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: SPINNING YARNS - the Tell Us A Story thread (31st October - 27th November)
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Nov 3rd 2011
Ah, public transit ...
1) While waiting for a bus with my at-the-time girlfriend, must be twenty years back. We're sitting on a bench chatting when a ruddy-faced woman wearing a dirty overcoat and a multi-coloured scarf approached us. She'd been kind of hanging around our periphery, watching us, pacing back and forth. Finally, she gussed up her courage and spake thusly : "Most men keep their shit in their shoes but you wear spats." she told me. She could barely get it out, she was stifling laughter. For some reason.
2) While riding the bus to a different girlfriend's house, about six? seven? years back. This girlfriend lived in what passes for a ghetto in my town - quaint, I'm sure, to Americans and those inured to gunfire but a pretty sketchy neighborhood nonetheless. A "teenager" (he was probably early twenties or so), all hip-hop style and fractured english was having a loud disagreement with an old guy, a hippie type, all granola and compassion club pot kinda guy. Yon punk was lipping off to the poor man, in front of a crowded bus full of appalled riders, each too frightened to DO anything. Punk said something like "I can do whatever I want, y'all" and I shouted "WHAT'S YOUR NAME?" (I can shout pretty loud, ask anyone). Punk shouts his name out, proud of his defiance and rebellious attitude. I shout back "You're a dumbass. Now if anything bad happens, you just identified yourself to a crowded bus full of people. We all know your name." Punk promptly shut up, realizing his error a bit too late. Several people around me, including the target of the punk's ire, shot me appreciative glances for making the punk shut up. When I got off the bus, I made sure he and his buddy (who, to be fair, was trying unsuccessfully to get him to shut up) didn't follow me.
3) On June 6, 2004, my then-girlfriend got us tickets to see The Producers. An old man in veteran's dress is on the platform so I shake his hand and thank him for his service. I ask if he was at Normandy and he replies "No, I was in the Pacific, nobody gives a shit about us." The train arrives and we get on. There are no available seats so I say, not shouting but LOUDLY "Surely someone will give up their seat FOR A VETERAN." A couple near us quickly leapt up from their seats but my new friend wasn't having it, quoth he "I'm 83, I'll sit down when I'm a hundred." Then he proceeds to tell me a story that I can't quite hear over the train noises and because he's speaking so softly. (One of the drawbacks of being so LOUD is I'm a lil bit deaf.) It had something to do with him almost being screwed out of his pension. I DID catch the bit where he said "So I got my knife, you know and it was about this long and I went into the office and I said, if these guys don't get their pensions, who knows what'll happen to you." Needless to say, I think he got his pension. At even at 83, he was one of the scariest muthafuckas I ever met.
I have lots of stories about public transit.
Nov 6th 2011
@ government spy: Ha Ha Ha..nice one.Good work. Excellent.He He He etc.
Nov 7th 2011
Sigh..for once in my crazy life i'm a bit at loss on this one.Guess a heavy dosage of total recall would help but that stuff doesn't act on a whim.
I use my N.H.S walking stick to devious ends when crippling about London..and it works!I go into spastard mode if a bus is pulling away and put on a false limp,even if my legs are not playing up,and i wave the fooka in the air cursing the driver.Most of the time they stop.
I get on the tube when it is busy and madly shout "Cripple coming through!"..it's like the parting of the red sea sometimes..the fear on the mobs faces is excellent and i have a perverse warm feeling when i do that one.Yeah,i enjoy that one.
Another personal favourite is if all the seats are taken and i have to stand,all sweaty and deranged looking.I have a tendency to sliver through the mass to the disabled seats and lay on the guilt.If any abled bodied bastad is in "my chairs"..be they man,woman,child,beast,frog etc i sometimes glare at them with such intensity and hatred i've seen 'em flinch.I mind rape 'em until they squirm.I do a Professor X job on the ignorant twats until the air is filled with such electric static tension that they lower their heads in shame and involuntary move their bodies to give me my throne.As they creep past me i sneer at 'em with a big warm smile on me fooked mug.Sometimes,as i park my skinny ass in my jewel encrusted atrocity exhibition safe spot,i burst into a fit of hysterical laughter as i glare out the window.
The other week i did something i have a slight pang of guilt about though.There where many seats available on the tube and i was in not give a shit junky white trash mode and i slouched my carcass on a seat.I believe i fell off it a couple of times.Tourists looked at me in disgust.Trendy teens stood back in horror,a look on their faces as if to say i had just raped their mothers.
