Friday, February 15, 2008

"People Are Stupid"

Okay, I commute by train to one of my jobs a couple of days a week. My inbound trip is easier than the return trip because I get on at the first stop at my end. If you time it right , you can have your pick of seats. I prefer a corner seat because they have slightly more room on one side. If possible , I like to be seated on the side that faces the Back Bay over the Charles River when it emerges from the tunnel at Kendall Square. That is my favorite veiw of Boston and I never get tired of seeing it. I always feel like the kid I was; next to my Grandmother kneeling on my knees looking out the window. But this blog isn't about warm and fuzzy memories or the glories of Boston.

This is about people. This is about people who don't care about the other humans around them and fear of being singled out or expressing an opinion. The commute home from work was typical. When I get to the platform , it's crowded, which means there hasn't been a train for a while. And by " while" I mean the trains should be running between 7 -10 minutes during heavy commuting times. So, there hadn't been a train for at least 7 minutes by the time I got there and I waited at least 5 minutes. Yeah, go ahead , snicker "5 Minutes" you say "As long as 5 minutes ? " Go ahead snicker, at least I'm taking a train. You probably have to drive everywhere because you don't have as good public transportation as we do here in Boston. Again, this is not a showcase for the glories of Boston . . . but I do think we are blessed.

So, the next train pulls in , it's pretty crowded. You have to let people off the train first but there is always some yuppy little girl with an IPOd stuck in her ears or some old lady who thinks she's going to get a seat if she gets on there before everybody else (No, I am not referring to myself) blocking the exit of the passengers. It only makes the whole off/on process longer and less efficient. So, I've waited for the people getting off the car, and the people ahead of me getting on. We are shuffling because you can't stride. Also , the people inside the train don't move into the middle of the train so we're all scrunched up in the area in front of the doors so you can't get past them. The people who won't move into the middle of the train are no more comfortable than the people who just got on, it's stubborness, ignorance and stupidity. I've just gotten one foot into the train when this lady with a baby carriage (she's also listening to an Ipod) shoves my ankle and yells (probably because the music in her head is so loud) "Get out of the way ! I have to get on the train ! ". To which I retort, loudly, "Excuse me ! I didn't see you BECAUSE YOU WERE BEHIND ME "and then I muttered the "C" word out loud and then shut up. For all I know there wasn't really even a baby in that carriage, I couldn't see it. I hadn't actually even seen her on teh platform. She had to have come off the elevator. Anyway , I'm steaming. I am ready for a fight. She doesn't say anything more and probably could care less who she ran over , she was on the train, screw everybody else.

So, I'm looking around. Nobody is daring to look in my direction. I probably look a little Homeless/crazy. I am wearing my friend's brother's hand me down coat and it is somewhat tattered looking by now. The back of the coat is torn and I've been meaning to get a new coat, but I'm really attached to the rag. So, I've extablished myself as crazy by my loud response to the lady and I look unstable, I'm also carrying a couple of stuffed bags. I look over to the other side of the car and notice that everybody is standing and that there are about 5 seats next to each other empty. Usually , if no one is sitting down, there is probably puke or Starbucks latte all over the seats. I look more closely , and there is a guy laying down on the 5 seats , sleeping ! He is sleeping on the train during rush hour and no one has said anything to him ! A homeless guy is sleeping on the train and people are standing , after working all day , so the drunk homeless guy can get some much deserved shut eye ! I am incensed !!!! I say out loud , to no one in particular"Is that guy sleeping ?!!!!! And no one has said anything to him ?!!!!" No one says anything to me. Everybody is avoiding eye contact with me, I can't blame them, but it's still not right. To which the "Sleeping " guys responds, from his sleeping position, "I'll get up . Nobody said anything to me. You want me to get up ? I'll get up " But he doesn't he just stays in that prone postition. Now I'm disgusted by the people around me for not saying anything " NO, you stay there. You need your sleep. I can't believe no one has said anything to this guy ! " To which the sleeping guy responds "I'll get up . No one said anything. I'll get up " And he slowly starts to rearrange himself into a sitting position. "Come on ! Sit down . I'm up " Of course no one sits ., So , I go over and sit right next to him and he starts talking to me. "No one said anything. If someone said something , I would have gotten up "Though he smells of something -maybe alcohol and crack-he doesn't appear to be homeless. He's wearing current fashion and it is clean. His backpack is clean, so are his hands and face. He's cleaner looking than me. He starts talking with me saying over and over "Nobody said anything to me. I would have got up , if I thought it mattered to anybody. Nobody said anything to me. You know why nobody said anything ? Because people are stupid. If they said something , I woulda got up . Nobody said anything. Why ? Because people are stupid. And you know what ? The next stop is my stop." I wished him a Happy Valentine Day and he said " No Valentine for me " and said "Well, have a good evening then." Then we came to his stop , he staggered through the crowd and off the train.
And there you have it. Obviously, he knew he was taking up too much space which is why he was talking with me. Apparently , my speaking up somehow breached his own code of ethics. "UM, I'm gonna go to sleep here unless someone says something, then I'll get up ". No one said anything.
I know I should keep my mouth shut. But that lady rolling over my ankle with her "baby" carriage really set my nose out of joint. Why didn't anyone say anything to this guy ? If someone has their precious bag on a seat , I'll start to sit on it. Seats are for people , not luggage. I don't care what your SAT's are. Conversely, I've given my seat up to plenty of old ladies and pregnant women when the strapping young man on his way to the gym wouldn't give his seat up .
What is wrong with people ?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

