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!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Trippin' on the Bus, or Don't Talk So Fast, I'm Writing This Down!

And so it is, on this Friday, that once again, our futures nebulous and hazy, we approach the iPod, hat in hand, in the hopes that its shuffled playlist will tell us our future.

O, iPod! What up, dawg?

Wait. No.

I'm so sorry. I apologize for that. My saying “dawg” is right up there with my saying “you go, girl” or ordering a cocktail listing Red Bull (or any other energy drink) as an ingredient – it's stilted and wrong and is the verbal equivalent of me going to the grocery store in sweat pants.

It's just not done.

So let me rephrase: O iPod, how’s it hangin’?

Yeah. That sounds better.

Right Place Wrong Time by Dr. John
Carry On by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
You Can Make It If You Try by Sly & The Family Stone
None Shall Pass by Aesop Rock
Never Do This Again by The M’s
Thickfreakness by The Black Keys
Funky Stuff by Kool & The Gang
Jump Into the Fire by Harry Nilsson

Hmm. The iPod suggests you stick with whatever it is that has you stumped. The break-through is just around the corner…


From my notebook: an account of why I am usually listening to my iPod – and why I always carry a notebook on the bus.

The woman in the seat two ahead of me is dressed as City Trash-Talker #3. From the tips of her talon-like and bejeweled fingernails to the way she is sprawled across two seats during the afternoon rush hour, she gives off a vibe of unpaid rent and late-night calls to the police.

“What you calling me back for? What? What?! Yes it is! Yes it is!! I’m not interested – why you frontin’?”

Me? I have no idea why he’s frontin’, but her side of the conversation is so loud that I’m hoping I’ll find out. I turn the iPod off and remove one earbud.

“What? What?! Why you callin’ me? Why you didn’t give me what I came for? Don’t even! Don’t even!”

She does her best to “slam” the cell phone.

Her left hand goes to her mouth, and she jams her thumb into her mouth.

I open my book and frantically scribble thumb-sucking on the bus!!

Her phone rings loudly.

The thumb is removed from her mouth and is replaced by the phone. “What? What?! Where you? Where you? No! No, it don’t matter!”

Repetition. I write. Why so much repetition?

At this point, she suggests a physical improbability related to his “stuffing” his “junk” and again gives the ol’ college try to slamming a cell phone.

The effect is lost, of course, but I admire her commitment to keeping it angry.

Her left thumb goes back into her mouth.

The phone rings.

The thumb is removed from her mouth.

“What? What?! No, it don’t! No it don’t! You don’t know him! It ain’t none-a your business! You don't know him!”

At this point, she pulls the cord and, still arguing, steps toward the exit, shouting. “What? What?! No, it don’t! No, it don’t!”

I watch her, hoping for some sort of resolution. No, it don’t?! But what if it do? I write. What then?

The bus pulls away, and my last view of her is as she steps into the middle of the street, one hand clutching a phone to her head, the other flat-palmed and stretched out in a stiff-armed, imperious demand that the cars stop so that she can cross.


Would I be out of line in assuming that that woman be trippin’?

42 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Apparently the jewels were all on her fingernails and not in her conversation. Interesting types on the bus.

Pearl said...

Delores, this one's a rarity. Normally, I would have expected to find her on the 10, the lawless 10...

David L Macaulay said...

"A vibe of unpaid rent and late night calls to the police" - love it.

Pearl said...

David, thank you! She was pretty loud -- definitely not someone you'd want to live above or below. (I wasn't the only one listening to her, although I suspect I was the only one taking notes!)

Nezzy said...

...and you didn't follow her to hear what she was 'trippin' about???

Heeehehehe!!! Now we'll never know the rest of the story.

I just wanted to pop in and wish you a very wonderful Christmas filled with the laughter of great friends, the love of family and fudge baby...heaps of rich delicious fudge!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS YA'LL!!!

Pearl said...

Nezzy, you had me with "and fudge". :-) Happy Holidays!

Stephanie D said...

Awesomely funny post! Thanks for the chuckle!

Argent said...

Such a colourful slice of bus life! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Pearl said...

Thanks, Stephanie.

Argent, I am amused on a regular basis by all the funny people. I could've been bothered by her, I guess -- and I'm sure there were commuters that were -- but it's public transport, you know? Might as well relax and see what happens next...

rel said...

Pearl,
Ah city life; I don't miss it a bit.;)

Thanks for visiting. How is Rene BTW?
rel

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I think you need a Part II on this one. Fo shure! I hope you cross paths w/ her again...

Shelly said...

I'm still stuck on the awesomeness your Ipod served up with Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Sly and the Family Stone, Harry Nilsson, and yes, even Kool and the Gang. That's got me trippin' in a good way, but not sucking my thumb or stupidly trying to stop traffic.

Leenie said...

I agree with Shelly. Your Ipod has a fine playlist this morning. Also with Nezzy hoping fudge for you this Holiday...and for Me!

