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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Weird? Me? No. Why Do You Ask?


A re-post, as I work on my next book...

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 of the bus 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 -- as punishment, I'm sure -- 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 for his arrest.

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-post-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.

26 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

I rode a shuttle bus last weekend a couple times from our hotel to the Market area in Charleston, SC. Not sure I coud ever ride a bus as regular transit.

vanilla said...

Even I?

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Another great Pearlie quote for my work PC: "Everyone is somebody's weirdo."

jenny_o said...

"Everybody is somebody's weirdo."

True, but some are just MORE weird than others. And also there's good weird and bad weird and really, really, weird-weird.

And you know how some words just stop looking like a word if you have to read them too many times? Yeah. Weird is apparently one of those :)

Love the description of the smell!

Linda O'Connell said...

A bus load of weird. You can take the mundane and make me laugh.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Leaves one wondering what "normal" might look like doesn't it?

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

"Weirdos make the world go round in a hereto misunderstood weird and wonky fashion.

Pearl said...

I enjoy the weirdos. :-) Without them, it's just me, and that's dull.

I also thorough enjoy the idea that I am someone's weirdo...

Bodacious Boomer said...

Miss Pearl, when traveling by bus, you should always have either a fake cast for your arm or giant pillow at the ready for your tummy.

In the south men will give their seat to a lady who's either hurt or in a family way. Then you can make your observations from the comfort of a seat.

Shelly said...

I think I am weirdo to many. Someone's gotta do it...

Stephen Hayes said...

I wonder who's weirdo I am.

TexWisGirl said...

LOVE that last line - really need to market it on a t-shirt!

Malc said...

"Everyone is someone's weirdo" - should have been a prog rock track in 1973. . . or a t-shirt at least.

R. Jacob said...

a baby and mountain dew , still laughing
the smell of a skunk and a badger brings tears to my eyes...no really!
xo

fishducky said...

YOU ARE ONE FUNNY LADY!!!!!

Jenny Woolf said...

I really laughed at your great descriptions Pearl. Fascinating but awful. :D

And mountain dew for a baby... oh my... surely not...
Glad I found your site again. I'm following now so I will get the updates.

Geo. said...

If I ever realize my dream of becoming a lounge singer,"Everyone is someone's weirdo", will be my signature song --with lots of fingersnapping, pointing and winking. I have to put on my sequined tuxedo and practice on the bus now.

Leenie said...

So glad you take notes and share. Adds such spice to my day.

Diane said...

I wanna ride your bus! All we have here are people muffled to the eyebrows, steaming sociably in the heat after coming inside from 40 below temperatures. Okay. I admit it. I only ride the bus during the great Canadian Winter. Still, you can get a lot from a person's eyes. When the lashes aren't stuck together with ice. Sigh.

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

The bus is one of the few places where I don't feel like I'm the weirdo.

River said...

Ive taken to ignoring those I recognise as weirdos. Eye contact usually starts them off..."whatchulookinathuh?"

Pat said...

The other day, on FB, a young mother was cursing the old people (she was a little less polite)for getting in the way of her push chair on buses. I have to say I had scant sympathy. Those poor fragiles tibias.

Elsie said...

And here I was thinking New York subways were terrible..boy was I mistaken =)

The Elephant's Child said...

And for those of us who suffer from insatiable curiosity it doesn't come much better than public transport. Any public transport.
Thanks Pearl.

Dawn in D.C. said...

Pearl,
You always make me smile.

Griningly,
Dawn

Susan in the Boonies said...

I don't think a vlog post of this would be NEARLY as amusing as the way YOU recount it.

Some people can tell 'em. Some people can't.