Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Tag: public transportation

The Rage for Incremental Change

photo of guy fawkes mask on backpack

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

I am tired of the above guy and his smirk, but there’s a paucity of photos available when you type in “army backpack” (mostly boring people hiking), so you’ll just have to put up with him.

THE STUFF YOU SEE ON THE BUS

…which is beginning to be what this blog seems to be about, but AT ANY RATE….

There was a guy in front of me on the bus whose giant army backpack (camo, bedroll on the top, aluminum pots and pans clattering on the sides) bore a patch that said:

“U.S. SPECIAL FORCES

TERRORIST HUNTING PERMIT  NO. 911-01–T.M.

NO BAG LIMIT, TAGGING NOT NECESSARY

2001-2050”

Let’s just analyze this, because that’s what we do.

  1. I bet every one of these patches sold said “Permit # 911-01.” Because, 9/11, September 11, 2001, get it?
  2. So it expires in 2050? Good thing we got that terrorist thing knocked down by then.
  3. Oddly, I felt not safer because this guy was on the bus, but less safe.
  4. The fact that it said T.M. (trademark) led me to believe this was not, in fact, actual Army issue, a fact my actual Army source confirmed by his disdain.

My thanks, as always, to the people who keep checking to see if I’m still posting. Am I? It’s so hard to tell. (I hear Rom’s voice saying, “You have an obligation to your readers.”)

Oh, and the title is Stephen Colbert’s comment on the moderate Democratic candidates. VOTE FOR ME, I’M NON-THREATENING! Right, Nick? “I thought you were going to write a story about me,” he says pitifully.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of pumpkin pie at McDonald’s. It can’t be long now! McDonald’s–another thing I share with Trump.

 

 

Impossible Advertising

turned on gray laptop computer

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

–“Coors Light–the official beer of drinking in the shower.” At bottom of screen depicting this–“Do Not Attempt.”

On base of scented candle–“Do not breathe candle fumes.”

On educational TV show: “Archaeology has only discovered 10% of civilizations.” Rom: “How can they know that?”

I did not whine in a timely manner about Halloween candy appearing on the shelves at CVS, but it’s there, and has been for about a week.

Someday I hope to discover which employee at Walgreen’s drives a black Cadillac, since it’s on the lot every day.

GOD SAVE US FROM THEOLOGY ON THE BUS

I have reached a stage in life where I can’t be sure, if a guy lets me get on the bus ahead of him, if it’s because I’m a woman or because I have some gray hair (although I got my first gray hair when I was 27). But I can be sure if it’s a man my own age. He was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt. Because it’s m-m-my generation. (Apologies to both bands.)

A woman got on who works at Taco Bell on Lloyd, and started telling the bus driver and her friend about this weird sect she’d just heard of, who believe only 130,000 people will be saved. (It’s actually 144,000–it’s from Revelation, the 12 tribes of Israel times twelve, BUT WE WON’T GET INTO THAT HERE). She said, “I’m Christian myself, but I’m Catholic.” When she got off the bus, she said she was going to pray for the two women she’d been talking to, and the bus driver’s friend said, “Don’t pray for me–I know who you’ll be praying to!” The Taco Bell lady got off the bus, and the bus driver’s friend said, “She’ll be praying to the wrong person!” The bus driver said, “Yes. That is idolatry.” For the record, Catholics do not, in fact, pray to the devil.

I went to get stamps, and intended to get T. Rex stamps in honor of Trexa, but they had none, so I had to settle for dragon stamps, in dubious honor of Nick.

 

 

 

Making the World a Better Place

photography of bus stop during winter

Photo by Micael Widell on Pexels.com

…one bus stop at a time. And I hope I never get stuck at the bus stop in this picture. It looks like a criminal mastermind stuck it out in the creepy woods, but when you sit down, it whisks you away to their arctic headquarters. Or something. It’s just too new for such a remote area, you know? Plus that creepy blue light. And is that snow or rocks piled up by the side of the road? WELL?

Anyway, I have made it my mission (and a modest one it is) to clean up any trash I find at the bus stop near my house. Especially since this only involves taking it across the $ General lot and throwing it in the trash can there.

I tell you this not to give myself a Good Citizen award, but to note a weird facet of human psychology I’ve observed in the course of doing this.

