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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weird? Me? No. Why Do You Ask?

I had occasion to ride the Number 10 the other day.

And right there, I think you can tell where this is heading, can’t you?

My free-range love for human beings is in for some testing.

I ask you: Have you ever seen so many weirdos?

Oh, if only you’d have been with me.

Boarding the bus, in and of itself, was notable. The front is full, dance-floor full. I suck it in, shift sideways, and “pardon me, excuse me” until I hit a baby stroller, the kind with room at the back for luggage. I gaze overhead at the “You Must Collapse Your Stroller” posting. I glance down at the mother as she offers the baby a bottle of Mountain Dew.

Sigh.

I can stay here, bumper to bumper with the people who can’t get past the baby, or I can try to get to the seat that I see just over there.

I stand on my toes, suck it in with a ferocity normally reserved for a how-long-can-you-hold-your-breath contest, turn sideways again, and maneuver past the stroller.

Ta-dah.

Next up? An older man and his non-collapsed collapsible grocery cart. It is holding a bag of catfood. He is wearing a woman’s pant suit and some interesting white slip-on sandals. I frown slightly, trying to work out where he got this outfit and what he’s done that he must now wear it in public.

I lift my right leg as high as possible without a 10-minute warm-up, balance on my left foot and step over his cart.

Yoga is really paying off.

The last available seat is mine.

And the peculiar smells wafting from the backpack of the guy next to me pique my interest.

How to describe this smell to you?

Picture, if you will, a badger and, oh, a skunk, sitting on a second-hand couch in the skunk’s mom’s basement.

“Care for a smoke?” the skunk says.

“Don’t mind if I do,” smiles the badger.

And then the police show up, slap the skunk into cuffs and it’s discovered that the badger has an outstanding warrant.

Like all buses, the 10’s population waxes and wanes at every stop. I am riding much further than I usually do, and by the time I am ready to de-bus, half of its riders are gone, ol’ Skunk Weed is but a hastily scrawled memory in my book of blog-hopeful memories and the man in the ladies pants suit is home and relating the story about the annoying woman who stepped over his grocery cart and then wrote, laughing to herself, in a small book pulled from a large purse.

Because it’s true.

Everybody is somebody’s weirdo.

60 comments:

Shelly said...

Ahh, you've discovered the rare yoga pose, backward bus passenger with a half twist thrown in. Only a few ever master it...

Pearl said...

Shelly, I wish I'd thought of that.

Namaste.

Pat said...

There is something quite shocking about a badger with an outstanding warrant.

Susan in the Boonies said...

You're mine. And you're my favorite.

Oh...the smell from that skunk couch...

Vicus Scurra said...

I won't collapse my cart next time, either.

Pearl said...

Pat, and yet it's not surprising, is it? They look quite sturdy, but they've got underground connections...

Susan, :-) Stay away from the skunk couch.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

The bus..the melting pot of civilization..or of the uncivilized.

Pearl said...

Vicus Scurra, then I shall continue to step over it. :-)

Pearl said...

Delores, well by the smell of it SOMEthing was melting...

Symdaddy said...

Alas, I have been in this predicament myself on several occasions, however I refused to "suck it up",as you call it. I usually turn my back slightly towards the obstruction and, using both hands, raise my stomach over the seats (and heads) so that there is much less of me to squeeze through. So far the buses have coped well with such an uneven weight distribution.

Still loving your stuff by the way Perlchen!

Joshua said...

"Everybody is somebody’s weirdo."

Some of us more than others. And by "us" I mean me.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I rather enjoy the idea of being someone else's weirdo.

jabblog said...

I'm too ordinary to be a weirdo . . .

Tom G. said...

I think you've got the makings of a Newberry Award winning children's story with "The Adventures of Skunk & Badger."

Pearl said...

Symdaddy, you're gonna fall over, you keep that up. :-) And glad to see you again, schatze.

Joshua, some days, the very thought is what gives me comfort. You know -- that you're a weirdo. :-)

Green Girl, I do, too. Why shouldn't I serve as some sort of warning/joke fodder to others?!

jabblog, I've read your stuff. Trust me. You're weird. :-)

Tom, well now there's an idea! (Honestly, I've got a story re: a chimp looking for shoes that has gone to an illustrator. She and I have already planned our enormous book release party. Surely someone will want to publish it!)

