Monday, November 23, 2009

Enjoy the Journey

What am I thankful for, I know the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) because riding public transportation has provided me with a wealth of stories over the years. Most recently was this past Sunday. I was meeting a friend to go hiking…in the city…yeah I know it doesn’t make total sense. Anyway I was traveling on the North Avenue bus around 3:30pm. Note this is a totally normal bus route traveling at a totally normal time; otherwise if it was say traveling in my neighborhood at 2am, this story wouldn’t be completely uncharacteristic. The bus was crowded with every seat taken and a few people standing. Well every seat was taken except for one…the one right next to the crazy white guy. He was reading a Black Panther newsletter out loud to no one in particular. I remind you…he is WHITE! After a while, he stood up and reached down into his pants. Now everyone was watching him out of the corner of their eyes and probably making mental escape routes in case he pulled out a weapon. Thankfully he just was adjusting himself, vigorously. Apparently he couldn’t get the job quite done, so he dropped his pants down to his knees and shifted his dirty boxers around for a couple of minutes. Once he sat back down, he took out a lighter. He yanked up his pant leg and started to fuss with his sock (it was an old tattered sock that had lots of fuzz balls covering it). He reached down with his lit lighter towards his socks (apparently he was going to burn off the fuzz balls or something) and accidently grazed his leg with the open flame. Now he must have been drinking or on drugs or soaked in a bath of kerosene, because his leg hair went up in one big flash fire. It reminded me of when they light the cheese on fire in a Greek restaurant. Anyway, the people around him collectively gasped and leaned away as one (trust me, you had to see it, it was hilarious). I don’t believe he injured himself, but did succeed in burning all of his leg hair off while shacking his leg and shouting out “oh DAMN!”. The whole bus reeked of burnt hair and yet I was sad when we pulled up to my stop seconds later.


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