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everyone on the MAX train is stinky

July 22nd, 2007

Everyone on the MAX train smells, my friend, except for me and thee. (That’s what my grandpa would say — “Everyone is a bit odd, except me and thee.”) It always smells like pee and B.O. on the MAX train and the bus and it is “nasty.”

Also, I’ve only had two good experiences on the bus. No, three. One time, I saw a sign at the bus stop that said:

“The doorway to hell
is in your living room.
(Under the carpet)
Ha ha ha
ha ha

(Do you find those parentheses helpful? I did.)

Another time, someone had scribbled in ink on the back of the seat:

“Ozzy is God
Randy Rhoads died for your sins”

And this made me indescribably happy. I was 19.

Another time, I was taking the bus to Club Satyricon and reading a Lewis Grizzard book (don’t ask me to explain myself) (I think the book was “Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself”) and a cute boy from Georgia was hitting on me. “Miss? You like Lewis Grizzard?” Unfortunately, I had a date waiting for me at Satyricon so I couldn’t invite him to come along. But it has stayed with me, all these years. So that is three — 3, count ’em — fun public transportation experiences in all these years and that is not many.

Also, I don’t appreciate the way everyone has to have some big ooh-aah session or freak-out every time we’re on the Yellow Line train going by the Fremont Bridge. I hate the Fremont Bridge and I think you know why. Last time it was these old ladies, in tandem, “I-love-that-bridge! Don’t-you-love-that-bridge?” (Me, in my mind, punching them in the heads so they’ll shut up) “Oh-I-do! It’s-such-a-tall-bridge!kljkl” (Sorry — Wacky Boy is pretending to be a fish and just spit water all over me and the keyboard.)

(OK, good now.)

“Such-a-pretty-bridge! Are-we-downtown-already?” (No, unfortunately we weren’t. Downtown is on the other side of the river. We were just barely past The Bridge.)

Today the one I was beating senseless in my mind, not in reality, was a stupid loudmouth teenage girl, who was giving gory suicide details (to her younger sisters or cousins, they looked like) about her teacher. He jumped. “From way up high up there.” His wife had left him “and his girlfriend!” etc. She was yelling in my ear, my daughter’s eyes were getting big, the little sisters were hanging on every word, and honestly, she needed a smack upside the head, this girl.

But I am not a violent person, except in my imagination, so I turned and whispered, “You can’t talk about that! It’s bad luck.”

She shot me a filthy look. “What?!??!”

I whispered in a lower voice, “It’s bad luck. To talk about that.” And then, I spoke the very words that strike fear into every teen’s heart: “You didn’t know that?” (I should have crossed myself at that point, but didn’t think of it.)

She shut up.

Oh thank you, sweet, dear Jesus, she shut up.

On the way home it was even more insane. We went to the ball game. Go Beav-o’s! Wacky Boy was impatient and spazzed out. My husband tried to 1) catch a fly ball and 2) not spill his beer and 3) it didn’t go that well, I am sorry to report, for him or my daughter. (His version: here.)

Wacky Girl: “I’m sticky from beer!”

Me? I got a wee little red dress-shaped pin, cuz they were having American Heart Association Day.

We missed most of the fifth and sixth innings, and left during the seventh. It was a good game, although our team was losing. Still, I like a baseball game and was bummed to leave. I am not keen on ever taking the children out in public ever again. When they’re 15 and 17 I may reconsider and take them to dinner.

The train. It stinks. We are on it. And here comes Big Blonde and her little bitty boyfriend. He’s wearing a T-shirt that says “Old Fart’s Wife.” Get it? It’s irony. Because he’s not a wife and she’s not an old fart! She’s got the cleavage going, and she’s sporting between 55 and 70 tattoos, including a large one on her upper arm. It’s a nude woman, ta-tas shaking, nipples bright pink, and she has a man’s penis coming out of the side of her head. I saw that penis and that T-shirt and I just wanted to punch both of them in the head.

(You’re laughing, right? My husband is like, “You would not be laughing if you were married to her.”)

I’m still talking about Big Blonde’s tattoo, not Big Blonde. She, Big Blonde, is wearing seven or eight necklaces. One of them has a tiny hotdog dangling from it. She proceeds to make out with Old Fart’s Wife the rest of the ride and grope him. She likes penises, she’s made this clear.

“This is my best trip to Portland ever,” she says. She sighs. She leans into him. He sighs. He smiles.

“Have you ever been to Oakland?” she asks him. No, he says.

“It’s like Portland, only more so,” she says.

A dagger in my heart. (Sorry, Oakland.)

Then a guy gets on the train and breaks his bicycle apart. This is pretty neat to watch. He folds it into a tiny square.

“Cool!” my daughter says. He smiles at her. “I got a flat! But I’m good — got a spare.” My daughter, Small Beautiful Blonde, is ignoring Big Blonde and Old Fart’s Wife. They do not interest her. My husband and son are at the front of the train — it was crowded — and miss the show.

“Is this the stop where the restaurants are?” Big Blonde asks me.

“Yes,” I tell her. (It was, but even if it hadn’t been, I still would have said yes.)

“Are the restaurants right by here?” she asks me.

“Sure,” I say. “Go to Widmer and have appetizers, then walk up the hill to Mississippi.”

“Cool!” He smiles at me, she smiles at me. They’re in Portland! Feel the love! See how cool Portland is? Someone can be on the train with you, wanting to punch you in the head, and you won’t even know it, and they will even give you restaurant recommendations.

Portland is fucking not Oakland, okay?

I hate you MAX train and stinky riders, I really do.


  1. Mrs Mogul says

    Whoa that was some ride of a story! Regarding the Old Fart’s Wife! LOL! People with that many tattooes should not be on trains or in public. It puts me off food. I kind of miss the train. That’s cause I hate driving!

    July 22nd, 2007 | #

  2. LIB says

    At least you got a good story out of it! Being able to see the funny/ironic/interesting side of things is what keeps a person sane. And, luckily for your readers, you write very well about said funy/ironic/intresting things.

    July 23rd, 2007 | #

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