R. Jacob said...

It is true what they say then, all badgers seem to have outstanding arrest warrants. I thought that was a myth.

Pearl said...

R. Jacob, so many myths have their feet in truths. I believe it's also one of the reasons that you rarely see badgers in donut shops.

Argh. Sorry. Hate cliches.

Kelley said...

This had me giggling! I especially loved the visual of the man in a woman's pant suit!

Pearl said...

Kelly, the suit itself was a sweet little gray number, complete with darts and three-quarter length sleeves. The slip-on sandals were white leather. :-)

Daisy said...

I love that last line and it is oh, so true!

also thinking about the man in the ladies' pant suit. Wonder if that's all he had to wear because he spent his last penny on food for his beloved cat?

Leenie said...

Low lunge, high lunge, mountain, inhale deeply,transition to uddiyana bandha. Exhale, triangle, chair pose. Skip the trip to the gym, inhale, hold nose until skunk and badger exit. Relaxation pose.

George said...

Perhaps Cletus had a special gift for Brandine in that backpack which made it so fragrant. Like a skunkskin coat.

Bodacious Boomer said...

You are very wise for one so young in years my friend. You are Confuciusesque.

Joyful Things said...

I've smelled that smell when I go into my boss's office. I'm sure its not his aftershave........

Joanne said...

Not Mr. Badger! Has he left the great wood and Ratty and the Mole are on their own? My heart is broke!

Lisa said...

Lordy, you crack me up. And you're cuter!

powdergirl said...

You know Pearl? I could cut a guy some slack for wearing white slacks after labor Day, I don't actually buy into that little fashion dictate, you do have to wear it the right way, But it can be worn and worn well. But the white sandals after Labor Day? Thats a no-no.

Off with his head.

Also, the Mountain Dew Mom? Hope you got a good look at that kid so you can identify him when he's doing his first break and enter to get at some old ladies meds. Ugh.

Love ya Pearly!

Silver Strands said...

You got me laughing again! In fact, you're such a regular "make me smile" blogger that I've linked to you on today's post :)

Eva Gallant said...

I suspect that between your yoga training and riding the #10, you would excel at Twister!

Linda Myers said...

Laughing and writing. That would be you. I ride a bus so rarely it's a little scary. I never know whether that young man dressed up as a UW student is really a mugger looking for his next victim.

hocam said...

İ've just recently taken up yoga. Glad to know it will have it's uses.

Pearl said...

Daisy, you know, in the neighborhoods that the 10 runs through, it is possible. He was also an African immigrant, and I’ve noticed that they seem to be unencumbered by fashion preferences so not sure he was even aware that he was wearing women’s clothing!

Leenie, :-) I love that: Practical Yoga for the Urban Commuter.

George, could be, could be. Or it could be that Ray-Ray was moving some goods, if ya know what I mean!

Bodacious Boomer, them’s kind and completely true words, my friend. Completely true. :-)

Joyful Things, you and I are on the same page, honey!

Joanne, ah! I wondered if anyone would think so! No, no, no! Not THAT Badger!!! (We don't mess with the Wind in the Willows!)

Lisa, no. You. :-)

Powder, I fear for that kid’s teeth, I’ll tell you that much! I would have liked, too, to have taken a picture of those sandals, but as I say above, I don’t know if he knew he was wearing women’s clothing. He wasn’t a cross-dresser – he was an immigrant. :-) Hugs!

Eva, Twister is just a way for the boys to throw a leg over ya!

Linda, I think about 90% of humans are okay, you know? But yes – there’s that percentage that really is up to no good. I tend to ride during regular commuting hours, although I have ridden on the weekends. There ARE a couple lines in Minneapolis that I will not ride, and thankfully don’t have to. Stupid stuff can happen, and people can get hurt, and there’s nothing funny in that (although I suspect that there’s plenty to write about…)

Pearl said...

hocam, yoga is good for taking off tight shirts, too!

Pearl said...

Silver Strands, oooh, I missed you! So sorry! And that's really very kind of you! I like links. Link away, baby!

