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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ma'am, Do You Have a Permit to Carry that on a City Bus?


A re-worked re-post from last April...

Sometimes, on the bus, you want to look anywhere but, oh, ahead, up, or over there. The antics of human beings, even if said beings are fascinating creatures and our brothers and sisters in a Brotherhood of Man sort of way (a phrase I always see in my head as capitalized, no doubt because of my hippie-infused, 70s-style education) sometimes do not bear close inspection.

Not that I’m judging.

Still. It’s a city bus, and when you can no longer bear noticing that little Ray-Ray’s being supplied a baby bottle full of Tahitian Treat, that the guy at the front of the bus just may have a sinus infection of some sort, or that the girl standing in the aisle next to you is wearing a stained pair of pants whose bottom ironically proclaims itself “Juicy”, then you do, no doubt, what generations of cave men did before you.

You go searching through your purse.

How long, for example, has this receipt been here? Did I really buy a pound of bridge mix? Whose phone number is this? Should I call it? How old is this gum?

And where did I get this rock?

It’s a rock. I stare at it, careful not to pull it out of my purse, fearful that it be deemed a weapon by some heretofore missing Bus Security.

It is the rock my father gave to me for Easter.

“Pearl, Pearl,” he proclaims, enjoying himself. “Your mother and I have too much stuff for the house but not enough for a garage sale. You want any of this?”

Hmm. A sun hat. A pair of shoes. Drinking glass holders that screw into the ground. A popcorn popper.

And a rock.

“What the –“

“Isn’t that nice?” Dad holds it up, examines your standard sedimentary rock. “Your mother just loves rocks, you know.” He shouts into the kitchen. “Isn’t that right, Midge? Don’t you just love rocks?”

“For cryin’ out loud, Paul,” my mother bellows back. “You’re gonna make the cat go into labor.”

As a quick aside, it appears Midge’s Home for Wayward Kittehs is back in business. The current abandoned cat, a sleek black teenager who goes on to have a litter of five two days later spends the day waddling from outstretched hand to outstretched hand, hoping that a slice of ham will fall from it.


I pick the rock up. I suspect my love of rocks is an inherited condition, like high arches or chancre sores. There were large walls made entirely of rocks at my grandparents’ farm. My mother, sister, and I all have rock arrangements in our gardens.

“I’ll take the rock,” I say, shoving it into my purse.

“Pearl’s taking the rock, Mumma!” my dad yells.

“That’s great, Paul,” my mother deadpans. “You feel free to keep that to yourself now.”

My dad winks at me, places an index finger along the side of his nose in an old-school sign of acknowledgement. “She loves it, your mother. She loves when I yell at her from another room.”

And here on the bus, the rock is still in my purse, and I find myself smiling absentmindedly.

I got a rock for Easter.

24 comments:

Geo. said...

A moving post on psychological geology, Pearl. So long as it is in our nature to pass them down through generations, we must concede that rocks occur naturally in purses.

Sioux said...

So that's how you roll, huh?

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

always good to have something heavy in your purse for those times when you feel the urge to swing at someone.

Lorna said...

It's interesting how the passing parade invites us to check out every in of our purse.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I love that you love rocks. I love that you carry the one your mother loved before you and that your father loved to give you.

Lots of Easter Love Pearl!! YAM &>

Silliyak said...

"Rock ON!" seems so obvious, so I'll ask if you STILL have the rock in your purse one year later.

Camille said...

Is that how one spells it...chancre? Really? I always thought it was canker, or as we say it over here in NH...'kancah' Who knew? You're a font of information dear Pearl. And you betcha, I do love me a good rock too. Happy Easter!

Vapid Vixen said...

"She loves when I yell at her from another room".

Is this just something all parents do?

This post made me smile. Happy Easter Pearl. :)

fishducky said...

Happy Easter, Pearl!!

Douglas said...

Cave men used to carry purses?

Birdie said...

Rocks are awesome! First of all they are free. I have a big bowl of rocks that I have collected all around Canada. One day I will be your dad.

Birdie said...

Oh... If forgot to say,

::: (\_(\
*: (=’ :’) :*
•.. (,(”)(”)¤°.¸¸.•´¯`» Happy Easter!

Linda Myers said...

Just yesterday I was looking at the rock on my bedroom window sill. I couldn't remember where I got it. Neither could my husband.

We're trying to downsize. So I threw it out in the garden.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I love this for showing how a parent wants to pass things on, and how we sometimes think "s/he loves it when I do this." Also how finding the rock in your purse brought you closer to home in that moment. I got a Pearl Post for Easter!

jenny_o said...

I like rocks just because they're a piece of the earth - formed when the earth came into existence. They're fascinating, even the everyday 'standard sedimentary rocks' as you so neatly described them! I see them as no less a miracle than the stars, which I will never hold in my hand.

Happy Chocolate Bunny Day, Pearl!

The Savage said...

Happy Easter Bunny! Bock! Bock!

Juli said...

WAY better than a stinky old egg. :)

Elephant's Child said...

Rocks are not fattening either. And don't need to be kept in the fridge. They don't have use-by dates (or not ones I can read) and are very often beautiful. A rock for Easter has a lot of charm.

Daisy said...

Aw, I love this. And every time you dig around in your purse and come across that rock, you think of this all over again. Made me smile. :)

Mr. Charleston said...

You should never sell a rock short, after all, the Japanese made a fortune by selling them to Americans as pets.

HermanTurnip said...

Oh sure, these things start out innocently enough. First it's a rock given to you by a friend or relative, but sooner or later you're pocketing pebbles, palming piece of quartz, secreting away ill-gotten sandstone. Then, before you know it, you're collecting shale and boulders.

Oh sure, you can tell yourself that you can stop at any time. Tomorrow. Or better yet, next week. It's always "just one more rock" for you.

As your friends, we suggest you seek out professional help before it's too late.

We only want the best for you...

Leenie said...

So..DID the cat go into labor?

joeh said...

Are there really screw in the ground drink holders?

If not you should patent that idea.

I could use several.

Hey, a pet rock sold!

TexWisGirl said...

whenever you use the word 'mumma', my heart goes back to my childhood in wisconsin. *sigh*

and i like rocks, too. :)