie Minogue on his headphones...
Sx

Belle said...

I find people endlessly fascinating. That is why I love reading blogs each day. Bus people are a breed all their own, but I have met some great people on the bus too.

Cake Betch said...

Aren't people fascinating?? I could spend hours contemplating what other people think and what causes them to behave in a certain manner.

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I like to imagine some odd passenger going home and saying to their partner, "Those people on the bus are weirdos! There's this one woman always on there with a notebook and a glint in her eye." :)

NYEMT said...

As it happens, I'm likewise fascinated by people's behavior on public transportation. My milieu (by virtue of my occupation, not any personal preference) is the train. People exhort me weekly to write a book on the things I've heard people say and seen people do on trains. For now I content myself with Facebook posts of the particularly unbelievable ones. But maybe someday.. :)

mrwriteon said...

I'll pick Buddy Rich. He doesn't get much coverage these days, so why not? So, I'd like to learn more about the people with their hands down their pants. Just the kind of curious person I am.

Leenie said...

As a kid born and raised on the farm--city buses FREAK ME OUT! But if given the chance to become acquainted I'm sure they would be as good or better than 12 loong years of two-hour rides twice a day through the country with the same thirty kids and all their personality, freakishness and odor. I only regret I didn't take notes and have a cool blog like you, Pearl.

Eva Gallant said...

I vote for your next book to be about your cats!

Susan in the Boonies said...

We are an amazing glorious mess, aren't we?

These days, this is also referred to as a "hot mess", which can be defamatory, or complimentary, as you choose to interpret it.

Yup, humanity is one hot mess.

laughingmom said...

Love to people watch! Don't get to ride a bus - so you are my phone-a-friend for that. Thanks for the window to your world!

HumorSmith said...

Yep, people are fuuny. And sometimes scary. Hand-down-the-pants guy now, he requires some special attention. Probably very lonely. And very likely to stay that way.

becca said...

i love to people watch

Glen said...

thanks for the warning - I'll stop doing it!

Oh and only Daltrey can have that effect on me

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl! My dislike of buses is well known, but that has more to do with their lack of punctuality rather than the freaks on board. This lady's lack of shame may make for entertaining theatre, but the sad fact is she's probably more content than either of us. Bah! Indigo

Happy Frog and I said...

I would have started laughing if I had seen the lady with the head phones rocking out. I wish I got to take the bus more.

Roses said...

Interestingly enough, it was travelling around on buses which got me into blogging. Really. I shit you not.

And yes, I'm pretty sure, floating in blogland is a description of a scummy art student taking pictures on the top deck on the number 25 route.

Douglas said...

I don't mind those that rock on with headphones on. It's the off-key singers who have forgotten just where they are that tend to amuse me or make me nauseous... depending on the level of talent or lack thereof.

And that guy with his hands down his pants? He has a n itch, of course, a severe and apparently demanding one. Pity him. It may be a bedbug infestation.

Mamma has spoken said...

But hopefully, you didn't hear it. That's the part that I hate, when you hear their music.

Gigi said...

You know what would be great? If you could somehow sneak pictures of these people - blur their faces to protect their identity, of course, and then share that here. Kinda like that people of WalMart website only better - it would be the people of Pearl's bus.

Al Penwasser said...

@Simply Suthern: Did someone say John Paul Jones? Have a look at the picture.

Whenever you feel blue and like you proof positive that Darwin was right, just remember there are such beings as "Bus People" and you'll know all is right with your world.

Snooze said...

I do love public transportation (mine is a streetcar and subway ride daily) simply for the people watching.

Flea said...

May I insert Weird Al Yankovic?

HermanTurnip said...

...and the circle of life continues! That could have very well been me wearing my studio headphones out in public. Those iPad earbuds simply won't do when the Nine Inch Nails is playing :-)

randine said...

Oh, the bus. I used to ride the bus, and it was interesting to say the least. Once I sat beside this guy, who showed me his hands, on account of them being all calloused, which, as it turns out, was on account of him being in prison. And then he wanted me to feel his callouses. I didn't really want to, but I didn't know exactly why he had been in prison, and I didn't really want to ask, so there I was, feeling his callouses. Awkward.
I drive to work now.

Jhon Baker said...

I am going to make a t-shirt with that phrase.
humans, we're just funny.

John McElveen said...

JACK WHITE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great post!

J

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