Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sweet Georgia Meltdown

My job takes me to exotic locales like Atlanta, which, as far as I can tell, is exactly like Dallas except, perhaps, a little more Southern belle than cowgirl. And that’s just a line of BS to needlessly impress Atlanta, which, like Dallas, isn’t really that much different than most other large cities I visit. A lesson I learned in preparation for my move to Dallas many years ago, when I mounted a large steer horn hood ornament on my Nissan Sentra ala JP Gottrocks and donned a 10-gallon hat for my first day on the job. Then I was told that North Dallas isn’t really that much different from the mean streets of suburban Chicago, so I quickly ditched the spurs before I hurt myself. Besides, I couldn’t get them to stick on the Chuck Taylor’s very well and they were quickly wearing a hole in the floorboard of the bitchin’ Sentra. But I kept the assless chaps, so I’d have something to wear to the Manhole Bar when I was lonely. I’ve already wildly digressed.

If you don’t know Atlanta, I’ll share what I know. The airport is on the south side and my destination in the Perimeter area is on the far north side, and there are approximately 8.9 million cars in between the two points going to the same place that you wish to. Fortunately, they built a train that runs between the same two points that can get you across town in about an hour, thus shaving approximately 3 days off the commute. All for the low, low price of $1.75, no ups, no extras. They call it MARTA out there, which I believe is an acronym for the Mig Ayesa Rockin’ Train Association, with each train car containing an elfin Australian dude playing ballads on a toy piano. Or maybe it just stands for My Ass Rides Trains Around. Go look it up if you really care.

I’m a fan of public transportation, so upon deplaning I got a token from the vending machine with the same fervor normally reserved for condom machines in sleazy bar bathrooms. Unfortunately, I only had a twenty dollar bill and received 73 quarters in change. Quarters don’t stay in g-strings very well, so I would be screwed if I ran into any of the city’s strippers on the train. From what I’ve heard, Atlanta and Dallas have quite a number of strip clubs. I've even heard that The Men's Club has a decent menu, too. But you might be surprised to know that Portland, Oregon has the highest number per capita. I was surprised, but now I know how Oregon State University got their nickname. Maybe all those strippers really are doing it just to pay their way through school. Wow, another wild digression.

So I’m riding MARTA, not wearing assless chaps and not finding any strippers (my research shows that they usually travel in new Ford Mustangs), and finding it an uneventful experience. Which isn’t a bad thing while riding public transportation. I’m not sure they made a wise choice by carpeting the floors of the train, since it seemed to have picked up an unusual odor that I really didn’t want to think about too much. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think about some homeless guy marking his train car after a long ride with a bottle of Thunderbird. I tried to distract myself by reading job applications over the shoulder of the woman in front of me. I think it had something to do with managing grant money for a hospital. Whatever it was, it sounded even less interesting than what I already do, so I told her I was unable to accept her offer but wish her and the organization continued success. We rolled through downtown and soon I was deposited at the Dunwoody (heh, heh, I said woody) stop in Perimeter to start earning some reward points at my hotel. Another 47 nights and I’ll qualify for a free night in Des Moines. Next day, I went to my meeting, looked pretty, tried to make a few relevant points to justify my billing rate, and took MARTA back to the airport, now down to only 66 quarters. I tried to find a Ms. Pac-Man machine to lighten my load, but to no avail.

I must have made some damn good relevant points that day because they requested my presence in Atlanta a couple weeks later. And I’m not that pretty. So I loaded my 66 quarters back into my pockets, unloaded them into the giant tub to get through security, loaded them back into my pants, searched unsuccessfully for a Ms. Pac-Mac machine, and eventually got to Atlanta. At 10 p.m. That’s well after dusk. By myself. With a shiny Apple PowerBook G4 and some fresh underwear in my bag. Sometimes in a meeting I’ll pretend to whip out the underwear instead of the PowerBook by mistake. That’s always good for a hearty laugh. Or an early dismissal. You never can tell. But I digress. I confess I was afraid of getting my underwear stolen on the train late that night. The pair in my bag, not the pair in my pants. Even if the potential mugger wasn’t my size, he might then take the PowerBook out of spite. I can run commando for a day if necessary, but without the trusty PowerBook I’ll be left only with phrases I've picked up from Dilbert comic strips. So I took a shuttle to the hotel and safely arrived with my underwear and my PowerBook, but felt like a big wuss. To get my self-esteem back, I beat up my shuttle driver but felt bad afterwards and tried to make it up to him with a generous tip. Mostly in quarters. I told him the whole PowerBook/underwear story while trying to stop his nose from bleeding, and he got a hearty laugh. That only made me feel worse because I think he had a cracked rib and hearty laughter was not the best medicine. So I kicked him in the shin and went to check in before I made matters worse.

I put another notch in my lipstick case – only 46 more stays until my free night in Des Moines.


keysunset said...

Oh Sid, thanks for showing me a little more of Atlanta. ;-) My one trip to Atlanta, we drove down from NC. Mr. Key was at a computer conference. I decided to drive into downtown Atlanta. I drove and drove and drove and drove just to find where I was on the edge of the little tourist map I had, then drove some more. This was some 12+ years ago and the city I live in only has a population as of 2004 of 326,653, so I was pretty clueless. And I do like to think that I am pretty. Even the summer with no hair I was pretty. Although I can be still clueless.

Loved your translation of MARTA! Ours is CAT - Crappy Ass Transit - since most of the stops outside a two block radius of the downtown transfer station seem to be inconveniently located with terrible schedules and the buses don't seem to go anywhere without touching base with the downtown transfer station first. No onboard entertainment either.

