Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ride Along With Sid

I've been spending a lot of time on public transportation lately. I'm illiterate and haven't figured out how to work my new iPod, so instead of reading or listening to tunes I've just been enjoying watching my fellow humans. Here are a few of them.

She looked like an elementary or high school art teacher, not the type you would expect to see standing at the station waiting for the next train to the high rise offices downtown. Out of boredom or just fidgetiness, she pulled a Nordstrom’s sales catalog from her bag and began to peruse the glossy pages. Then after just a few page turns she quickly shut it and disposed of it in the nearby trash can, as if she were embarrassed to have almost been sucked into the crass consumerism it represented to her.

iPod theme song: Beth Hart – By Her

She got a poet's spirit
She bums among the clouds
She never stops believing
She only dreams out loud

On the train, a gentleman across the aisle, maybe early 50’s, grayish hair and beard, looks kind of like your math professor, reading. Has some papers and a book inside a manila folder. Very intensely reading the book. So much so that the fails to notice that the folder has drooped away from the book inside, exposing the cover. I wonder what book has captured his interest this morning and see that it’s called The Mistress Manual. I snicker silently to myself and wonder if it’s a mistress on the side kind of deal, or a mistress as in “lick my boots, professor.” When I get to work I check out Amazon and find that it’s the latter – a book teaching women how to be an effective “mistress.” Perhaps he was just wondering what to expect at his first appointment.

iPod theme song on the iPod: Devo – Whip It.

Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight

Woman across the aisle, early 30’s maybe, attractive, unmarried according to her left hand, reading Learn to Sail in a Weekend. I searched the train car for a movie camera, having thought I might have stumbled into a romantic comedy starring the young woman. She accepts a date from her hot and upwardly mobile colleague assuring him that, of course, she has sailed before. Then after a frantic phone call to her snide and unconventional girlfriend, we see her roaming the bookstore looking for the said book, studying intently on her commute to the big city in prep for her date this weekend. Finally the day of the big date arrives. Hijinks ensue.

iPod theme song on iPod: Herman’s Hermits – Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good.

Woke up this morning, feeling fine
There's something special on my mind
Last night I met a new girl in the neighborhood
Whoa yeah
Something tells me I'm into something good
(Something tells me I'm into something good)

I need to get to The University of Chicago for a doctor’s appointment since I want the best geeks taking care of me, but don’t feel like fighting rush hour traffic. However, I note there is an express bus from downtown and I walk to the bus stop, But instead of seeing the usual random mass of people one would expect at a bus stop there is an orderly single file line. I ask if it’s the line for the 192 and get a positive response. Was there ever any doubt?

iPod theme song: Toto – Hold The Line

Hold the line, love isnt always on time, oh oh oh
Hold the line, love isnt always on time, oh oh oh

(Neither is the bus.)

I join the line for the 192 which wraps around a fall display in the plaza of a nearby high rise. The fall display consists of several bales of straw and some scarecrow type things - the kind of generic display that would otherwise be unnoticed by busy commuters lost in their own world scurrying to and from work each day. But today, a homeless looking gentleman carrying a guitar bag stopped at the display. I’m not sure what was in the guitar bag, but it wasn’t a guitar as the neck of the bag hung flaccidly. But I digress. He stepped up on one bale, pulled several pieces of straw from another bale closer to the center and stepped down. I expected him to stick some in his mouth, perhaps going for the Huck Finn motif; instead he took the plastic cap off his paper coffee cup, placed the straw inside, replaced the cap, and wandered off to our amusement.

iPod theme song: Gnarls Barkley – Crazy

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me


Leper Hopeful said...

You should be writing screenplays with that movie description.

(Neither was the bus) - chortle, nice one.

keysunset said...

This post's no good without pictures!

LOL! For the "movie on the train" gal, maybe it will be "sailarity ensues."

Very nice, Sid. Our household maintains there's a song, or at least a lyric, for every occasion. Great fun to see your take on that too.

HR said...

Oh, how weird. I just read another blog that went something like,

"I'd been spending a lot of time on public transportation, but I've had to stop. There's this weird guy who can't seem to work his iPod and who keeps staring at everyone. It gives me the creeps. Perv."

del said...

I've been spending a lot of time on public transportation lately You say that like it's a bad thing. And you've already learned the first lesson of taking public transit: it isn't ever on time...and now I'm going to be humming that damned Toto song all day, dammit!

Based on the sailing story, I figure you'll have your first screen play done by spring time.

(PS, if it was a screen play, the schoolmarmish looking woman with the Nordstroms Catalog would be the lady the math professor was studying the Mistress Manual for. And the bum would be the sailing weekend woman's long lost father and the cuppa-straw would be used to build a signal fire when they are all stranded on Survivor Island after the SS Minnow runs into a storm.)

L A Ray said...

Get your public transportation tips from 213

Kristy said...

Suddenly I want to hear The Metro by Berlin!

Very nice Sid, creepy like HR said but nice.

Sid F'er said...

Come on, it's not like I'm staring them down like a predator. Just observing my environment. You don't ever wonder who all these people around you are??? Where they're going, what they're doing, who the hell they are?

Nevermind. I guess I'm just creepy.

Kristy said...

I can't wonder about the people I encounter here in Miami, I am too busy getting pushed around or run over by them. Public transportation in this town is not's like a traveling bad neighborhood.

You'd fit right in, creepy dude lol!

Leper Hopeful said...

I'm with Sid on this one - I tend to observe people (when I muster up enough enthusiasm to care ;) in situations such as when taking public transportation.

It's probably only creepy if he's fully bearded and muttering to himself and/or secretly snapping pictures. Or holding pieces of hay/straw and talking to them.

Keysunset - sailarity ensues - nice one :)
Maybe Moist can whip up some sketches from Sid's notes to provide accompanying pictures.

keysunset said...

Lep hop - thanks for the compliment. I can't take all the credit tho. Mr. likes to read FARK and sometimes forwards me bits from there. That is a FARK term - sailarity ensures, jailarity ensures, and so forth.

keysunset said...

"ensures"? Ah, to correct myself:

sailarity ENSUES, jailarity ENSUES and so forth

carry on, people

ratzzz68 said...

Herman's Hermits was a reach...

devious d said...

Normal folk call it eavesdropping or staring. That's because they have no concept usually of what's going on around them.

Writers call it collecting material for a book. Besides the ability to develop whole histories for strangers they see out in public, they also tend to have highly developed listening skills that allow them to repeat whole conversations back that they just heard in the booth next to theirs in a restaurant. By that "normal person" who is loudly spilling their whole life history to all and sundry, if you happen to have ears you clean out once in awhile.

And before anyone takes offense, notice I differentiate "normal people" and "writers."

Rock on, Writin' Fool--I mean, Sid. May sailarity ensure--and ensue!