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

As hubby says to me, 'Everybody we know is weird except you and me, and I'm having second thoughts about you."
Rosemary

Pearl said...

Rosemary, I'm going to have to use that one. :-)

Crystal Pistol said...

The last line is gold.

I makes me ponder. I wonder whose weirdo I am... :)

Sausage Fingers said...

Ha ha that was bloody awesome...
Sausage.

Pearl said...

Crystal, I suspect that we're all a LOT of people's weirdos!

SF, glad you liked it!

aBroad said...

You know, I have never smelled a badger. Skunk yes, badger no.
I am staying off buses.

Gigi said...

I'm somebody's weirdo??! You've just blown my mind. I will now be looking at everyone I know with a suspicious eye.

Beth M. Wood said...

I feel the need to link this blog to my twitter account. It made me laugh RIGHT OUT LOUD sitting in my office. It was the "...bottle of Mountain Dew" that did it. Funny stuff (God, tell me it's not true!!)

3523c5c8-df20-11e0-a636-000f20980440 said...

Badgers? We don't need no stinking badgers!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

You are a funny lady. And you may be right about the man wearing the women's pantsuit, or maybe he's just exercising newfound freedom.

Sioux said...

Everybody is somebody's weirdo.

With the exception of you and me, right?

mrwriteon said...

I'm back, as you know, and what better thing to come back to than a bus story.

Picture, if you will, a badger and, oh, a skunk, sitting on a second-hand couch in the skunk’s mom’s basement.

Love it. Missed you.

Vapid Vixen said...

I've often wondered how many times someone has gone home to relay a story about that odd girl they saw dancing in the ice cream isle while blowing bubbles with her gum and singling along to Don't Stop Believing.

lime said...

everybody is somebody's weirdo. i like it. i'm gonna stitch that on a pillow.

ThreeOldKeys said...

Funny. So funny. It's all funny, but your DETAILS are, in my opinion, what make you High-larious.

You had me at "skunk's mom's basement."

You had me again at "woman's pant suit". Then I read "with darts and three-quarter length sleeves."

I could smell it. I could see it. I found myself reaching up to pull the Stop cord.

jenny_o said...

I'm with ThreeOldKeys - your details are the best! They're like the delicious melty chocolate chips in a cookie. The cookie alone is a treat, but then those chocolate chips! Awesome!

Wonderful post - made me guffaw, and that's a fact.

Tempo said...

Everybody is somebodies weirdo... That about sums me up some mornings, though I haven't taken to wearing women's clothing...yet!

River said...

I WANT to leave a comment.
I really, really do.
But how can I possibly top the 51 comedians above me?

The Jules said...

Oh, the number 10 is a bus. I thought it might be a football player at first.

Loved this post (which doesn't exactly narrow things down when it comes to your blog).

I'm nobody's weirdo though, and to prove it, I'm learning to play a shanty on the nose-flute. Dance with me.

DANCE WITH ME!

IndigoWrath said...

Hey Pearl!

Hell is other people. No, in fact, hell is other people and their body odour, sniffing and food. In my face.

Some people are nice. Or so I've been told.

Can you tell I'm not a people person?

Indigo

Pearl said...

It's official. I would very much like to buy every single one of you a beer. Or a lemonade. Or whatever it is that you're up to these days. :-)

That Baldy Fella said...

Well, one person's weird is another person's absolutely screamingly mental.

Pat Tillett said...

Great story Pearl! This is why almost everyone drives where I live. Well, that and the fact that our public transportation totally sucks...

Lane said...

What can I say, but FUNNY, AWESOME, and YOU TOTALLY MADE MY DAY. Thank you!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Pearl, you made me laugh out loud again! I loved your description of the bus weirdos and your wonderful attention to detail. Having ridden the bus to work my last five years, I can really relate. But the skunk and badget -- oh, my! You exceed yourself! That whole sequence had me roaring! You're the best!

The Vegetable Assassin said...

I'm no one's weirdo. I am smug in my knowledge that I'm totally normal and everyone else is effing NUTS.

I snorted aloud at "...what he's done that he must now wear it in public". Excellent way with words as always m'dear! :)