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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Part Two: Everyone is Someone's Weirdo

The cat and I are in search of amusement.  “One takes one’s jollies as they come,” she says, handing me my gloves, “and we’ve been rather jolly-less lately.  Let’s go, as you so quaintly put it, looking for weirdos.”

It was her idea that we take a bus ride. 

“When one is tired of the 10,” she murmurs from her perch on my shoulder, “one is tired of life.”

The 10, however, is suspiciously lacking in activity.  We had thought we had struck gold almost immediately when a woman wearing what appeared to be a child’s leggings and a hat in the shape of a panda’s head got on.

And then she struck up a conversation with an elderly man holding a sack of groceries on his knee.

“Nothing to make fun of there,” the cat says.

And then there was the man with the headphones.  He was only with us for six stops or so, but he rapped along with whatever he was listening to for much of that time.  He didn’t know all the words, to be honest, but he was absolutely determined to finish.

“I give him a 4 on the ten-point weirdo scale,” the cat whispers, “It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it.”

And then…

He has two bags of laundry, this man, and an armload of clothes on hangers – which he proceeds to hang on the metal bar from which the safety straps hang.

Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, symmetrically striped winner of the 2009 Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes and global bon vivant makes a sound that could only be described as a “chortle”.

“How deliciously tacky,” the cat murmurs. 

The bus fills up.  It is, after all, rush hour now, and soon the seats are full and the people in the aisle are clinging to the hanging straps while getting a face-full of Laundry Man’s shirts.

The bus driver peers into his mirror, watches the back of the bus with interest.

“Excuse me.” 

“Pardon me.”

A large man with a larger satchel attempts to move to the back of the bus, and the man seated next to me is forced to lean toward me.  “Sorry,” he says, over the din.

“That’s okay,” I say.  “You know, I left the house today just to be around people.”

He smiles.  “Well, you got what you wanted.”

I nod.  “I always say, when you want interesting stories and a lot of local color, you ride the 10.”

And like that, the talk around me stops, and several dozen people to turn to look at me.

“… a lot of color…” someone whispers.

And I realize I am the only white person on the bus.

“Oh,” I say, laughing, “that’s not what I meant.  I just meant that when you want to hear people rapping to music only they can hear or have someone string their laundry around…”  I trail off helplessly as my fellow commuters watch, horrified, wondering, no doubt, if I can get both feet in my mouth...

The cat bursts into laughter.

Ding!

“We’ll just be getting off here, if you don’t mind,” the cat says, pushing into the aisle.  "Excuse me.  Pardon me."




Five minutes and several blocks later, we have managed to snag a booth.

“You know,” the cat says, squeezing a fourth lime into her gin and tonic, “I don’t think I’d ever seen you that color of red before.”  And Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, raises her drink.  “Here’s to the weirdo in the stories.  We were hoping to find one today, and we did."  She smiles over her glass.  "We just had no idea that it would be you.”  

41 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Seems you provided your own colour that time lol.

Shelly said...

Well played, Liza Bean Bitey, of the Minneapolis Biteys, well played.

Pearl said...

It was actually quite humiliating. :-) It had been a long time since I had stuck my foot in my mouth so completely! Ahh. To be misunderstood and have no chance of rectifying...

Humbling.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Groan. COLOR.

haphazardlife said...

Open mouth. Insert foot. To your waist!

Glad Lisa Bean was entertained at any rate.

Pearl said...

Green Girl, it was pretty awful.

Haphazard, I used to be quite good at sticking my foot in my mouth and not even knowing it. Now, I know it...

Shelly said...

Pearl, I linked up to your post in my post today. You made me realize that sometimes weirdness is a good thing...

Pearl said...

Shelly, you did?! :-) Very nice! Thank you!

I wish you could've been there for this. :-) I am hoping that the color I turned (dark red) and my feeble attempt at explaining myself was interpreted correctly, somewhere down the line. At any rate, the 10 IS a hotbed of weird and wonderful. :-)

vanilla said...

Deliciously hilarious!
Reminds me of a time I used the phrase "you people" not realizing it had racial connotations. None intended, but live and learn. Actually, "you people" in this case was the congregation of a church.

NotesFromAbroad said...

When we get back to the US, I have to start riding buses. Love you, love to Ms Bitey.

Camille said...

Oh deary, dear me...nice going Pearl - you little weirdo. :-)

fishducky said...

