Friday, July 07, 2006

Dear hippie chick standing next to me on the bus,

First of all, you’re in Chicago. Within any given 24-hour span, you will inevitably find yourself crammed in among a crowd of people in a store or on a sidewalk or an elevator or a train or a bus. Like this morning, where you and I were smooshed elbow-to-earlobe for 20 minutes on the 147.

Secondly, it’s summer. That’s the season where it gets warmer and people sweat more and wear sleeveless tops, like the one you’re wearing today. Sleeveless tops provide no barrier between anything funky growing under your arms and the air reaching the noses of the people around you. Especially when you’re standing on the bus and reaching up to hold onto the don’t-fall-over pole.

So wear some freakin’ deodorant. You made our little area of the bus smell like Rush Limbaugh on Corduroy Pants Day this morning. (I remind you: 20 minutes. 20 long, painful minutes.)

What makes your malodorous offense particularly egregious this morning was the guy standing on the other side of me. You may not have been able to see him through the toxic effluvium emanating from your pits, but he was pretty handsome. And he had on a suit. And good shoes. And a Rolex. Or maybe it was just a very nice watch. I don’t even wear a watch, so what do I know about Rolexes? Or is the plural Rolices? In any case, it was shiny.

Where was I? Oh, yes: Mr. Good Job Husband Material. Who had a manicure. Which makes him gay as a save-marriage crusader in an election year. He smiled at me more than once with his dreamy blue eyes and his chiseled cheekbones before you got on the bus. He swayed into me more than any other bus passenger in history as we bumped and jostled our way toward Lake Shore Drive. I even caught him glancing at my Highlights Time magazine to make sure I was the kind of responsible, informed citizen who reads every SCOTUS article from start to finish.

But then you got on. Right before the 20-minute express leg of our journey on Lake Shore Drive. And you raised your arm. And I could tell by the look in his dreamy blue eyes that he thought your Cheney-in-an-outhouse eau was coming from ME. And because of you he stopped swaying. For 20 minutes.

Thankfully, when you got off the bus and we all collectively gasped for air, he realized you were the source of the eau de eww and he smiled again. And he began swaying into me again. Even though the bus wasn’t crowded any more.

And then it was my turn to get off the bus. But it wasn’t his.

And … um … that’s the end of the story.

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