After yesterday’s post a reader forwarded me an email from her friend that describes what I was talking about. To refresh your memory here is what I wrote:
Any “people person” would start getting very uncomfortable if the guy on the bus next to you starts hacking away his flem or reeking of body odor or having a loud, profanity-laden fight on the phone. Riding the subway with a rude group of kids causing a ruckus is an event that educated people must tell anyone that will listen.
I’m just getting settled in. Oh my god it was the ride from hell. First off, getting stopped by cops, put us off by a good 15 minutes. Then, I have a metal chunk of crap where my feet are to sit, and a morbidly obese man squirming not to touch me next to me. This means I get half my seat. He is generating a lot of body heat.
Stopover. Smelly looking tree planters exchange notes on their equipment, some guy tries and fails to pick the hippie girls up. Everyone’s standing outside to get the best seat, mosquitoes are going crazy, it’s raining. There are tons of fat people wandering in from *****, mullets and bleached blond hair. I contemplate asking one of the skinny tree hugger girls to sit next to me.
I chuck someone’s water bottle down the aisle under the chairs, and take a window seat, only to discover two large native men peering at me. I’ve taken their seats, and chucked their water bottle. A skinny man that looks like a gold digger from the Klondike demands to know if I was on before, and how it is I forgot my seat. I take a new seat, slink down, and stare intently at my ticket.
A girl sits beside me. Next to her, four African men reeking of cologne. They talk for the next 10 hours straight in a language that sounds like a swamp bubbling. Behind me, two native men reeking of booze and cigarettes. “With my luck, we’ll hit a tanker truck.” “With mine, we won’t.” Something starts banging under my chair, loud, at random. Then my seat starts to wobble. The natives suspect the wheel axis is coming off, and that the wheel is going to fly off the bus. They then FALL ASLEEP. I pop two codeines and eventually have to tell the driver something funny is going on. We stop in parry sound for tim’s and he looks at it, for a second. I figure I’ve done all I can to prevent my death here.
The african men get off at ******. Their luggage is not on the bus. They start bellowing and lunging at the driver, who yells back. Everyone is looking out the window, and it looks like we might have a fight on our hands after 10 hours in the bus. Driver gets on and closes the door.
A man in the back coughs a deep cough from his lungs, then swallows his snot. Someone tells him to cover his mouth when he does that. TB TB TB. I run to the front of the bus near *******, open my own coach luggage door and grab my luggage. I hurl myself into a cab before those slugs have even stirred from their slumber.
The email had complaints about body odor, flem, and fighting, among others. Eerie coincidence or validation that what I speak of is real absolute truth?
I’m positive the email came from a woman who is pro-environment, anti-war, hyper educated, a voracious reader, has donated to the Sally Struthers aid program, owns or considers owning a hybrid, and who considers herself a lover of people. Yet if a plumber in her home or a polite bus driver engaged her in conversation she wouldn’t know what to say, and that’s the issue with educated First World inhabitants who wrap themselves up in the cocoon and have no knowledge or experience of people not like them.
Next month… You’re Not As Open Minded As You Think.