How many gin & tonics did it take to allow your foot to float out of your mouth?

Pearl said...

vanilla, it's fun, that "moment", isn't it? :-)

ABroad, and I'm so glad you are coming back!!!

Camilla, yeah. :-) That was me. Every now and then, I'M the weirdo on the bus.

fishducky, ah! And there's the question of the day, isn't there? The answer is FOUR. Four gin and tonics pretty much scrubs away any bad taste in your mouth!

Sioux said...

Yes, you showed your "rectal-fyer" alright.

Oh crap. Your little birthday yesterday didn't slow you down one bit.

Perpetua said...

ROFL, Pearl. Compared to your adventures on the 10 my life seems positively normal. :-)

The Vegetable Assassin said...

That cat is playing with you, Pearl. She's reporting all this back to her feline buddies who all roll around, legs in the air, yowling at the hilarity of her demented human. Oh the humanity.

Douglas said...

And now you know why I do not have a cat anymore and do not ride any buses.

4 limes squeezed into her gin and tonic? A cat with taste, I say.

Pearl said...

Sioux, very funny!!

Perpetua, there is no shortage of weirdos on the 10. :-) Appears that its users take turns!

The Vegetable Assassin! Hey! Long time!! I'm sorry to say that you are probably right, which accounts for the snickers I get when I walk by the little beasts. Dreadful creatures, the kitties.

Douglas, I'm a slow learner. :-) And extra limes in the G&Ts? An absolute!

Macy said...

Closer to Lisa Bean than you think.... at least she didn't slink off

River said...

I'm just glad they let you off the bus so you could tell us this tale.
They could have held you there going round and round and round on that route forever.

Susan Kane said...

What can one say? Pearl will always give me a chuckle. Here's to the 10.

esbboston said...

"The whites on the bus go sound and sound." - those are almost lyrics

jenny_o said...

"Foot in mouth" used to be my default position. No more.

At least, not recently. There now, I've doomed myself.

It's such a terrible feeling, and then being a blusher makes it even worse!!

Red said...

Just as I predicted ...you would be the weirdo.
It's always rather interesting when you find out that you're the only white guy in the crowd.

Gigi said...

I absolutely loved this post.

And...you know Liza Bean is also writing this all down as well, right? I'm sure she's got a publisher salivating waiting for the final copy of her manuscript about living with humans.

Geo. said...

" Everyone is Someone's Weirdo "

Why do I keep hearing Dean Martin singing that in my head?

Daisy said...

Great post, Pearl! At least you found what you were looking for. :D

HermanTurnip said...

Liza should have stopped you before your mouth sunk you. But then again, she is a cat...

Great post! :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

Thanks for the chuckle. These bus rides are such interesting slices of life.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Buses are such a great place to people watch, but darn! Say just one wrong thing... and the watched are suddenly watching YOU!

Kathleen McCoy said...

You're right, Pearl: buses are a great place for people-watching! But, oh, those times when you say something that makes the others turn and stare! I turned red right along with you as I was reading because I've been there a time or two back when I was spending 3 hours a day on a commuter bus in L.A. and my bus buddy Irene and I would get a bit too enthusiastic about dissing Bush or Sarah Palin or another of our conversational targets. Ooops! Glad you and Liza Bean could decompress over drinks!

Rose L said...

I knew you were a colorful person!

Clyde said...

Its nice to ride the public transport to hear and smell and see the sights---hmm, well, maybe not smell so much

The Elephant's Child said...

Did you get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, Liza Bean had set you up? Thank you for another wonderful post - I hope you are feeling better today.

Hannah Denski said...

Ooopsy Daisy! :))) one of those moments then... but hey, you managed to get story out of it! As ever - marvel! x

Buttons said...

I would rather be surrounded by a bunch of weirdos then a stuffed shirt even if it is a colurful dirty one:) Thanks for the laugh you never disappoint. B

Brian Miller said...

hahahaha....be the weirdo...smiles....life needs more color you know...lol...ah i needed the laugh this morning...thanks pearl...

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, my! How did that shoe taste?

Pat said...

Iknow I know! It doesn't matter how old and creaky we get we can still put our fee tin our mouths - no problem!

Roshni AaMom said...

Meh!! They're still the weirdos to overreact to that innocent statement!

Janice said...

Are you truly white Pearl, or just a pasty shade of beige? Liza Bean was messing with you! What size shoes do you wear again?