Monday, December 27, 2010

The Greaseless Express

Greasers love to be greasy. Some spend untold thousands on some of the world's coolest and baddest hot rods. Grease and booze are an unparalleled match, and we all enjoy a good booze up and a good band. The cold hard reality, however, is not as much fun.

Many states and provinces are enacting increasingly Draconian drinking and driving laws with ensuing harsh penalties. In my own hometown, it is illegal to smoke in parks or to drink beer in public. While the Federales turn a blind eye to longhairs smoking pot in the park, big trouble can be found in a flash for the lone greaser quietly enjoying a beer and a smoke on a nice sunny day in the park. After receiving two separate tickets for each offense, he will be be forced to endure the indignity of having all his other beers poured out by an all-too-willing self-righteous cop.

Hell, even riding a bike after a few pints seems fraught with danger. Not so much the possibility of falling off the bike, but the fact that some hillbilly state trooper may interpret that as drunk driving. How ridiculous it would be to have to go through the extremely laborious process of losing your driver's license because you rode a godammed bicycle after a few beers. You'll be singing the Walk-a-billy blues for a long time to come.

What's a greasy sum bitch such as myself and yourself to do ? Drinking and driving is out of the question these days. Sometimes you can't get a cab, and are sometimes relegated to that most disdainful form of transportation known as public transit. I often wonder what Machiavellian deviant ever conceived of such a conveyance. I deem it to be even beneath walking, but walking is so damned slow when you are hammered and staggering.

I have written about flying and Greyhound buses in the past. The former is bad enough and the latter can be downright frightening. I have even taken a train on a few occasions with pretty much the same results, I even had to hitchhike once when I ran out of gas somewhere near Bumfuck, Kentucky. There is just something about sharing transportation with total strangers, some whom you wish to fucking poke in the eyes, that is unequivocally unbearable. There is just something unnatural about being forced to be inside a moving box with people ( and I use the term loosely) that you would otherwise never associate with. Drunk or sober, you will eventually find yourself on a bus.

Here's a compendium of the various types that you will encounter on an average trek aboard your local loser-cruiser:

1. The Commuting Idiot.

Usually armed with large Starbucks, whatever you may call, Vega-Hemi-Leakage, this snotty self-righteous son of a bitch will surely spill some of that boiling hot shit on you. This uppity fuck will ignore that and keep texting with his other hand. As much as you desire to punch him in the face, the crowded conditions make it impossible, and you instinctively know that you don't want to end up in the drunk tank for punching a douchebag.

Conversely, if it is morning and your car is in the shop, you don't need to get into a fight before work. I have on several occasions, yelled at these idiots, because they were wearing enormous backpacks which they blithely failed to remove  before entering the bus. Even an angry greaser admonishing them is not enough to deter their stupidity. Yet another punch in the head that would need to be administered, but cannot, in the interests of civility.

2. The Charismatic Bum.

These aimless vagrants can be found on almost any bus. These free-ride mooching hobos are overly concerned with schedules and destinations, yet have nowhere in particular to go and nothing special to do. One thing is for certain though; they will attempt to engage you in conversation.

Their toothless grins, limited vocabulary and maudlin opinions will overwhelm your attempted reveries of silence as you try to ignore them. Their easily detected subterfuge are meant to extract a free smoke or a dollar. They will try to regale you with pointless anecdotes and details of their inane life, oblivious to the fact that you don't care and that their smell of stale urine, Old Spice and moldy clothing could drop a horse at fifty paces. Some are not so charismatic, just insane and incoherent. They get angry at your attempts to ignore them, but quickly lose interest. Thankfully they are transient, and are soon off the bus, leaving only a lingering bad smell, and possibly a puddle of urine on the seat.

3. The Not So Charismatic Drunk.

If one takes a night bus, there will be an understandable amount of drunk people riding it. It will be loud and obnoxious, but usually harmless, What is more disconcerting, however, is the daytime drunk.

Usually a product of the lower echelons of society, this walking piece of shit is not quite a bum, but not far removed from it. He will assume that everybody wants to  listen to his retarded ramblings and get offended when people ignore him.

Greasy hair, leather jackets, and rockabilly demeanor seem to incense this product of hip hop culture. He will not harass regular looking folk or old ladies; he will use all the bravado that he gleaned from rap videos to pick a fight with greasy looking dudes. Cooler heads will prevail, and he will drunkenly saunter off, too stupid to realize that he narrowly avoided a severe ( and well-deserved) beating.

4. The Gaggle of Skanks.

These can usually be found on weekends. These scantily clad young women, hell bent on going downtown to go clubbing, not fully aware of what that entails, are on the bus. They most likely have had some pre-drinks, judging by the barrage of "woo-hoos" that are flying about the close confines of the bus and its bad acoustics.

20 skanks are no match for one old greaser, so any attempt to scowl or tell them to shut the fuck up would be be futile. I can only be satisfied in the knowledge that much later that evening, without exception, that they will be hurling their guts out beside a dumpster in some filth-strewn alley as cab drivers refuse to give them a ride. Might take them another ten years to finally get it.

5. Cel Phone Idiots.

Pervasive as they may be, cel phones are here to stay. Some people have yet to master the basic etiquette of cel phone use. Without going on a tangent about this subject, I still question some people's intelligence when using a cel on public transit.

A one hour conversation comprising of one hundred percent horseshit, while appealing to the participants, is of absolutely no interest to other passengers. Usually held at unnaturally high decibel levels, we are unwillingly made aware that some chick is a bitch, a disease is not contagious or constant inquiries as to the other party's location. The up-talking and endless punctuations of " oh-my-god!" only add to the ever increasing levels of stress. I have been known, on certain really drunken rides, to gutturally slur "why don't you shut the fuck up." Only to be reviled as an idiot myself.

A very old friend of mine drove city buses for about thirty years. Due to attrition and expansion, they were looking to hire drivers. My buddy suggested that I should apply for a job, as they were desperately looking for new new drivers. I asked my friend what exactly about my disposition made him think that I was suitable for such employment. Had I been hired in that capacity ( psychological profiles notwithstanding) I can pretty much guarantee that I would have punched somebody in the face within two weeks.

Keeping that in mind, I feel that I must salute the brave men and women who perform this thankless job everyday and late into the night. They are tolerant souls who deserve our respect.

As for me, I'll be tuning up my booze bike and making sure I pack a drunk helmet next time I go to a party.

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