. . Pull Up to the Bumper Baaaaby !

. . .In a long black limousine. . . . . I wish I could remember the rest of the lyrics. Anyhow. . . When I got to the parking facility I use to take the train, when I got out of the car, I noticed that my front bumper was pulled out. Like . . . I had been in an accident .. .. or someone else's bumoer had hooked onto mine during a bad parallel parking job. . .. or maybe some neighborhood Visigoths had jumped up and down on it until it came apart. It was not attached in the most efficient manner to the rest of mine car and I didn't know how it had gotten detached. I stood there in the parking garage staring at it. Motionless, slack jawed & bewildered... thus losing whatever time I had gained in my morning commute. What could have possibly happened ? AND it had happened without my knowledge or involvement ? I was low grade pissed for most of the morning. I got the job done at work, but how did this happen?
On the way back to the car, I finally figured out that I hadn't missed anything when I got home last night or this morning when I got in the car to leave home, I had probably done it on the way out of the driveway. Sometimes, depending on how fast I go in reverse, I will sometimes bump between the sidewalk and the street. A little bump, I 've probably done it hundreds of times.. .. and today . . . it was just one time too many. My little SAAB hadn't been assaulted by anything more menacing than cumulative daily wear and tear.
I took it to my mechanic and they fixed it. The bumper is now secured to the car.
The end.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Stick In The Eye

So, I had a meeting at my union headquarters tonight . There were a lot if working actors there, including the voice of Nova. You know, that show on PBS ? That deep set voice that narrates the episodes. . ." An then Noreiga surrendered under what could only be described as suprising conditions" . . .or . . ."Next week on Nova. . . " he's like the universal voice of authority. He was there, sitting across the table from me. Making suggestions and presenting really good opinions. I'm sitting across from him in my Anne Klein business suit , because I came from work , and my left eye starts bothering me. It feels like there's something under my eyelid. It 's sharp. It sorta feels like an eyelash has twisted itself under the lid while still in it's root. It's not the kind of thing that can be relieved by scratching it. I keep putting a finger to my lid , pressing it to the ball to see if it could straighten itself out. My eye starts leaking. Almost like I've got a runny eyeball instead of a runny nose. I am having trouble concentrating on the topic. It's like I've gotta kernel of popcorn rolling around under there. Like I have a little sliver of safety glass or road salt under there. I go to the ladies room and it's red and leaking. There is nothing on the surface. No eyelash, no shmutz, no eye gunk. It's just really red and streaming. I put some hot water in my hand and try to wash the eyelid. I get some relief, but I have no idea what's wrong with me. I head back into the meeting. The voice of Nova is a really nice guy but I just felt a little weird being there in the meeting with pink eye.
In hindsight, I think I may have been allergic to someone's perfume. The girl next to me smelled like a French perfume named Norell.It might have been Fracas, which is not a cheap perfume. My eye didn't bother me while I was on the train. It had to have been something in that room. What I can't figure out is why was it only in one eye and not the other ? Oh well . . .

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bad Door Girl !!!!

