Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear (Six)

Technically, this one should be titled "Do You Read What I Read," but let's just go with it, shall we?

I want you to think way, waaay back to when Facebook was but a glimmer in social networking's eye and MySpace ruled the internet universe.  Back in the day (which was about two years ago) I had a MySpace page, and I would periodically receive messages from random men looking to hook up with me.

Remember how I only get hit on by crazy/drunk men in real life?  Well, in cyberspace my demographic seems to be middle-aged black men.  I don't know why.  I'm an equal opportunity dater, but I don't skew my profile to appeal to any race in particular.

In any case, I received the following message, which I have copied and pasted verbatim below. I haven't altered this in any way.  Please keep in mind that the guy's screen name was Big Boom and his picture featured a cartoon of George Bush as a vampire sucking on the Statue of Liberty's neck.

Subject:  "You have the deepest dimples."  (Again with the dimples!)

Whatz up pretty young misses? I like your height. You look super hot and tempting. Your smile and dimples are eating away at my sould as we speak. You look like a business woman and I'm loving it. Can I talk you you? I know you are busy doing your thing and all that, but you gotta squeez me in. I'm a cool fellow. You wanna have fun then come with me. I keep the blueberry Smirnoff on deck and the VSOP lately, I’m a homeowner and I have a car too so we can do whatever. I don't need to play gamez. I just wanna have fun shit.... can I know you? Iz that too much to ask? Um just sayin though for real..whatz up..can I get a number or give you mine? I'm a young, honest and fun King looking for a proper Queen. Can you handle that?

I honestly don't know what's better -- all the z's or the fact that I had to google VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale cognac).

What can I say?  You learn something new every day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear (Five)

Let me start this one by sharing something that I think is important for you to understand:  I don't get hit on by non-crazy men.  Never, at any point, in a restaurant or at the movies or at the library or at the grocery store, has a respectable, sober man randomly complimented me or expressed in any way that he would like to make sweet love to me at some point in the future.

But while waiting for the bus?  Frequently.  And by drunken and/or homeless men?  Absolutely. 

I would like to think this is because I'm so stunningly beautiful that males need to be in a generally addled state to work up the courage to make advances on me.  I'd like to think that, but it's not true.  I'm not what you'd call a "looker."  I'm about as average as you can get. 

However, something about me must attract attention.  Sometimes it's the dimples, which I typically forget I have, but which are a source of endless fascination for some people.  (Obviously I haven't learned to "work them" to get what I want, but I'm looking into that.)  I don't have junk in the trunk.  I'm an A-cup.  But for whatever reason, crazy guys love me.

Just the other day, as I hurried to my stop, I passed a man who surveyed me and proclaimed emphatically that he would "hit that."

Thank you, sir.

A couple months ago, as I waited patiently for the bus, a disheveled man staggered up, complimented me on my hair, and asked me to the movies.

Thanks, but no thanks.

The best was the drunken man who approached me asking for money.  The conversation went like this:

HIM: "Can I have a dollar?"
ME:  "Sorry, I don't have any cash."
HIM:  "How bout some gum?"
ME: (Oh what the hell, I actually have the gum.)  "Sure."
HIM:  "How bout your phone number?"

Yes, because you meet all the right criteria for someone I want calling me.  And I don't see how asking me for money is the best segue into asking me out.  But I see where I unintentionally gave him a glimmer of hope -- if she's willing to give me gum, what else will she be willing to offer?  If I can reach out and touch her over the phone, maybe I can do so in person as well.  You never know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear (Four)

This one is short but sweet ... in a dirty sort of way.  Parental advisory.

I was standing at the bus stop, and off to my right this guy (pretty clearly hammered) was just ranting aloud to no one in particular.  I wasn't paying much attention until he said this:

"I tell you what I'm gonna do!"

To which I thought, well, this should be interesting. I expected the next sentence could go any number of ways.  Here are some examples:

1.  "I'm gonna deal with my rage by shouting incoherently!"
2.  "I'm gonna get myself arrested!"
3.  "I'm gonna not remember any of this tomorrow!"

Yes, all viable options.  But, drunken free will being what it is, he went with this:
"I'm gonna eat me some good, old-fashioned, down-home pussy!"

He could have ended that sentence with about a billion other words that would have been less offensive but certainly not as funny.  And I guarantee you none of them would have required me to lean against the bus shelter while I shook uncontrollably with laughter. 

Well played, sir.  Well played.  You managed to catch me off guard.  I thought for sure you were going to say "ribs."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear (Three)

Okay, this was a great one.  As often happens after a long day of staring at a computer screen, I nodded off on the bus ride home.  Typically, this is an uneventful little nap that's punctuated by brief spasms as I'm startled awake every time we hit a major bump.  No doubt my head lolling around and my limbs jerking every which way are hilarious to observers, and that's why I do it, really.  For the entertainment value.

