As an avid Amtrak and BART (bay area subway type thing) rider, I am witness to many ridiculous things. Remember the man who followed me from Sacramento to Richmond, then followed onto the BART, then got off at Glen Park station just like me, only to offer me oral sex when we got there? Yea, that pretty much justifies me as an expert in Trains, BART, and ridiculousness.
Seems like every time I ride Amtrak something ridiculous happens. This last weekend, I was on my wasy from Sacramento to Richmond, like always. I had my Ipod on my ears, blasting my new favorite song. It’s called “Feel The Rain on Your Skin” by Natasha Beddingfield. I know it’s old, but so it “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton and that’s hot too. Maybe it’s just because it’s on The Hills, which is now my 7th favorite show. I digress.
I had my music blasting real loud on my ears, and I was actually singing along. You know, kind of mumbling something like “staring at the blank page before you, open up the dirty window, let the sun da da da da da da da da, reaching for something in the distance…” when I got that bathroom urge. It wasn’t like “mann I need the bathroom right now” but it was still a “well, if I don’t do this now, I could be in a world of hurt later”.
I got out of my seat, music still blaring, and walked down the aisle, then down the stairs to the bottom level of the train where the bathroom was located. I remember vividly the part of the song I was on when I opened the bathroom door: “…release your inhibitions…”
I swung open the door and there was a woman frantically trying to cover herself up. I couldn’t hear a word she was saying, if any, because now the song was on the chorus. I do remember her look though. It was so confused. I could tell her thoughts went from “Oh my word I’ve been exposed” to “Oh lordy I didn’t lock the door” to “What the? This guy is like 8 feet tall!”. It was when I realized that she got to this third stage of her shock process, that I slammed the door back shut. I guess we were both so in shock that I had been standing there for almost 3 seconds. 3 seconds is an eternity when you are faced with a random, tall black man, who can smell your poo and see it too.
After I slammed the door shut, I began to laugh. I realized that the Natasha Beddingfield song was still on, which was awesome. There are only a couple of funnier songs for a situation like that. There’s “Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow, down to my home, I will not go..” I dont know what it’s called, but I remember it from Kindergarten. There’s also “Mmm Bop” by Hanson and possibly, well it’s not a song, but, if for some reason, somebody was just yelling out “Duck, Duck, Duck…” and then when I opened the door, “Goose!” that would be hilarious.
Anyways, I then realized that the bathroom was in the middle of the row of seats. This meant that at least 7 other people had seen our interaction. Sweet. I laughed harder. I mean she wasn’t that young, like in her 20’s, but she wasn’t old enough where she wouldn’t care. She was just the right age and attractiveness to feel truly embarrassed. I returned to my seat and thought about what had gone down. I processed the fact that I didn’t even look at her, but somehow I noticed so much. She then walked up the stairs. She saw me, turned around and went back down the stairs. I knew then that she took an alternate route to avoid walking past me. I understood.
My Public Transportation is not limited to Amtrak. The BART is also a big part of it. It also ties into the second half of this entry, Use Your Phone. I was riding the BART to San Francisco one night, and when a group of like 15 Irish girls got on heading the same direction. My first reaction was to grab my phone and scroll through my address book for no reason. I had no intention of calling anyone, but it just felt the right thing to do — to seem like I was too busy to talk to them. I then realized that the phone is a societal weapon. When used correctly, the cell phone can say more than direct words ever could.
For example, that night, on the BART, I could have used my phone is a variety of ways. Yea, I did the standard address book scroll, but I could have done more. I could have done the fake text message. The fake text message basically consists of me pretending to send a text message, then look around kind of like I’m a big deal. Then I look at my phone as if it has just vibrated. A quick response to my text? Of course. I then respond to the fake response. I repeat this process over and over until I finally give a kind of exhausted sigh as if to say “Why am I so busy, cool, and important?”
I could have even taken it a step farther. I could have even made a fake phone call. This way the girls could hear every word I say, they might even interject, giggle, or rip my clothes off right there on the spot. A fake phone call consists of me, giving the fake scroll through the address book. Then I pretend to let the phone ring 3 times on the other end. Then, I create a fake conversation out of nowhere, and I talk juuuusssttt loud enough for the girls around me to hear it. The conversation has to make me seem awesome enough for them to be interested in me. I might say things that make no sense to anyone who knows the truth, but sounds cool to women. Like “Yea, that NBA intersquad backtrack thing we did last year with the Lakers was fun, you think we will do it again this year? Yea, we will need to invite some women to come this time. Can’t let Shaq get all of them!” See, if you know basketball, you know that the intersquad backtrack thing means nothing, you know that Rod Benson has nothing to do with the Lakers, and that Shaq is married and is in Miami. If you are a random Irish girl you might just be very impressed.
A guy with no phone can’t do that without the help of live friends there. I heard a Berkeley freshman attempt this (poorly) the other day. Since he wasn’t smooth enough to make up a conversation on his phone, he did the next best thing he could think of to try to impress the girls at the table next to him at Chipotle. He struck up a very loud conversation with one of his boys. I was sitting at the next table so I could easily hear him say these exact words: “I would have called you but I have no phone. So I was texting this girl when some dude jumped me, so I had to beat his ass. Now I have no phone.”
I looked over at Theo Robertson who was eating with me, and I asked him “True of False?”. Theo quickly said “That was all false.”. Exactly. A fake story, so fake, that I dont think that the girls bought it. If he really hadnt lost his phone, I would have advised him to use the fake text message so that nobody would have had to hear him speak. If it was a nice phone, he could have even done the “Hey see how expensive my phone looks?” technique, but nope. My phone was my weapon and his mouth was his defeat.