To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)

I was coming back on the bus from work this afternoon, head throbbing from too many hours of squinting endless at a goddamn monitor at some mindless what-have-you… the bus was one of those, well, “squatting” buses - the ones built for the handicapped, the infirm, or the eldery. There was a woman at the front end of the bus in one of those motorized jobbies you see zipping around the Mall, barrelling towards you in a flurry of white hair and granny gumption.

The driver of said motorized jobby was this incredibly wrinkled woman, in her late 80’s if she was a day… her husband was Hyman Roth, all the way to the loose-fitting hawaiian shirt and self-confident swagger. He was regalling this incredibly large woman sitting beside him with some story involving himself, a shotgun, and “a bunch of cocky bastards” (soundbites are a magical thing). Their stop came, and Mr. Hyman-Roth-esque and Ms. Motorized Jobby prepared to leave.

The problem quickly became apparent that Ms. M.J.’s vehicle had pulled into the bus in such a way that reversing was nigh-mpossible. Do you remember the scene from Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery, where Austin Powers is in a golf cart, and he’s stuck backing up, and then moving forward, and then backing up, and then getting stuck in the hallway?

It was exactly like that. The minutes passed by painfully as the woman got more and more frustrated as she tried to find some way to get her vehicle out of the bus. Her (I’m guessing here) husband got more and more annoyed. The large woman looked on with the look on her face resembling that of someone stuck in a very small space with a very large, overwhelming smell. The cart went backwards. The cart went forwards.

After what seemed to be many, many minutes, the woman was almost in tears with frustration and humiliation. Just when the guy sitting next to me and I were just about to get up and try to help lift her out, she managed to wrench the steering wheel enough so that she could just squeek out the bus’s door, followed closely behind by a muttering Hyman Roth.

I think a lot about getting old.


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