Once, back when it was still cold, I saw a blanket and a sack of clothes on the bench. I thought surely someone must have forgotten these items, so I left them undisturbed so the person could come back and get them. But they remained undisturbed, blocking access to the bench. But the Real Problem was that, as the days passed, more  trash got piled up on top of them–more and faster than I’d usually observed. Apparently the presence of a significant pile over several days convinced people that this was a Designated Drop-Off Site and it was OK to leave their trash there as well. So I gingerly picked up everything and carted it to the Dollar General Dump, and trash deposit returned to its former occasional occurrence. Although if I ever share the stop with the person who keeps leaving gallon containers partially-filled with pink fluid (some sort of “juice drink”–the flavors vary, but it’s always pink), I may have to address them directly.  (“And get your finger dislocated again,” Nick says, in his capacity as my Life Coach.)

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, PT. II

Which is worse:

–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds, because the homeowner thinks that A.) the City sends somebody by to take care of it, or B.) no one actually uses the sidewalk, right?

or

–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds which the homeowner has dealt with by means of chemical spray, which leaves them dead and brown, BUT STILL STANDING THERE??

Freedom Day

grayscale photography of waiting shed near open road at night

Photo by Alexander Kovalyov on Pexels.com

I guess everything looks cooler in black and white, Even a bus stop.

FLANNERY O’CONNOR AT THE BUS STOP

Flannery O’Connor was Catholic and wrote weird stories about the South. At any rate, the same woman who had previously announced at the stop that she’d shot a diseased chicken with a shotgun was there today. She wears glasses and has hair dyed pink and red, with dark roots, which reminds me uneasily of something I might have done at her age. AND SHE WAS TELLING US ABOUT HOW HER FAMILY ALWAYS TALKS ALL THE TIME AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS LIKE SHE DOES, AND IF YOU CAN’T KEEP UP, TOO BAD, AND ONCE HER COLLEGE PROFESSOR GAVE HER AN F ON A PAPER AND SAID IT WAS “INCOHERENT RAMBLING.” Meanwhile, her man, a soft-spoken guy with the accent of his native Pennsylvania (according to him, I didn’t think he had any accent) was wearing a t-shirt with an old-timey newscaster, and the words “THIS JUST IN. YOU’RE AN IDIOT.” Actually, I am a very stable genius. I have to tell you, or else you’d never be able to figure it out.

IRONY ALERT

A picture of an old-timey 50’s newscaster signals that something ironic is about to be expressed. Similar, but more general in application, to a picture of a smiling old-timey 50’s housewife, which signals something ironically feminist, because all old-timey housewives are assumed to have been repressed and miserable and in a state of desperate denial . Get it?

CAMPAIGN NON-PROMISES

I need to update these, as 2020 is, well, not fast-approaching, exactly, but you get the idea.

If elected, I will not:

  1. Alienate our allies.
  2. Suck up to dictators. (I will be a dictator unto myself.)
  3. Impose tariffs on everyone even though I don’t understand how they work.
  4. Say that you owe me an additional 2 years on my term for daring to investigate me.
  5. Pay someone to block the release of my tax returns/school grades/SAT scores. My state of stable geniushood should be obvious to all.
  6. Dye my hair an unnatural color.
  7. Have a fake tan. Actually, have any tan at all.

So, if you’re trying to think who to write in on the ballot, keep me in mind. Then they’ll have to go looking for me. It’ll be like John Galt in “Atlas Shrugged.” Except better-written.

Oh, and the title? I retired 2 years ago today.

This Is Not a Story

buildings bus business car

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

OK, I did not see when I inserted this photo that it’s a trolley, not a bus, but it will have to do, because I don’t know how to dis-insert it.

Hey, I made up “dis-insert” and spellcheck didn’t correct me! It guess it’s thinking, She hyphenated it, so it must be legit. Or maybe spellcheck has just given up on me.

AT ANY RATE, Facebook has decided that my status updates are a “story,” prompting me with “Add to your story!” Um, I just wanted to mention that the cat threw up today. Yes, that is what my last post on Facebook was. This is why we have the Internet.

AT ANY RATE, my life is not a “story,” but a series of disjointed episodes. Here is one.

A PERFECT STORM ON THE BUS

My heart sank as I approached the bus stop today, because it was already occupied by the Family of Five. This is five people, a couple, two daughters and a son, who prefer to spend their money on smartphones for each person rather than on body wash and laundry detergent. I always let them get on the bus first, so I can sit as far away as possible.

The man of the house was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I Used To Be a People Person, Until People Changed That.” Funny, that’s the same thing I was thinking when I saw him!

When I came up, they were discussing swords, in particular those seen in video games. The talk then shifted, logically enough, to guns. The lady of the house asked, “What’s the largest caliber gun you’ve ever shot? Mine was a Browning machine gun. The guy who gave it to me told me not to ask how he got it. I used it to kill a chicken. That chicken didn’t even get the whole squawk out.” Her daughter then asked, sensibly enough, “Why did you use a machine gun to kill a chicken? You wouldn’t be able to eat it.” She said, “Well, they were diseased chickens! They couldn’t be sold!” Come to think of it, Killing Diseased Chickens With a Machine Gun would have been a good title for this post.

