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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seriously. Boo Be Trippin'


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’? 

21 comments:

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Oh, the inane...the weird...the trippin'...the downright scary ones these days.

But, I know you don't know him!! No, you don't know him!! slamming my keyboard on the desk....

:::snicker:::

Carmi Levy said...

She definitely be trippin'!

I laughed at your pitch perfect observation of this delightful - well, not for her, but still - scene.

This is why I stick to texting and emailing with my smartphone. Much quieter :)

(And am I the only one who laments the ability to truly bang the phone down now that we all use cell phones? Technology doesn't always move us forward.)

Slick said...

I see that all the time, and that was Trippin' 101!

I miss the days of slamming the receiver down for emphasis. The scene in The Divine Secrets Of The YaYa Sisterhood where they slam the receiver down on the counter repeatedly makes me misty-eyed for the past................

Leenie said...

This is a classic PEARL with classic comments. So glad I left my cereal so soak into moosh while I read the classics.

Douglas said...

Maybe she be trippin' and maybe not. I don't think it matters unless you are talking about the "trippin'" we engaged in back in the 60's and 70's. What has wormed into my brain is that thumb sucking thing. "What up widdat?", I gotta ask.

vanilla said...

Hope she didn't be trippin' on the street, fallin' under a vehicle. Though on second thought. . .

sage said...

You make riding the bus such a "trip"!

jenny_o said...

Yep, she prob'ly be trippin', and she also be rude, entitled, and cruisin' for a bruisin' one of these days.

Your observations are so entertaining. At least from THIS distance. Not sure I would want to ride the bus with her in that phone-slamming mood.

Jono said...

I gotta move back to the city for a while just so I can take the bus somewhere on a regular basis. Runnin' the huskies to town and fightin' off the occasional bear or moose has lost its charm.

Delores said...

You can slam out of a cell phone call (or for that matter a cordless phone call) with any degree of class these days. The closest I come is to blow my whistle into the phone before I shut the thing off. It's very disappointing. And yes...she's trippin'.

savannah said...

why is it that it's always THE LOUDEST PERSON around who gets the most cellphone calls???? sweet mary sunshine, sugar, but i really do miss the time before cellphones! xoxoxoxo




Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...see? I keep tellin' yez all, these mobile bits are just nooooooo good. Never mind the frying brains. Ahh there's her trip...

YAM xx

joeh said...

For your "Walter" just stop by, no requirements for acceptance!

http://joeh-crankyoldman.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-walter-cranky-award.html

Gigi said...

Ahh, do I miss the good ol' days when you could express your anger to the person on the other end of the line by slamming that phone down. Hitting the "end" button just isn't as satisfying.

And yes, she was definitely trippin'

Elephant's Child said...

She is repeating herself so both brain cells can feel that they are doing their bit - in harmony too...

Daisy said...

It's never a dull moment on that bus!!

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

At least it was a legal drop off, this time. She be trippin' illegally but dropping off legally. She's legal. What? What!? Yes she is. Yes she is! I'm slamming my lap top keys. Can you tell? I'm going now! I am! ok, that was fun.

Linda O'Connell said...

Your bus trips are a hoot. Yeah, she be tripping.

River said...

The thumb sucking got me. She's trippin' alright.

Geo. said...


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

The cell phone is just a prop, Pearl. This woman is shouting the same words I use to scold my own brain.

Daisy said...

I realized the other day that I can't tell if a person is talking on a cell phone, or just plain bonkers and talking to him/her self! Used to put people in hospital for acting like this.