Sunday, January 27, 2008

On a Downtown Train. Shit. Why'd I Go With That Title? I Hate That God-Awful, Rod Stewart Song!

Every day one steps onto The El (short for elevated trains, for our 3 readers not from Chicago) anything can happen. Here are three things that went down during my rides in the span of one week:

1. During rush hour, when you can rarely get a spot to sit, I noticed a car that was inexplicably almost empty. It should have dawned on me that something like that is too good to be true, but one has so little time to think before those doors close. Well, when the doors shut I immediately knew why so few people were riding that car: It smelled like shit, and I don't mean that figuratively. Most everyone had their shirts over their mouths and nose, which should have also tipped me off before I got aboard, except for one sleeping, homeless-looking guy, who was more than likely the culprit, since not even he should be able to sleep through that kind of stink (must have been immune to his "own brand"). It was the coldest day of the year, so maybe he decided to stay warm by riding the train all day and shitting himself. Does he know how to have a good time, or what!!

I couldn't take another second of it, so when the train came to the next stop, I darted out of the stinky car, said, "That car stinks" to a man about to board, and ran to the next car. Just before the doors of the breathable car closed, the guy who I warned thanked me, and I said, "Yeah, I think he pooped himself." Then another guy said, "That was rough. I changed cars too."

2. Okay, no more doody stories, I promise. Yesterday I was listening to my ipod on a high, going to make me deaf some day, but who gives a shit level, something by Pavement I believe, but I could still make out a phrase that the doo-wop, street performer group was singing. Although they had reworked the song nearly to the point of being a different melody, and even with Stephen Malkmus' slacker vocals belting it out into my ear drums, I still made out this phrase: "I'm not happy when I try to fake it." I knew if was from a song I like, but I wasn't sure which. I took my headphones off to realize that it was an excellent rendition of Easy by The Commodors. As I slipped a buck into whatever it was they were using as a tip jar, the one guy doing back-up harmonies sang a quick thank you to me. Then, as I boarded the train, they started up a killer, reworked rendition of Stephen Stills' Love the One You're With. In fact, I've never cared for that song too much, but I loved the version by this overqualified group of Chicago street musicians. If I see them again, I'm asking them to play my birthday party, and you'll all be there, along with lots of balloons.

3. As I'm riding to work the other day, again, bumping my ipod, a Black kid, who's age I would guess to be around 11-years-old, but the sex was undermined at this point, tugs at my shirt to get my attention to ask me how many gigs my ipod held. I told her twenty, and she showed me her ipod, portable game system, and a few other devices. I said, "Man, you gotta be careful walking around with all those electronics." To which she said, "I'm a girl." Oops. I tried to explain that I was using the word "man" as an exclamation. She must not have been too offended, because she then showed me her Tupac book, which was pretty damn, cool. It had compartments inside with all kinds of lyrics he had written, and they looked like the originals, because they were on notebook paper. As I got off the train, I said, "Alright, this is my stop. Be good." I've been saying "be good" a lot lately, and it is a stupid habit that doesn't make much sense. Although, this kid seemed really sweet, and I hope that she will "be good."


Sassy Blondie said...

Just when I think you are a hopeless man-boy with Peter Pan syndrom, you are nice to a kid and gramp it up with the "be good" comment, which makes me love you all over again! ;)

I have so many good subway stories from living in NYC for a short period...I love commuting stories!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Peter Pan syndrome? Hopeless man-boy!? I resemble those remarks!

The Charming Hedonist said...

There used to be a man who would ride the Monorail here in the winter. He would take up an entire because he would surround himself with stacks and stacks of porn.

I saw him again on the street where I work, but I think he was arrested because that was a while ago.

I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw said...

For the record I knew what the El stands for and I'm NOT from Chicago (and yes, I knew that BEFORE I visited there).

classyandfancy said...

You have that Tupac pic above your bed, right?

Sassy Blondie said...

Surely you know I kid, sweet pea!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Charm: Maybe he was a traveling porn salesman. Hey, it's a living.

Bradshaw: Nice. Big ups on your Chicago knowledge. You are going to gain some knowledge of green beer in a couple months.

Classy: No! That would be so gay! It's in my bathroom. He makes bath time lots of fun.

Sassy: I know you're kidding, and you weren't that far off base.

Grad School Reject said...

I like the version of "Easy" that Faith No More did back in the 90's. They covered that song straight up and for some strange reason it worked.

Sidebar - "Epic" is still a kick ass song for me.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

GSR: Yes! Great cover. I like when Mike Patton makes that noise just before the guitar solo, "eaaaaghuah!"

That's the exact spelling, actually.

ReckenRoll said...

I like balloons.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Reck: In that case, you're in! Thanks for coming by The LC. I was really happy with this post, but nobody visits.

: (

josh williams said...

I just had a conversation with my brother today, and he had told me a story recounted to him from a mutual friend. The story dates back to when he was in the military stationed somewhere in Europe, (probably because he spoke fluent European). He and his buddies went to a bar drank great beer and then they had an open mike farting contest, well one of the contestants sharted their pants and the MC said "we have drawn mud"! Thats all I got a third hand story, given time I could come up with a entire pant load more but I grow weary. Thank you for your time JW

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

We have drawn mud!!!