Our heroine then asked, rhetorically enough, “You wanna know what things I most missed when the house burned down? My three swords, and my Hellraiser action figures. It took me fifteen years and thousands of dollars to collect those.” Who knew?

Once on the bus, my heart sank further still when Dave got on at Walmart. You may remember Dave as the guy whose idea of a clever pickup line was, “You look like you’re goin’ for that wannabe-Goth look.” The bus was crowded, so Dave and his fifty Walmart bags had to be next to me. Dave then regaled us with a list of every celebrity he knows of who came from Tennessee. Followed by every corporation with headquarters in Tennessee. I don’t know what got him started on that state. Also, Dave has no indoor voice, so having him next to me made me want to crawl out of my skin. I’m just glad he wasn’t talking to me, because he can’t tell when you’re trying to ignore him, and kept saying to the bus driver, “You know who else came from Tennessee? Hey! You hear me?” Kind of like the camel in the Geico commercial. If he had tried conversing with me, he’d have been sorry. It’s like it was at work–“Well, I hate having someone sit with me, too, but what can you do? You have to make small talk.” Watch. Me.

Then the guy on the other side of me said, “I’m on my way to the cemetery, to check if a couple motherfackers are still in there.” Um, OK.

As if in recompense, the bus on the way home was absolutely empty, so I enjoyed my private charter service.

A TOPICAL NOTE

This is the first Super Bowl I’ve ever had an opinion about. My opinion is that neither team deserves to be there.

NEW FRONTIERS IN CORPORATE WEASELDOM

I denounce thee, CVS! You have stickers on all your perfumes, saying “Special Price.” And the special price is…the same price as usual, just in red and yellow lettering. Fie upon you! I don’t know what “fie” is, but obviously it’s something you don’t want to get on you.  For the record, I did not buy any perfume, but I did note approvingly that they stock Aramis, my favorite men’s scent, and possibly my favorite smell ever.

Drunk & Orderly

…is what I was on Saturday. But that was then, and this is now.

COSMO ASTROLOGY FOR 1981

Interior decorating for Sagittarius: “Turn your digs into a colorful caravan by covering walls with brightly-printed sheets, then gathering ends of same at middle of ceiling. Add rattan chairs, huge pillows covered in madras cotton, a collection of Buddhas–pure erotica!” Yes, there’s nothing more erotic than a bunch of Buddhas.

Brief intermission while I get up and turn the light back off, after having it on to copy the above.

AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM

Well, the corner of Franklin & St Joe has a problem, but it’s symptomatic & stuff.

First let me note that someone has tossed a pair of athletic shoes over the telephone wire. It has been rumored that this means that drugs are for sale at this location. Even before I read Snopes on the matter (they say no one knows why it happens, but probably it’s just because we can), I found problems with this theory. How do you know where to get the drugs? Do you just stand on the corner until someone shows up?

At any rate (to use one of Rom’s favorite expressions), at least two people were able to get some drugs, because there was a guy on the bus stop bench angrily talking to himself.

Rom just came in here and turned on the light, just because it’s dark. How dare he?

I thought, he’s really going to be mad when he realizes that the bench isn’t really at the bus stop, but is half a block away. This is because the important thing is not giving riders a place to sit while they wait, but displaying the advertising on the bench to the best advantage. People sitting on it actually block the view. I thought I was just paranoid to think this, until I saw recently that they moved the one across the street away from the bus stop, too.

At any rate, perhaps the guy on the bench suspected the truth, because he hunched over and started screaming at the sidewalk.

Then a different guy lurched toward me, so I had to step aside to avoid him. He kept staggering onto the liquor-store parking lot and back,

(Disclaimer: speaking of staggering on liquor-store lots, I’m drunk again. I have to have a reason to be drunk–previously it was Cinco de Mayo, now it’s my birthday/anniversary season.}

and then he approached me–“Gotta light for a cigarette?” Well, that’s one stupid habit I never started, so no. He then stumbled over to the guy on the bench, who interrupted his diatribe with the pavement long enough to give him a  light. Then Guy #2, who apparently saw no reason to save up his cigarette money so he could fix his missing tooth, sat down on the curb, smoking and twitching. Then he got up and wandered into the street, apparently thinking he could see if the bus was coming more effectively that way. Keep in mind that this is W. Franklin St. during evening rush hour, even though many people were just rushing to the liquor store after work. OK, I was one of those people. Except for the “after work” part.

