The Rant 

I had a sinking feeling there was going to be trouble when I saw her. Because I don't drive on the interstate -- for reasons that are too complicated to go into here -- I recently took a trip on a bus.I feel it's my obligation to share a little about the trip back to Memphis. Shortly before time for the bus to depart the lovelystation, a very tall and quite, uh, stout woman appeared in the terminal with her children -- a girl, an infant, and a pair of twin boys who were probably 6 or 7. Not only was she wearing house slippers in the shape of little Scottie dogs, they were the actual size of Scottie dogs. They looked magnificent with her earrings, which were in the design of vanity license plates. And I swear to you this next observation is not made up and I am not making fun of the woman's physical problems, but she had three breasts. Very pronounced ones. She wasn't trying to conceal them. There they were, as big as life. She was very loud as she shoved her way through the line and shouted at her children. There was a lot of screaming on the cell phone and eating various packaged foods and more screaming at the children and, well, you get the picture. So finally it came time to board the bus and the crowd began to get corralled into the lovely vehicle. The bus was almost full and the seat beside me was still empty and I was praying for a miracle that it would remain that way, which it did ... until ... the woman pushed her way down the aisle and sat down ... beside me. The sad thing is, it didn't surprise me at all. This kind of thing happens to me on such a regular basis it's just routine now. So I smiled and said hello and she just stared at me like I was insane. Then she demanded that the woman in front of her move her seat up so she could hold her baby. I'm now looking at four hours on the road squeezed into the seat next to not only her but also her baby. Well, it seems the woman in front of her didn't care for the tone in her voice when she requested that she move her seat up, and a fight ensued. There was a lot of profanity and screaming and threats of physical harm and name-calling, until finally the bus driver came back to assess the situation. He was then cursed out by each of the women, both of whom refused to move. He told them to chill out or get off the bus. The fight continued for a few minutes and then finally calmed down and the bus took off. Everything seemed much better, and then we made a stop. A young couple got on the bus, attempted to sit together in one seat, but were told that wasn't allowed, and the young man ended up sitting in the seat directly behind me. He was on his way to Memphis with his pregnant girlfriend to attend the funeral of his uncle, who had been shot a few days earlier -- 13 times. He struck up a conversation with the couple beside him, a man and his own pregnant girlfriend. The young man who just got on the bus was 18 and had fathered his first child when he was 12. "I ain't never seen him, though," he told the couple. "My girlfriend done run off with him afore he was born. Then I had a little girl and I probably shouldn't have named her Teardrop 'cause she died." I felt like Christine Baranski in The Ref listening to Judy Davis' story of torture during a Christmas dinner. But the conversation turned more positive when the couple asked him if he and his girlfriend had picked out any names for the upcoming baby. "Yes," the young man said. "I wanna name the baby somethin' unusual, like "Vagina" if it's a girl er "Jackmeoff" if it's a boy, but my girlfriend's mama don't like 'em 'cause she said they'd make fun of 'em in school when they called out the name." He then went on to explain how he would like to go to Iraq to "blow up some rag heads," but they wouldn't let him in. I shudder to think why. And that is my holiday story. Have a wonderful time traveling this month!


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