Phony Conversations

November 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm (On the road again...)

Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast, as the saying goes. I suppose that’s true, depending on the type of music you listen to. While I don’t recall ever relaxing to the lilting melodies of a Korn album, I do use music to adjust my mood.

It also helps drown out irritating noises.

I’ve recently documented my love of radio at work. If I have background tunes, I can drift off to my own little world while pretending to be fascinated by inane conversation. To be clear, most of my conversations are ones I enjoy, but there are times when people babble on and I’m a captive audience. This is probably most prevalent on the bus.

I’ve been a victim of cell-phone spill-over; you know, when the person behind you is having the most wonderful conversation with their BFF. One gal spent several minutes setting up a blind date with a fellow, including giving her address and phone number. Her number was easy to remember, so when I got off the bus I called the number from a pay phone. “HI. I got your number off the bus. You never know who’s listening. You might want to be more careful.” I mentioned the intersection where she said she lived, wished her a nice day and hung up. Did it freak her out? I hope so. It was my inner Dad manifesting. She seemed like a nice girl, and I’d hate to see her get hurt.

Whenever I get a phone call on the bus, my usual gregarious self turns into Jack Webb. “Just the facts, ma’am.” Why? Because of a call I overheard once. When Clairissa calls me and I’m in transit, she’ll try to get me to talk dirty and freak out my fellow bus-riders. I have to politely decline, but I promised to tell her the story of why I won’t talk dirty to her on the bus. Brace yourself…

It was a typical afternoon, I was on my way to work. A young man got on the bus, jabbering into his cell phone. He was a white kid, trying his damnedest to be Eminem. His hat was on backward/sideways, he wore an oversized puffy white jacket and saggy white pants. His free hand was holding his crotch, every other word was “Yo” and he began and ended every sentence with the endearment “Fool.” “Yo fool, I got so fucked up last night, yo.”

As this LOUD conversation went on, he began regaling his adventures from the previous evening. “Lissen foo, I hooked up with this bitch, and she let me do her in the butt! Fool, a girl’s butt is nothing like a guy’s butt, yo!”

I got a mental image, and it has stuck with me to this day. (Quick! Someone invent a brain-shower!) I am not easily offended, and this didn’t offend me, per se, but it hit a home run in the baseball game of moments I’ll never forget. Today’s lesson: Talk quietly when bragging about sexual conquests on the bus.

Thanks to Art East, I now have audio distraction. He found me an MP3 player that has radio, and he put about thirty of my favorite albums on it. I no longer have to suffer through “She said that I said that she said that I said etc…” I can push a button, and Metallica will obliterate any irritating background noise.

If I don’t feel like jamming out, and just want quiet? I can put the earbuds in and bob my head. I’m politely ignoring you!

Last night’s bus ride was a drunky one. I plugged in, and the first song to play was Peter Gabriel’s Come Talk to Me. I laughed out loud. No no no. Please, don’t talk to me… I was separated from my usual bus-riding buddies, and we don’t talk much after boarding the bus anyway. (It’s that whole ‘trying to leave work at work’ thing.) 9 out of 10 contacts I have with people on the bus are positive, but since I’m not getting paid to interact with the public anymore…

I don’t want to be ‘The Guy’. The one that leaves that lasting image in your head.

Damn you, Eminem!


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