When the bus arrived, I got on quickly, to secure my coveted front-upper-level seat. The smoking/twitching guy got onto the bus entrance steps and just stood there, then stepped off.

Bus driver: “Sir, do you want to get on the bus or not?”

Guy: “I’m scared.”

Driver: “Scared of what?”

Guy: “Being shot.” He then backed away from the bus. I am betting the police dealt with him eventually.

This post is dedicated to the people at Dispatch who decided, against all odds, that they missed me.

 

 

Palm Sunday

…marked, as always, by resisting the temptation to tickle the neck of the person in the pew in front of me with a palm. As opposed to last week, when I just coveted the rose-print sweater of my neighbor.

Nick refused to give his soon-to-be-born daughter my name. He is a hurtful person.

PARTS OF SPEECH WAR, NEVER-ENDING

–“Discover your happy.” HAPPINESS. The word is HAPPINESS.

–“Beauty responsibly.” Since it lacks a comma, I have to assume that they think “beauty” is a verb. They are wrong.

Should I have another can of ale? Too bad this is not some type of internet venue where you can respond in real time. I will just have to make this decision myself. I guess I should have asked the question on Facebook. Maybe I will.

Well, I did ask, and no one’s answered yet, and in the meantime I almost forgot I have this post going. Maybe I shouldn’t have another one.

LEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTSLEGGINGSAREN’TPANTS

Hmm, still no answer from Facebook. Apparently no one on Facebook cares how drunk you are. I will just have to crouch on top of Facebook, awaiting permission to drink more.

No, I have not done my taxes yet, but thanks for asking.

SOMETHING I OVERHEARD ON THE BUS

“Your little boy sure is cute.”

“Yeah, he’s asleep now, but when he wakes up he’ll bite and kick and throw things! He’s all boy!”

“Yeah, when I told my little boy that he was going to have a little brother, he bit me! And he meant it, too!”

Um, that doesn’t seem like “all boy.” That seems like you’re raising a future sociopath.

And, lest you think it’s better for girls…

“I finally told my daughter, ‘I don’t care if you only bathe once a month.'”

“Yeah, my daughter’s at the Youth Care Center.” (a/k/a Teenage Jail)

Sigh. Nick, you owe it to your daughter to give her my name, or who knows what will happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

War on Words

No, not a war of words. That’s what Nick and I have. There is mutually-assured destruction involved.

Headline: “MILLENNIALS SAY EMOJIS ACTUALLY EXPRESS THEIR THOUGHTS BETTER THAN TRADITIONAL WORDS.” Ugh, as the saying goes. Where’s Devo when you need them?

And speaking of today’s post-literate world, why is everyone saying that someone “kneeled” instead of “knelt”? Even CNN is doing it.

A TEMPORARY NEW FEATURE!

Time to visit a bright and happy world which uses lots of italics–the world of Cosmopolitan magazine’s Bedside Astrologer booklets. I collected the whole set, from 1970 to 1991. They are the lightest possible entertainment, and even more so in retrospect. So if you ladies want to know what you were supposed to wear in 1972, or how Cosmo thought you should entice your boyfriend of whatever sign in any given year, let me know, I’m taking requests!

Highlights from 1970

Fashion for Aries: “You’re most comfortable in casual clothes, like a mink Russian hat.” Somehow I don’t see a mink anything as casual. And obviously we were still wearing real fur in 1970.

Taurus: “As a sixties girl, you love all the good things (fun furs, color television) that money can bring.” Ooh, color television!

Taurus travel plans: “You’ll be drawn to Ireland, Iran, or somewhere in the Near East (Istanbul would be a perfect choice).” So basically any place beginning with “I”?

More for Taurus: “On May 5, there’s danger of a nasty argument with a stranger. (Avoid it!)” As opposed to, say, smacking them upside the head, or whatever we did in 1970?

“The Cancer man may have fantasies of waltzing you, naked and draped in garlands of flowers, through elaborate fountains or waterfalls.” Has anyone ever had that fantasy?

“The Pisces man’s fantasy probably places him in a spa where he can minister to water nymphs.” Yeah, probably.

By the way, my very first job was to write stuff like this for a small local paper, which folded after one issue.

NON-ASTROLOGICAL STUFF

From Saturday Night Live: “52% of Americans believe that sex with robots will be acceptable in the near future. The other 48% are women.”

I was reminded of this looking at an ad for the single of “My Sharona,” featuring a scantily-clad Sharona and captioned, “This is my Sharona–what’s yours?” Um, shouldn’t that be “Who’s yours?” No wonder men think sex with robots is OK.

