Sunday, December 10, 2006

And Leave the Driving to Us

...And leave the driving to us? Who the hell else is going to do it?

Tonight I returned from a whirlwind trip to Boston where I utilized the form of transportation known as "the bus." Now as you can imagine I normally don't lower myself to such paltry forms of transportation. However, Saturday morning, there was some sort of malfunction at the South Street helipad and my armored SUV was in the shop (evidently the fluxcapacator was broken --I don't really know. I'm not automotively savvy and it all sounded terribly complicated). Luxury transportation just wasn't in the cards for me.

As I result I was forced to schlep on down to Port Authority and ride what I have come to understand is called "a bus." Now my only experience with buses to the best of recollections, is youthful glimpses of a large yellow tank and flashing memories of severe beatings / wedgies. My therapist has informed me that my lack of clarity is what is known as traumatic stress repression. ..but I digress.

Upon my arrival at Port Authority I was really impressed by what can only be described as "local color." Growing up in the heartland, I always valued the importance of folksy charm; the 'street cred' garnered by blending in and assimilating to the local culture and mores. As I approached the door I encountered a man named Big Bill, who I would later learn was on heroin, moving in slow motion. With the best of intentions, I tried to communicate with him on his level in the only way I knew how: I began doing 'the robot.' When this met only with grunts and more shakily fluid moments from my friend, I decided I needed a change of tactics. So I began my polished Marcel Marceau routine beginning with the one where I'm trapped in an invisible box. It was at this time that I was shanked.

When the shiv was removed and the bleeding stopped I proceeded to the gate. Luckily, my secretary, Helen, had printed up what is called an e-ticket. Evidently, you can make a variety of purchases from oversized Michael Kors belts to bus tickets on what Helen referred to as the World Wide Web. "I must check into that when I get back from Boston." I resolved.

Upon boarding the bus, I knew that this would be an unacceptable. For starters? The decor. The threadbare gray acrylic upholstering was simply unacceptable. As many of you are probably aware, I don't allow any material to touch my skin that wasn't attained from the slaughter of a small, cute, cuddly and well-pelted animal. Simply unacceptable. In an effort to rectify the situation I pressed the stewardess call button. However, when I did this, all I got was a severe facefull of dank, recycled air. "How embarrassing," I thought to myself and pressed the other button. This turned on what I would assume was the call light. After 15 minutes standing in the center of the aisle an obese woman coarsely bellowed, "Honey, get your fucking candy ass out of the aisle." I thought it best to comply.

When I sat down in my seat, I was pleased to find a somewhat attractive girl wearing an oversized North Face jacket, Uggs and Gucci sunglasses. "Finally, someone normal." I produced my ice gel mask from my bag and geared up for what I was sure would be a relaxing trek with Real America. Despite these high hopes, as soon as the bus rolled out my seatmate began talking on her phone. No-not talking, shouting on her cell phone. Well, I threw down my ice mask down I my lap in obvious disapproval and simply glared at her. My disapproval did not register. I then began clicking my tongue and sighing deeply. Still no reply. It only seemed to encourage her. So then I did what any good traveler would do, I opened my hand and sharply rapped her on the forehead with the tips of my pointer, middle, ring and pinky fingers. "What the he-" I slapped her on the forehead again. "I'm going to-" Slap. "Who the fu-" Slap.

This went on for about 10 minutes, but you know, ultimately I think I conditioned her not to talk so loud. Also, by the time we got to Worcester we had a good laugh about it. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had heard that edited versions of movies usually appear on these "bus trips." Despite these rumors, I saw no visible TVs. "They probably flip down like they do in my Suburban," I reasoned. About (2) hours into the trip I decided I needed to inquire with the driver as to the status of the movie. Not just for me, but for the bus at large.

"When will the movie start?" I asked

"Do you see any fucking TV's?" He replied

"Well no, but I thought they might flip down, you know?"

"Are you retarded?" He retorted.

No movies, eh? I felt it was my responsibility to entertain the bus. I mean I did have a BFA in musical theatre didn't I? "Lot 665," I began. "A papier mache musical box in the shape of a barrel organ, attached the figure of a monkey in Persian clothes play the cymbals. This item discovered in the vaults of the theatre still in working order. Shown here."

"What the hell are you talking about?" One of the passengers pointedly inquired.

"Well, you see there isn't a movie on this bus, so I figured I would act out The Phantom of the Opera for you. What don't you like book scenes?"

I decided that I should skip to the the meat of the show and began singing a stirring rendition of Music of the Night. It was at this time that I was shanked again.

Luckily, it was just in the leg and the bleeding stopped pretty quickly. While my assailant said, "if you sing one more note, I'll cut your throat," I think it was all in good fun. Another passenger even commented that this was the best bus entertainment she's ever seen. And if nothing else I can definitely take that away from this otherwise unfortunate encounter.

Into the third hour of the trip, my coffee caught up with me and I needed to take advantage of the on-board facilities. Upon entering the bathroom my nostrils were filled with the pungent scents. Instantly my mind was overwhelmed with sense memory. Where did I know this smell? "It must be that sour cheese factory we toured in Northern France." After finishing my business, I went for the paper towels only to find that there was none to be had. This would never happen on my Jetstream. To remedy this unfortunate situation, I used the hair of women seated in the rows proceeding my own. Boy, were they pissed, but my hands were both dried and exfoliated. Who can argue with that?

We were into the final half hour of the trip when a "gentleman" seated next to me began began hacking coughing. Now, if there is one thing I hate, it is hacking coughing. If there's another thing I hate it is hacking coughing anywhere in my airspace. I tried to just let it slide. The trip was almost over, but the hacking just grew more intense. I couldn't let this go on any further. Again, not just for myself, but for the bus as a whole. We couldn't escape his wet coughing. Something needed to be done.

"He's using biological weapons to kill us all!" I began screaming.

Well, everyone freaked and started a stampede.

When the FBI arrived, I made best efforts to explain how much I hated hacking coughing, but this was a tough crowd. So now I'm facing federal criminal charges or something. I don't really know, again, it all sounds terribly complex.

After the massive consumption vicadin and lithium for my assorted beatings, I just rolled out of my pill-induced coma to share these important lesson that you, my public, can take away from this experience:

1.) Never confuse a heroin addict with a mime.
2.) The World Wide Web is the wave of the future "log on and get surfing"
3.) Never underestimate the power of a good forehead slap.
4.) Shanking is no joke
5.) Above all never, never, never ride "the bus"

I trust this is helpful. Happy travels.


1 comment:

ya mother said...

Patrick, you are TOOOOOOO much


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