I have made a decision to try and help out at the Comedy Studio by doing the door. The primary qualifications are the ability to show up on time and to make change. I did the door last week, and I 've committed to do the door next Friday & Saturday night and I offered to do the door tonight. But I didn't get a confirmation ahead of time so, I called to check that I was indeed doing the door. Suffice it to say , I should have called earlier in the day. I was running a little late. I like to get there between 7:15 and 7:30. I got there around 7:35. There was line down the stairs. I had to claw my way up the stairs . People thought I was cutting for cutting's sake. We were sold out and it was Standing Room Only. I take my commitment seriously , I was so disappointed in myself that I wasn' there earlier.
It was a good show. Everybody brought something really great to the table. Of course, Tony Moschetto is always great . There is a new kid, Zack Sherman who does stuff I've never seen before. He was different the last time I saw him and he did all new material tonight. He does a lot of stuff with an old school boom box.Jessica Sutich, a young kid, I've seen her a couple of times now, always good. There was a kid, Meyer, he brought a lot of people. I couldn't hear a lot of his stuff because of where I was sitting , in the hall, but the audience laughed pretty heartily.Chris Coxen was doing a character. I couldn't hear a lot of his stuff, again the audience seemed to like it. Chris Oake closed the show. Every time I see him , I think he's doing all new material. I talk to him afterward and he tells me which ones were the new ones. That's quite a trick, to make familiar material sound like new. Shane Webb was in from New York. I had to do something during her set, so I didn't get to hear all of it. She has a loopy delivery and I like the way she delivers her jokes. . . or maybe they aren't jokes , that's just how she is ? I realize that for those of you who haven't seen these comics, this doesn't really describe why I think they are funny. But, I don't want to give any of their jokes or material away because I don't want any internet "lifters" stealing anybody's material because of me. I got principles, ya know ? Bottom line, it was a great show and it was a strong level , the whole way through. I was sorry I was late, but I was glad I was there.
It's been snowing on and off all day long. It really started to come down on my way home . It looks really pretty . All the trees are coated in snow. There is just enough snow for coverage but it hasn't really accumulated enough to cause a difficulty in driving or necessitate shoveling.
I am going to bed now. I have to work tomorrow.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Poopers- Parts 1 & 2

Part 1- Some of you may remember my mention of a person I refer to as "The Mad Pooper". The evedince that the Mad Pooper has made an appearance is usually left in the Mens' room. Usually, the Mad Pooper will poop directly on the floor , or just the the toilet seat and on more than one occassion , the Mad pooper has actually smeared poop on the walls and the door handle. This happens once or twice a year. So, it's not an every day occurance but after being at the visitiors center for a couple of years now, something I am familiar with. Last Thursday, our cleaning lady found poop on the bench inside the visitors center. Yes, inside in front of us. It wasn't very busy . We would have seen someone if they had dropped trough and pooped right there. It would have been "Right There" and it would have been in front of us. Ahhhhh, the "Mad Pooper" is indeed a crafty devil !
About an hour after the discovery, there were police cars and fire engines pulling up to the fast food restaurant across the street. After all the fire engines and police had left , our cleaning lady went to lunch across the street and when she came back, she told us that the Mad Pooper had been there and that he had smeared feces on the tables and counters and they couldn't get him to stop and they called the police. At least they know what he looks like ! We still don't know who he is.

Part 2- Yesterday , we opened the center . When the manager counted the drawer it was short and at 9:15 none of our co-workers had shown up yet. So, the day did not start too great for the weekend manager. Eventually , the staff stared to show up . It was a slow day for tourists. Mostly it's just people coming in to use the bath room . And by "People" I mean men. Around 9:45 , a guy comes out of the bath room and says that someone has shit in the urinal and that he thought someone should know. My manager thanks the elderly gentleman, the gentleman leaves and my manager goes into the bathroom and checks. Sure enough, someone has shit in the urinal. My manager goes beserk. "Who would do such a thing ? !!!! If I knew who did it , I'd rub the guys nose in it like a dog !" on and on and stuff like that there.He's mad and his sensibilities are offended. There's a guy sitting on the bench who pipes in saying stuff like " I grew up on a farm. Stuff like that doesn't bother me. I'm used to it . I used to clean grease traps and those things are disgusting ! I know how you feel buddy !". Then a guy comes out of the bath room , and he's the friend of the guy sitting on the bench. He comes over to the manager and says " I pooped in the urinal . The guy in the stall was taking too long. I couldn't wait . What was I supposed to do ? I really had to go. But I cleaned it up . I'm sorry , but I really had to go" and he holds up a plastic bag filled with his own feces. Like you would pick up a dogs poop from the sidewalk and tied it tightly. "I'm sorry" Then he turned and he and his friend sitting on the bench left the center.
My manager was still beside himself . He was outraged at this version of humanity. He was so appoplectic that the staff was getting a little scared and uncomfortable. As for the rest us ? We though he was a pretty stand-up guy for admitting he shit in the urinal and that he had cleaned up his mess.
That was how my day at work started yesterday . It was pretty slow the rest of the day . I went home and watched the Super Bowl - What a game ! I'm glad I was at home and didn't have to drive anywhere after the Pats lost. Still, it was pretty tough game.