FUN ON THE BUS

Opinion delivered passing the golf course at Helfrich Park: “They should plow all this under and put up affordable housing.”

There was a guy on the bus wearing headphones that featured red/blue/green lights, which apparently pulsed in time to the music. Which we couldn’t hear, because he was wearing headphones. And he couldn’t see the lights, because he was wearing headphones. Makes every kind of sense.

THE DAILY CANNIBAL FEAST

My 4th post, “Everybody’s Traffic,” is my restatement of the Golden Rule–that every time you complain, for example, that “the traffic was terrible,” remember that you were part of it. For every person who says, “The road was full of idiots who don’t know how to drive,” there is another person saying, “I had some asshole riding my bumper all the way here.”

That post also marked the first mention of Nick’s name, in the context of a threat.

 

Irregular Features

TURNING OVER A NEW LEAF

  1. This is not a good time of year for finding new leaves.
  2. If you find one, it’ll probably have a stink bug under it anyway.

Be that as it may, Blog School, which I finally finished (it’s supposed to be 2 weeks, but I took that at-your-own-pace provision seriously) recommends promising you a Regular Feature to encourage myself to post regularly, but since posting regularly in itself would be a surprise, here you are!. I’m not sure what kind of Feature would work in this admittedly freewheeling format, but maybe I’ll come up with something later.

So here I sit, eating M&M’s in proper colorlogical order, from my least to my most favorite colors (brown-yellow-green-orange-red-blue–if the vending machine doesn’t give me any blue ones, I am entitled to get a 2nd handful to rectify the situation).

I am freshly back from vacation, and was ready to go back on it with my first baby-daddy call. “My baby daddy almost hit my other ex-boyfriend and his parents with his car! We never have gotten along.” Then why did you have sex with a guy you don’t like? Another baby mama called me a “stupid-@ss bitch.” Hey, I don’t have a baby-daddy, so I suspect I’m smarter than you are. Of course, she probably doesn’t have to think about M&M’s before she eats them. We all have our own gifts and abilities.

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

METS Transportation has finally done what they’ve tried to do for years and cut the West Side bus service down to a single route. (Since they have meager resources, because PROPERTY TAX CAPS, they had to do it to make room for Sunday bus service.) So now, if I’m going to work and need to head north, I have to get on a bus headed south. If I’m headed home and need to go south, I have to get on a bus headed north. It’s like it’s uphill both ways. (It actually is uphill both ways, since there is more than one hill involved.) Walking the whole way, rather than going around in circles on the bus, may actually save me time. How To Meet Your Weight-Loss Resolution Goals!

THINGS YOU SHOULDN’T DO WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK

–Cut your toenails.

DRAMA DEPARTMENT

“My relatives were visiting for New Year’s, and they left something that looks sketchy.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a pipe and some kind of plastic pack.”

It turned out to be a nightlight and a battery pack.

THINGS WALGREEN’S THINKS I NEED, ACCORDING TO MY FACEBOOK FEED

–shave gel (although they were uncertain what scent I’d prefer)

–something to reinforce my earlobes so I could wear injuriously heavy earrings

–something that would enable me to pee in a car

DID YOU KNOW?

–I used a Crown Royal bag as a purse in high school? That’s how much of a hipster I was. I’ve never tasted Crown Royal.

HOW I SPENT NEW YEAR’S EVE

Rom said, “You’re having a redneck New Year’s Eve–on the couch, drinking Redd’s and eating ramen.”

 

 

 

Day 30: Merely This and Nothing More

BEST HEADLINE

“Couple Arrested For Drugs Had Sex On Floor Of Bank.” How could you improve on that? It has it all. Including betrayal–he told the police the drugs were all hers.

MILDLY AMUSING ADVENTURES

The sun was very bright, which turned my glasses very dark. I looked at myself in the bathroom at McDonald’s with my dark glasses and red (technically Currant) lipstick, and thought, This is the coolest I’ll ever look. Lest you think I was overly cool, I got home and almost dropped my glasses in the toilet–as it was flushing. I found out I could juggle.

Remember the woman who responded “Shut up” to her son’s childish questions? She was on the bus again today. Apparently “shut up” is her default dialogue–this time she said it when he asked about the Boy Scouts and their Christmas-tree activities. She then told her two daughters to shut up, but that was understandable, as they were engaged in a debate about which one was touching the other, and who started it.

S.G.’S 30 POST, 5/11/13: Genius Has Side Effects

I intended to use this as a motto of sorts, but apparently decided I’m less of a genius than I thought I was.

 

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