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!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Word from the Back of the Bus

6:42 a.m.:  the heat wave in our immediate future, the one that will have me standing at the bus stop, like a rich person, in 44 glorious degrees of early Spring-time thrall, has yet to materialize.

It is a Thursday morning, cold and dark. 

The bus arrives, and I climb its steps, carefully knocking the gritty snow from my boots as I do.  I wave my MetroPass at the doohickey and walk to my seat of preference, a spot up the steps at the back of the bus, near the camera.  I like to think that should anything untoward happen while engaged in commuting, it will be caught on tape and either a.) result in a conviction, b.) be shown on TV, or c.) lead to my finally being discovered as a runway model.

We are 15 minutes into the trip downtown when the men at the back of the bus get excited.

“Come on, man.  Come On.  Come ON.  COME ON.”

My eyes swing to the right, to the left, spin counterclockwise before returning to their straight-ahead position. 

It’s been a long time since the morning commute was this lively.  I lean back in my seat, reach into my purse, pull out the book I keep for just such occasions.  I switch my low-volume iPod to “off”.

“Aww, COME on, man!”

Another man laughs softly.  “Shush, man.  Call him later.  Anyway, you be shoutin’. These good people goin’ to work, they don’t want to hear you.”

I am dying to turn around.

“Man, I don’t talk like no mouse, man,” says COME ON man.  A combination of urban mush-mouth and side show barker, he’s got a baritone voice.  “People hear me talk, they know they be getting’ the juicy-juice.”

“Well just keep it down, Mr. Juice, that’s all’m sayin’.  Me and Earnest, we got you, right up front.  Know that, man.  Just know that.”

“Oh, we be right upfront, all of us.  We got the earnest, and we got the frank.  Man, we be earnestly frank.”

“Man, I said you gotta be quiet.”

“You know, last week he be talking about gettin’ enough for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?  It be Monday now.  That’s why that man don’t be answering the phone.  Come on, now!  That man be detoxing.”

Both men laugh, full, open expressions of enjoyment.  Heh, heh, heh. You right, you right.    

The bus goes relatively silent, save for the coughing woman near the driver.  We creep along the Nicollet Avenue mall, all-year cyclists scattering before us like skinny, helmeted cattle.  I look out the windows at the storefronts, windows dressed, mannequins in swimwear and summer dresses.

“MMM,” grunts the COME ON man.  “You know about that Joseph E. Banks?  They be having buy you one, get you two.”

“Man, they got good clothes,” says the other man.  “Good clothes.”

“Mm mm mmm,” the man with the juicy-juice says. “You know what?  Maybe we find us Earnest, we do some shoppin’.” 


32 comments:

Shelly said...

The teacher in me would have involuntarily compelled me to turn around, as I still do at any untoward noise. But since I be retired now, I just be getting all up in they business.

Pearl said...

:-) You misspelled "bidness".

Diane said...

Shelly made me snort!

I love your stories, my friend. I don't always comment but I always read 'em, and I always love 'em!

vanilla said...

I be ridin' the bus witchoo, jus' fo' de fun, if it not be so cold in Many Apples.

Steve said...

Love the comments all most as much as the story.

Susan Williams said...

I be stuck envisioning skinny, helmeted cattle for quite some time.
Carry on wid yo bad sef.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Pearl be like "Where my pencil? Where my notebook?"

Pearl said...

LOL!

The bus: it never ends. This morning, it was packed -- at least three times the "normal" crowd. Why? Where were they going?

joeh said...

True dat!

Douglas said...

I sense a lotta love there... on da bus... you feel me? But, Pearl, why not just pause that i-Pod insteada muting it?

Leenie B said...

Oh, My Heck! What language is that? Just because Idaho is out in the toolies doesn't mean we don't understand English, but that bunch of words was so boogered up that I pert-near thought I'd clicked on a Scandahoovian site.

Delores said...

They're going to pull a man out of his 'detox' to go shopping for clothes? At that point I would have HAD to turn around to see what they were currently wearing.

Jono said...

They be stylin' tonight!

hoodyhoo said...

Dawn - the correct grammar, I believe, would be, "Where my pencil AT?"

jenny_o said...

Wonderful reading, Pearl! You set the atmosphere SO well, these images are now in my mind as if I was on that bus, too.

LOL - out LOUD, really! - at the comments and at your reply to Shelly :)

bill lisleman said...

runway model or runaway model - never know these days with so much autocorrect.

Elephant's Child said...

How I love that you are a bus voyeur. And share the treasures you find.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
At least you understood what was a going down... I was on the local ride here in bonny Dunoon and the chatter was well beyond the ear.

Leenie had me in the aisles... YAM xx

Geo. said...


"TO do is to be." - Sartre. "To be is to do." - Kant. "DO be do be do." - Sinatra.

Gigi said...

Between the post and the comments I am DYING over here.

Sadly, no witty comment from me though.

Daisy said...

I be laughing so hard I be jigglin' all over.
Daisy's Barbara

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Gee, you learn so much on that bus, Pearl, even other languages.

HermanTurnip said...

All that time and you didn't turn around? Curse you! I would have given my son's eyeteeth to know what they looked like.

Pat Tillett said...

Seriously, I don't know which was better the story or the comments. Shelly started it off and the ball just kept on a rolling...

Pat Tillett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Tillett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Buttons said...

I like the old turn off the ipod thing to catch up on the real world thing:) Hug B

Linda O'Connell said...

I want to know what old earnest was pushing/doing. You do find the best in the worst.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Someday you should write a book entitled "Tales from the Bus" :)

Diane Tolley said...

Where dat bus be at? An' why don't it ever come dis way? Eh?

Daisy said...

I always love your bus stories, Pearl. You find a good story in every trip. :)

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Maybe you should have followed them to Joseph Banks just to report back on what they bought at the buy one get two sale. I can't be the only one that wants to know.