Carry On with your Funky Stuff, You Can Make It If You Try. Being in the Right Place at the Wrong time you always come up with great blog fodder. Tell that Thickfreak with the long nails to Never Do This Again.

Amber Star said...

Prolly not trippin', but she doesn't have much in the way of good manners. Those kind of nails have been out of vogue for a few years now. However, if that is her chosen style we must not comment about the tacky things. Oh shut my mouth!

Merry Christmas, Pearl. Getting ready to head out and finish grocery shopping. Kids will start arriving this afternoon, so the cupboards had better be stocked well. Hope yours is a merry and happy Christmas.

jenny_o said...

This is all kinds of fun :) Love your description of the woman stepping out into traffic. Where is survival of the fittest when ya need it??

Sioux said...

Speaking of fudge...Since you shared a delicious recipe a year or two ago (Hidden Valley Torte), I am sharing a super-simple, quick and cheap recipe for delicious fudge (in case you don't have this recipe):

1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1/2 bag of semi-sweet chips
1 can of sweetened, condensed milk

Put all three ingredients in a glass microwavable bowl. Heat for 5 minutes at 50% power. (Stir at the 2.5 minute mark.)

Take out. Add a splash of vanilla, and nuts (if desired) and stir.

Have a great holiday, Pearl.

(By the way, she do be trippin'.)

KleinsteMotte said...

I recently went on the transit system and was struck by how many folks are hooked up to devices. they hardly notice fellow passengers. Seems you were on a mission to be different and succeeded.
Happy Holidays.

Joanne said...

I would wish the bus lady to get over the thumb and find out she might even get past some more problems. Hey, you did get half a Fudge Elf. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.

terlee said...

Oh, this was a funny post..!! I'm still laughing. Thanks, a great start to the day...

Lou said...

When she said "It ain’t none-a your business" you should have jumped up and shouted out

"True that, Sistah!"

Symdaddy said...

If I EVER catch you making notes on my antics, I'm gonna kick bottom!

Can't have my 'doings' reported anywhere other than over my place.

Douglas said...

Oh yeah, Dr. John! One of my two most faved... the other being Leon Russell.

What is with that thumb sucking thang? Arrested development maybe? I say that with love cause I am stuck in the 60's.

Happy Winter Solstice or whatever it is coming up.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Makes you kind of miss the good old days when people kept their phone drama home, in private.
Thumb sucking!

Bodacious Boomer said...

Houston is so spread out and has such sucky mass transit that in the last 20 years I've only ridden the bus 3 times. Perhaps I should do it more often. You get a lot of good material from the bus.

Ho ho ho kiddo.

Sarah said...

What I want to know is, how was she sucking her thumb with the talon-like fingernails? That has to hurt and/or cause the gag reflext to kick in!

Merry Christmas Pearl, hope your holiday is filled with good cheer, happiness, and love. And if not, at least with good booze!

lx said...

Wishing you the best Christmas ever.

Dan said...

Yeah i got on a bus once and i was tripping...like really tripping...really strong acid..that just gave me flashbacks haha

Gigi said...

Just gotta love the way technology has enabled some of us to share our "bidness" with the world....or at least with the observant ones with a notepad!

Many good wishes to you and yours during this season.

Belle said...

"Don't even." I guess they have shortened, "Don't even start." It does save time and people still know what you mean.

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh yeah, I ran into several crazies today, too.

Amrita said...

Merry Christmas to you.

Eva Gallant said...

You are so descriptive! I can see that broad with her jeweled nails and cell phone to her ear!

Eva Gallant said...

You are so descriptive! I can see that broad with her jeweled nails and cell phone to her ear!

Dr. Cynicism said...

Oh my god -- it's been waaaayy too long since I listened to Crosby Stills Nash & Young. Totally playing Carry On now... thanks!

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year.

Esther Montgomery said...

Such drama in a few minutes.

Have a very happy Christmas. Thanks for giving so much entertainment here and for your comments on my Boring Blog . . . er . . . there!

Esther

Scarlet Blue said...

Have a very happy Christmas and a splendid New Year!!
SXXXXXXX

River said...

Any more trippin' and she'd be flat on her face!
Unless that's just her normal self you observed.....

Merry Christmas!

Mmmmm, fudge......

The Jules said...

Maybe she was arguing with her manicurist about biting her thumbnail?

Yeah, that''ll be it.

Merry chrimbo Pearl!

x

icedgurl said...

trekking your amazing blog! keep blogging! happy holidays!

cheers!
...TREK...

Nance said...

Thank you for not putting up a Christmas post. I needed a break from those.

This reminds me that I was raised wrong. The grown-ups made me all private and circumspect and polite, when what I long to be is the Balls-On Raunch Queen of America, Living Out Loud, Honey! I need a lot more practice.

Loves me some Dr. John.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Attempted cell-phone-slamming is ultimately a fruitless and frustrating exercise.

Not that I would know anything about that.