Anyway, on this particular day, I snapped awake in the middle of a catfight between a black woman and a flamboyantly gay man sitting across from me in the back of the bus.  Why anyone would tangle with such a woman, I don't even pretend to know.  Maybe he thought he could out-diva her.  

In any case, it's important to note that not only was she holding her own in the on-board verbal exchange, but she was also giving a play-by-play to whomever she was talking to on her cell phone. Here's what I awoke to in my foggy stupor.

Woman: "You need to shut your mouth!”
Me:  (Shit, I can't believe I missed the first part of this!)
Man: “You better shut YOUR mouth!”   
Woman:  “You saw I was on the phone when you sat down.”   
Man:  “You need to be more courteous to the people around you.”  
Woman into phone:  “Girl, I know he didn’t just tell me to get off my phone.” 
Me: (Oh, it is ON!)
Man: “I’m going to get you kicked off this bus.”   
Me:  (You and what army?)
Woman into phone:  “Girl, something wrong with him!”   

At this point, the man exited the bus in a huff, and I quit worrying about how I was going to revive him before the paramedics arrived.  But just as things were settling down, this skinny white teenage boy who had also overheard everything thought it was the perfect moment to interject.  He leaned over to the woman and said very casually, "He's probably just racist."

[Insert uncomfortable silence as the woman looked the boy over, deciding whether or not to end him.]

Woman into phone:  “Girl, he’s probably just racist.”

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear (Two)

For about a six-month period on my morning commute, there was a girl in her early twenties who would talk the bus driver's ear off for the entire half-hour ride downtown.  From what I could gather (because of course I was listening ... how could you avoid it), she and the driver had previously butted heads and then mended fences, and now were absolute besties.

I know this not because he brought her homemade jerky or regaled her with stories about how he traveled to Mexico every year solely to buy cheap T-shirts, but because one morning they compared prison time. He also cautioned her that, although it warmed up her apartment quite nicely, she couldn't simply leave the oven door open all night long for extra heat during the winter.

But my favorite tale was the one she told from her childhood, when her dog got hit by a car.  According to the girl, her mother completely flipped out and crawled into bed, hugging the dead dog, and animal control had to come and take it away.

Now, this is one of those disturbing gems that makes your own life seem infinitely more normal by comparison, but what really stuck with me was the girl's final commentary on the situation.  After some commiserating about pets and our attachment to them, she stated very seriously, "Yeah, I don't see myself curling up with anything dead."

She then added,  "Animal or human."

Words to live by.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Do You Hear What I Hear?

So I've been MIA for about two weeks, and for that I apologize.  Heavy workload + vacation to help retain sanity after heavy workload = burnout narrowly avoided but replaced by apathy.

Today's word: eavesdrop.  Definition: To listen secretly to the private conversations of others.

I'm going to come right out and say it.  I am a HUGE eavesdropper.  I don't know if this stems from riding the bus and being surrounded by ridiculous conversations, or whether I'm just curious about others' lives, or whether I just get an enormous kick out of people in general.  

Whatever the case, rest assured that if you're on your cell phone or engaged in a heated discussion and either of these things is at an audible level, I'm going to be listening.  Not only will I turn down my iPod, but if the exchange is good enough, I will most likely take out a paper and pen and write it down so I can laugh about it later.  I firmly believe that if you keep your ears open and your yapper shut, you will be endlessly entertained.

There are several unwritten rules to eavesdropping.  Actually, I almost hate to call it that, because the way people talk on their phones these days, it's like they genuinely want everyone within earshot involved in their conversation.  

Rule #1:  Never look like you're listening.  This means leaving your headphones in, even if you've silenced the music in favor of hearing the chatter around you.  It also means never reacting to what is said.  See Rule #2.

Rule #2:  Never laugh out loud.  I have been reduced to tears on the bus because I'm trying so desperately not to burst out laughing.  This is paramount because of Rule #3.

Rule #3:  Never make eye contact.  Typically, the most amusing incidents are ones in which you do NOT want to be involved, even remotely.  Acknowledging that you're listening and have passed judgment on the situation is inviting yourself into the chaos.  Thus, I would highly recommend not turning and looking if there's something going on behind you, unless you want to be called out and become a new target for craziness.

I have so many hilarious eavesdropping tales, but so few of them are repeatable in mixed company.  I'm adding the disclaimer that I'm not making any of these up ... I'm simply repeating them ... so I can't be held responsible for the language or the content.  

Today's story, overheard in the bathroom at Macy's about three years ago, just before Christmas.  The woman across from me was in the stall on her phone, and I stayed in my stall much longer than necessary out of sheer joy.  Her end of the conversation went like this:
"Don't you take that ham out.  Don't take that ham out! . . . .We gon' cook it up.  You don't want ham, you go shop for yourself.  You go buy cheez whiz when you get paid . . . Cain't shop for himself . . . never have no mutherfuckin' money . . . . Shit.  Do your own shopping. . . . .Girl, I'm just playin' wit choo! . . . .I gotta go, they holdin' a pair of shoes for me downstairs."
And . . . scene.  I'll have another one tomorrow.