I don't think you're a wuss, Sid, just wise beyond your years. But that's just my opinion. Love you anyway. (Don't tell Mrs. 'Fer or Mr. Keysunset. Or Moist, he might be jealous, if he chooses to be the jealous type. Besides, I think Jules has designs on him.)

Jules said...

**(Don't tell Mrs. 'Fer or Mr. Keysunset. Or Moist, he might be jealous, if he chooses to be the jealous type. Besides, I think Jules has designs on him.)**

*giggle, snerk* Be that as it may, I still love your wild digressions and care passionately about your links, Sid. Never doubt it. And I promise I won't breathe a word to Mrs. F'er and Mr. Key.

Pat Benatar said...

ok, i'll give you that one, only because your insight was so wonderful.

keysunset said...

On Sunday, 11/20,
is doing a 24 hr LH marathon! Rock on!

P.S. Moist, are you going to the Metro concert on Wed?! I hope to read commentary about that after I get back from T'day festivities with family.

Moist Rub said...


Yes, I will be at the Metro show. As long as I stay alcoholically coherent enough, I plan to provide you all a review of the show.

I think they'll probably open with "Leper Pop", the new hit single for the ages. In fact, they may do an entire set of that song.


jen fan said...

Are your assless chaps similar to the ones on the menu link you posted?

Sid F'er said...

"the city I live in only has a population as of 2004 of 326,653"
You work for the census department or something?

"I still love your wild digressions and care passionately about your links, Sid."
Don't care passionately about my links... try something like homelessness or poverty.

"I think they'll probably open with "Leper Pop""
I figured that would be the encore. Tell Bobby I said hey. That should confuse him.

"Are your assless chaps similar to the ones on the menu link you posted?"
No, I have the plain, brown leather cowboy variety, but I'm thinking of upgrading.

keysunset said...

You work for the census department or something?
heh heh, no. I can just find info online.

I drove Mr. Key near about crazy yesterday playing indiebandradio's LH marathon. I'll have to make it up to him somehow ...

Hey, Moist, I've "discovered" the song black coffee in bed . Think you could work up a cool version of that one for the sidestage at the dirge-a-palooza?

I doubt I'll have much chance to be online between now and next Sunday, so Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

P.S. VI, hope your cat is doing ok.

HillMama said...

Hey Leper Pop dudes! I hail from Snarkgasm and one of our lovely members posted that Moist Rub would be at the Metro. We, the Snarkers, are dying, quite literally near death, wanting to meet the guys from Leper Pop. We have a small, yet devoted Leper Pop admiration society at Snarkgasm. It all started with our joint RS:INXS viewing and it has continued today. There will be around 20 of us in attendance at the Metro, from all over the country. Can you say obsessed? Apparently, we can. Few of us have ever met each other so meeting another stranger we think we know from reading postings on the internet sounds like a great idea! Let me know if this is something you’re interested in, or if we scare the living hell out of you and you want to run far, far away I totally understand. Although, someone may have mentioned buying you a drink.

Aunt Nina said...

MR, I heard on the radio that they'll being shooting the video for that tree song at the Metro. Are you going to make a cameo in their short musical film? Or would you rather remain, like the wizard of oz, the anonymous man behind the curtain?

Does the song 'Leper Pop' remind anyone else of Poison's 'Unskinny Bop' opus?

Sid F'er said...

I hope they include the old guy in the Dockers in the video.
He will give us the answers.

MR - the drink sounds tempting but I wouldn't put it past those harlots at Snarkgasm to slip something in it. You'll likely wake up on the pitcher's mound at Wrigley without any pants and circle tat behind your ear.

Like gasoline they wanna pump you
And leave you when they get their fill, yeah.

HillMama said...

You'll likely wake up on the pitcher's mound at Wrigley without any pants and circle tat behind your ear.
I do believe the ladies of the Commune would be more apt to have a tattoo of a pretty, little peach applied behind his ear. We would never drug anyone. We would use our harlotish ways to get what we want. Well, we might drug someone if they could get us what we want, but only if it was truly called for.

keysunset said...

LOL! If Moist gets a pretty little peach behind his ear, Sid F'er has to get one too and the Comment Commandoes can call it the "Moistid tat". (Like some call that circle tattoo the "Jorty tat".)

Moist Rub said...


I will be at the show. I'll be wearing jeans and a shirt, and probably shoes, but no hat. I'm not wearing any goddam hats. If you spot me, please feel free to say hi. And bring me beer.


Sid F'er said...

Since I cannot make it to the Metro show due to local turkey responsibilities, I will be hosting the Leper Pop DFW area psuedo-simulcast. You're all invited to sit in the bed of my pick up truck (as required by Texas law), while I play Murder on My Mind during my commute home Wednesday evening. I might even print out some Marty eyes and paste them on my rearview mirror so that you can pretend he's driving.

I'll be the one wearing the Richard Nixon mask.

i snark, you snark said...

So Moist is too good for us Snarkgasm gals, eh? Hey man, we've got some boobtastic outfits planned. Hm, maybe Moist is afraid of us and our boobtasticness.

Well, if you spot us, and I think we'll be hard to miss, do say hello, m'kay?

Moist Rub said...

I am downright hurt that you said that, i snark. I've worked hard in life to ensure I'm not too good for anybody.

I weep.

keysunset said...

I for one want to see photos of Moist Rub getting down with Snarkgasm at the Metro! Maybe the afters too, I'm not sure ... I don't even know exactly what Snarkgasm is ...

There, there, Moist, don't cry. Just lay your Moistness right there (use your imagination) and I will try to comfort you. I love you, right after Mr. Key, and Sid, and Marty. And Jules wants to marry you! I think babies might be optional.

Wish I could drive to Chicago or down to Dallas to see either of the shows going down tomorrow night. They both sound like a blast. I want pics and facs!!!