Anyway the train came to a stop deep under the city for what felt like ages.The carriage was all black and full of despair.Like a lot of people i got a bit of a phobia thing going when that happens,especially after the awful fire at Kings X awhile back,yeah?
After about half an hour i was pretty shaky and kept on uttering pofanities.The silence was defeaning.I looked up with a evil smile on my face and said out loud "This is when we burn and die!"..oh dear!What had i done now.A poor young chick burst into tears and i felt soo guilty.Luckily the tube began to move and she was free to escape my presence at the next stop.I know,what a shithead i am!
I can't wait now to use public transport today.My mind is racing at the prospect of what me and my crap stick can get up to.All i know is that it will be well dodgy.
Nov 7th 2011
You know, I'm starting to wonder if flecky is Uncle Warren's evil twin. Well, evil
Many years ago I used to catch the train to and from high school. There were a bunch of us kids who used to hang out on the train - we'd never even talk to each other at the school, but we clustered together on public transport as a kind of mutual defence. I was (and remain to this day) a terrible geek, but a couple of the guys from the train gang were more at the tough-guy end of the spectrum, including one by the name of Meggsy.
On one particular day someone had bought a joke can of peanuts to school. It looked like a can of peanuts, it felt and rattled like one, but when you popped off the lid an erect and very lifelike rubber penis leapt out at you. Meggsy was playing around with this novelty on the train, and figured out that it was pretty easy to dissemble the can - ending up with a spring, some bits of plastic, and the rubber phallus, which had a very large flange at the bottom to hold it in the can...
What happened next should be obvious. Without warning Meggsy unzipped his fly, inserted the phallus, zipped up enough to hold it in place and proceeded to run up and down the entire length of the train whooping, hollering and waving his new appendage at the rest of the horrified passengers.
Then he returned to our little group, removed the phallus from his pants and carefully reassembled the can.
There was apparently never any consequence for this action.
Nov 7th 2011
While I'm sure I've seen and been the cause of much public transport insanity, the one that comes to mind is the time I was on the train on new years eve. We were pressed, body to body from one end to the other. Sitting at the Copley Station, not moving for about 10 minutes or so, a man pressed against the closed doors on the track side of the train decides he's had enough. He starts to shout "I need to get out of here." He's about 10 people deep and directly across from the OPEN door, so he does the logical thing. He turns and pries the closed doors open enough to slip out. Or almost slip out. They closed behind him catching his foot the door, sending him face first into the wall. One quick jerk later and he's fully out and moving down the tracks. Needless to say, the train stayed on the platform for a few minutes longer. I assume it was due to the security sorting him out. Or possibly so the driver could have one more toast to the new year.
Nov 11th 2011
Not a story, but something that this thread may appreciate. a little image that Chip Zdarsky whipped up for a (fake) etiquette campaign for the TTC (Toronto's public transit).
Nov 12th 2011
I haven't had anything too crazy happen to me on public transit, though sometimes I feel like I spend half my life on the train or bus, or waiting for it. Just a couple of little things that stick out in my mind, really.
Once, on the stop just before I got off the bus, a man in a wheelchair got on the bus. I was running late, and considered just getting off there instead of waiting for him to be secure, because those two stops are very close to each other. Then I heard the man speak, and wanted to stay on the bus with him rather than go to class. He sounded just like a character in Cooper's dream, like he was speaking backwards but the words were backwards so it was okay because that was the only way to say them and make them understood. It was said clearly enough I didn't need the subtitles, and I remember him saying "I have a map." If he'd said "Where we're from, the birds sing a pretty song, and there's always music in the air," I would have peed myself. The rest of the day was decidedly less surreal. Though I often see people more than once in this city, especially those close enough to my neighborhood or University to ride my usual bus, I've not seen this man since.
While waiting for a train, I sat next to a man having a conversation with a voice in his head named Toby.
A friend of mine had a wonderful, terrifying, and hilarious tale that I'm making a book of, and will probably share with you guys later on. But that's all for now from me, I think.
Nov 12th 2011
Once, I sat on a bus here in Houston, and a big fat old black guy with a lazy eye kept staring at me, or possibly not looking at me at all, and he kept shouting three phrases over and over:
"...TOOK ALL MY MONEY!"
Nov 12th 2011
I just rode the thrain with a woman wearing a balaclava who, while speaking to thin air, declared that she didn't WANT to have heroin injected under her tongue. Also, she had no interest in having sex because people were covered in germs and smelly.
Further updates as they become available ....
