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Thursday, April 2, 2015

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.


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.


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.


vanilla said...

Everybody? I resemble that.

Jacquelineand.... said...

You carry around a notebook to scribble random happenings in?

How very, erm, eccentric.

Shelly said...

I'm sure your yoga poses came in handy for this. And everbody is somebody's weirdo? One of my favorite all time truisms.

Anonymous said...

All part f the plot line for the new, Adventures on the Number 10 coming soon to a bookstore near you.

jenny_o said...

And the cat to whom the man in the ladies pant suit is relating THAT story is frowning and thinking, "That sounds very like the lady who lives with Liza Bean."

Word gets around, you know.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Sadly, that's not news round the YAM-hutch...&*>

Elephant's Child said...

And some people are everybodies weirdo...

Eileen B said...

So glad you collect and share the stories of Number 10. Buses seem to be great weirdo magnets.

Juli G said...

The general population, as I see it, are all weirdos.

The key is deciding which ones to keep.

sage said...

You, Pearl, bring the weirdo out in the best of us!

Should Fish More said...

I'm enjoying your posts recently; I realize this is a reprint, but lately they've seemed like short stories from Raymond Chandler, one of my favorite authors.

River said...

Our buses have been weirdo free lately, nothing at all to stare and wonder at. :(

Watson said...

What Jennyo said!! :-D