Friday, December 1, 2006

mama said there'll be days like this

Of all the buses of all the streets in this city, i had to get on the one that is packed with old ladies & crying babies. A crazy old lady & one crying baby, to be exact. And, of course, i had to be running late to my doctor's appointment.

It was uncommonly hot & muggy this morning (16C!), yet always the optimist that i'm reknowned to be, as i stepped in the bus i thought it was rather amusing that she (the Crying Baby) was wailing in tandem with "Dig Your Grave"/"Bury With It". Amusing & ironic, for little that she & i both knew how close she came from being untimely thrown off the bus and meeting her end on the wet pavement. Because, once the song ended, and she still kept up the screeching beat, i realized that it wasn't such a harmonious quirk after all. Oh no. It was an obstinate stand-off siren. As i can no longer keep up the Nonchalant-&-Carefree-Put-Together-Lass that i sometimes like to pretend i am, i calmly turned my head toward the source of distress, and surprise! The Crying Baby wasn't actually a baby at all - she was a bonafide 1 year-old whose stumpy little legs far outstretched the strap where a cute little baby's foot would normally fit! Now, before any of you virtual/imaginary ppl who i pretend are reading this start to berate me for being a cold insensitive bitch, when a person seems to be taller than my knees, who can probably walk and boldly wage mental warfare with 40 other grown-ups, that person can no longer be considered as a 'baby' in a strictly objective physically descriptitve way, no matter what their real age is, and should not benefit from the 'baby'-label consideration. (A similar rule goes with grandmas - if i don't see any white hair & orthopedic shoes, sorry, you're not taking my seat, lady!) Anywho, back to the bus. I shockingly glanced at her mum, who by that time was gazing into space praying, as it seems, for a meteorite to hit her right then & there, and realizing that there is no longer hope, i kept my cool and shuffled towards the back of the bus.

Years of riding on buses have trained my usual challenged sense of balance with a keen steadiness when walking through a crowd at 30km/h without holding a rail (i know, i'm quite proud myself). It's all in the timing. You have to know when the bus is going to stop, speed up, or slow down, and adjust the weight you put on your feet accordingly all the while spotting supporting spots. When i arrived to the middle, and the bus abruptly stopped, i grabbed on to a handrail, carefully avoiding punching a wee little ol'lady who was standing right in front of it. She was wearing a cute little pink beret with a nice green & beige tweed coat. And sunglasses. Nevermind that is was pouring rain outside... "Are you getting off here?", she sweetly asked me. I looked outside and noticed we were in the middle of traffic. "No, no", i replied, smiling, polite as i am. Now before i describe what happened next, i must clarify that my firmly gripping hand was far above her head and the sleeve of my coat was nowhere near her wrinkly old face. Yet GOD KNOWS what possessed that CRAZY WOMAN to grab my hand, TEAR IT AWAY FROM THE RAIL AND LET ME FALL while wearing a GODDAMN SKIRT over EVERYONE just when the bus was SPEADING UP! As the (fortunately!) nice ppl i hit helped me up as best they could (did i mention that is was silly crowded? and fucking raining? which therefore implies that i was holding a huge umbrella, my ginormous handbag with my laptop in it and another bag with my working clothes, that everbloody else on the bus was also carrying about fifty other dozen things as well, obviously!), she (the Old Crazy Bitch) mouthed something i couldn't understand bc my ears were plugged in with Modest Mouse. And because i was slightly in shock. Which is fortunate, bc i just might have wacked her head off. Well, okay no, not really. I am kind of a wimp, and i was raised to always be nice to old ladies despite how crazy mad they were. Also, there was no room for me to wag my umbrella without hitting everyone else standing there as well.

Once i was firmly on my two feet, i got the hell away from the Old Crazy Bitch before she figured it'd be fun to stab me with her little heels and finally found my way to the back where - HALLELUIAH! - there was actual SPACE! "Home free!", i thought. "Only 10 minutes to the metro, and i can forget about this horrendous ride." And just like that, 10 minutes magically became 20 minutes bc other sweet old ladies had to take an ETERNITY to get on & off the bus, and argue with the driver that their ticket was not, in fact, outdated.

Yes. Twenty minutes. Of blissful humidity, sweating, being poked by umbrellas, elbows, wandering hands, and of a howling 'baby'. Thank goodness i was already heading towards the doctor. Albeit 30 minutes late.

This is reason #37 why i should never go outside. Or wear a skirt.


Boo said...

NUTS old ladies are NUTS. Love this entry - every second posting on my blog is about freaks I've encountered on transport - please visit often!!

The last time one of these freaks actually laid hands on me though was about 10 years ago, when a freaked out bloke started tearing up newspapers, rolling up the bits and piffing them at me. When I opbjected he started slapping my legs.

Happy days...

vapidly vibrant said...

Hahahaha! I haven't had the pleasure of being slapped yet. But my fingers are crossed. Who knows? I may be so lucky as to meet that Old Crazy Bitch again this week!!
(Kidding. Sweet Jesus, i was KIDDING! PLEASE, NEVER AGAIN!)

Good luck to you in your future encounters. Glad to know that freaks are an international phenomena ;)