Nov 13th 2011
Just a couple weeks ago, on Halloween weekend, my friends & I were riding downtown to go see a showing of Rocky Horror. Waiting for the subway to arrive, a black fellow in his late 30s, brandishing a cane, approaches us and asks for directions. We tell him we are headed in the same direction, and to follow us. Sitting on the subway, we then somehow spark up a conversation with this man who proceeds to tell us that he is on his way to meet four girls, two black and two white and who are waiting for him. He says his liver is going out and that the doctors want to replace it, but he refuses to do that and demands that they find another way. He insists to us that you cannot let things like that keep you from living your life and that he has eight kids. He intends to have eight more. He smiles.
Nov 15th 2011
I remember a bunch of friends taking the MBTA's orange line, all ripped off our tits on alcohol, singing "Plush" as loudly as we could.
It was 1993, get off my ass.
Then a friend of mine from a different group got on and joined in, and I was overcome with that perfect singularity of chance and luck.
Ugh, christ, that story sucks.
Nov 15th 2011
I never meet any of these psychos, you guys, stop hogging all the nutters.
The other week I was down the pub and one of the locals started harrassing me for not saying hello to him on the train earlier. Problem was, I'd been at home all day and nowhere near the train. He would accept that explanation, walk off then come back and harrass me for being rude again. All night.
Nov 15th 2011
Getting near my stop on the way home, an elderly bag lady got on the bus. I stood up to give her my seat. She never looked at me, but she started yelling.
"SECRET JEW POLICE!!"
"POLICE!! SECRET JEWS!!"
And just about every combination of those three words you can imagine. I was in uniform, so I imagine she didn't like me very much, but I do not look in any way Jewish, not that there's anything wrong with looking- oh, I give up.
Nov 15th 2011
@Oldhat - I once saw someone wet shaving on a motorway. Seriously. He had lather all over his face, I nearly crashed myself from the double-take whiplash effect.
Once had a horrendous train journey, where I was jammed up in the vestibule area of the train with about a million other people. Crammed next to me was a teenage couple, probably no more than 15, who were noisily eating each other's faces for most of the journey. Less than a foot from my head, which was bad enough. But one of them, don't know which, was also repeatedly farting, evil, horrific pit of the stomach farts. With that and the slurping it was very, very hard to retain my composure.
I think I read somewhere that if you put rats at public transport densities they'd kill and eat each other.
Nov 16th 2011
@Jones - I once had to travel from Derby all the way to Durham crammed in the luggage rack as there was no other space...
Nov 16th 2011
Years ago I went to the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Now, I love my university but there's one thing I didn't really realize I disliked until I got there.
UCSC is kind of like Cal in that it has a reputation for hippiedom and so we get a lot of students who live like it's still the Summer of Love. Maybe they're the children of actual hippies, maybe they're just wannabes, but the school is rife with them. This isn't so bad until you get to the rainy season.
Nothing, NOTHING, smells quiet so bad as wet hippie. I mean, they don't smell great to begin with considering that many of them don't bathe and instead substitute hygiene with buckets of patchouli, which doesn't so much as mask the scent of inch-thick body odor as it just layers on another unpleasant smell to their bouquet, but then you mix in water to their infrequently washed, pot smoke-infused clothing and you've got a particular funk that haunts your nostrils for hours.
Normally this wouldn't be such an issue because you could just avoid them except when you're a freshmen and don't know your way around campus. Suddenly, once the rains start, every first year student is thrusting themselves onto the shuttles to avoid the rain and because it's the easiest way to get to where you're going if you don't know the layout of the school yet. I soon discovered what awaits me if there is a hell and it's being stuck in the middle of a shuttlebus packed to the gills with dirty, moist hippies doing laps in a boring parking lot for all of eternity.
The worst thing is their funk, if they touch you, clings like you dipped yourself in the Bog of Eternal Stench.
Nov 16th 2011
When we lived in eastern Helsinki in the beginning of the millennium, the bus trips were always rather interesting. In the beginning I thought there was some kind of center for old schizophrenics and alcoholics near the end of the bus line, considering their density in the busses, but then I realized they were the deniz... people living in the area.
My favorites were the guy who walked back and forth in the bus mid-lane, thrusting his face next to other passengers and trying to pull his own teeth out with his bare hands, and the this old mean looking guy who was hanging on a pole like his life depended on it, actual foam on the corners of his mouth and stuck on his stubble, going "Don't look at me. Don't you fucking look at me. Don't you look at me."
Me and the woman agreed that if she went for a girls night out, there was always enough money to come back by a cab.
Nov 16th 2011
@RenThing: No wonder that apartment smelled so bad!
Nov 16th 2011
UCSC student or did you live with a hippy?
Nov 19th 2011
@ All: Excellent.It's all good.
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