Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chicken cellphones and bus

Q. Why do people insist on talking on their cell phone on the bus, or eating fried chicken? What can I do about this?

A. Dear Buster,
Here are all the reasons people talk on cell phones and eat fried chicken while riding the bus.

1. Jordan Gene Johnson- He had spent the whole day hunting around the city for Pa. You see, Ma was real sick and uncle Matthew didn't know what to do. Jordan was pretty stressed out and tired. At his wits end, he called his sister Taylor Anne for advice and hopefully permission to come home.*
2. David Chin- Had been in the writing lab all day. He is studying Italian, after a visit to Florence two summers previous had inspired him to dedicate the next five years to the language and international law. It had been a particularly taxing day and he thought he could find comfort in speaking with his ever supportive mother. Unfortunately she was out and David was quickly drawn into a conversation with his father who is equally supportive of David's aspirations but is very hard of hearing. So David had to speak up. In his home he was taught to speak at the appropriate level. And for this situation, that was the appropriate level. 
3. Brit Hayworth- of Chico, which she was quick to point out, "just had to" call Steph about Denny. Apparently Denny was at it again. Up to the same old, same old. Some people never change... Oh and Brit was soo wasted too. I mean really wasted. Way differently wasted from the last "So wasted" story. "You don't even know." She said. And then started into the story again but it was hard to follow, didn't have much of a plot, was missing details and had a predictable ending. It sounds like whatever happened, Neisha, was the one who was good enough to wipe it up.
4. Bernie Gunt- Had a phone in hand and held to his ear. He was talking quite a bit. And even listening. But Bernie Gunt wasn't "On the phone."
5. Pico Vivadella- lives on the bus. Usually the one that moves from downtown to the beach. It's a long quiet route most of the day. It has a number of markets along the way. He likes to eat his meals in the dinning room of his home. You may know this as the extra legroom handicap seat near the backdoor. He also likes to lick his fingers when he has finished eating. Chicken or not. For the rest of the ride he strokes the pole of the seat in front of him and enjoys the lubricated feeling of the oily residue between his flesh and the metal. Pico has no cell phone. 
6. Ahbrum Piles-  During one bus ride he left 8 messages on his former lovers voice mail. He was heart broken. If he had not been so distracted by his misery, he would have sought you out and spoken to you. He would have asked you a number of unanswerable "getting to know you" questions with no regard for your personal space. You would have become very familiar with the scent of his breath. So familiar, that you would have been able to distinguish between the scent of his hair, beard and breath. Some of his spittle would have gracefully leaped from his lips to yours, lazily settled in, moistening your rosy flesh. If Ahbrum had not been so distracted. If he had had fried chicken. He would have lustily and gleefully eaten it. And he would have offered you a portion to enjoy with him. Your shoulders and knees would touch a lot. 
7. Wendy Schleggmeire- "Yes, S-C-H. And it has two G's... Don't forget the "E" on the end... No it's, m-E-I-r-E." Wendy just never shuts up. She is always talking. Through films. Through read-a-thons, and ballet's. Through lectures and demonstrations. Through audio tours and in libraries. Over doctors during check ups and proceedures. Through funerals and weddings. She works in PR at a firm. She will likely still be shuttering and twitching and expelling air and gasses through her own funeral. She, emotionally can not stop talking. It keeps her ghosts at bay. 
8. Tett Brinestone- Was late and didn't want his mother to worry. 
9. Mike Thompson- Just thought of the funniest thing. He needed to share it with whichever friend would answer the phone. It took seven tries to get someone on the phone. But when he did, oh the hilarity that followed. 
10.  Jurvey Cocker- Eats chicken on the bus because he enjoys it. He likes to watch people try not to watch him tear chicken from the bone. He consumes nearly all of the defeathered-fried-breaded-beast. The skin, the meat, the fat, the tendon. He breaks the bones and sucks out the marrow. This is not a quiet or clean perfomance. When he's done he exits the bus leaving the broken greasy pile on the seat next to him to shutter and shake as it travels on down the line reminding passengers that a beast was here. 
11. Calli Fijordson- Has some broken keys on her keypad. So she's, at the moment, only left with speed dial and call history. Until she gets a new phone she can't text, so she has to call. Not that she has any thing to say other than, "Yes, I'm still on the bus. It's so boring and gross. I hate it here. I can't wait to get a boyfriend with a car... Yeah I still have two years before I turn sixteen. Gross, there is some guy eating fried chicken. It looks like they are in love or something... I know. I can't believe she did either. I mean I can. But I can't wait to tell Haily. I wish I could text I hate talking on the phone... Not to you though, your my best friend. I mean to everyone else. They are all like 'why are you calling? Can't you just text me?'... I know, like I want to talk to them either... SHUT. UP. She didn't..." Calli's mom is tired of replacing phones for her. She'll be talking instead of texting for a while. 
12. Chip Harchmens- Is sure he's being followed. He's been trying to get through to the head of the America Patrol Special Division of Agent Protection for two hours. The operatives at the Bank of America, Geico or Sears have not been helpful in getting him through to the "right people".
13. Lucy Sorrem- Had to leave early for work. She missed her kids arriving home from school. She wanted to check in with them to see how their day was, let them know she loved them, and that she left some fried chicken in the foil covered casserole dish on the stove. By the time she returns home they will all be asleep and she'll have dishes to do.

That's it. Those are all the reasons people eat fried chicken and talk on cell phones while riding the bus. What can you do about it? If you want them to talk to you instead or share a piece of their meal, you will have to make the first move. They are likely more nervous of you than you are of them. And probably just as interested in finding a new friend. 

Hope that helps,

*It took a few days for Pa to return home but he did return. Ma was in bad shape for a few more days but eventually took a turn for the better. More on account of nature and less on account of any nurture. Uncle Matthew still doesn't know what to do and Jordan is very happy to be home and hopes not have to ride the bus or visit the city again.

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