Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Red line to 95th (retro-post)

At the Roosevelt Red Line platform, I see an attendant exiting his booth and I ask him why this has been happening recently. Why are they turning trains AROUND and heading back up north? People need to go south. This is making me miss my bus out to the burbs, and the next one's an hour later. At this rate I won't actually get home until a quarter after midnight.

The attendant is a very butch, muscular, well-tanned white guy with blond highlights in his hair and a neatly trimmed, blonde-streaked goatee and carefully rolled-up shirt sleeves displaying his muscular biceps.

"The CTA does everything backasshalfwards, if you ask me," he says in thick Chicagoese. "The don't even tell me about this stuff, and I'm the one who's gotta deal with all the pissed-off riders. It's fucked up." He advises me to write a complaint to the CTA.

But then I realize the guy is
waaaaay too interested in talking to me. He's lingering around and is starting to repeat himself, as if trying to stretch the conversation. And I notice he's way too neat--not a hair out of place. He starts to remind me of some of the guys I've seen hanging around Spin on north Halsted.

So I nod politely, thank him for his advice, and look down and grab a pen and pad to make a note to myself to write CTA. Get the message? This conversation's over.

This plump, pretty sista starts talkin to me about why the delays and woowoowoo, and I tell her what dude told me. I'm not feelin mackadocious at the moment so I don't flirt.

When the next southbound train finally arrives at 9:29, it's packed. Boarding ahead of me is an old lady I've seen around in various places: a white-haired old black woman, dragging two big garbage bags.She sits down with her bags blocking the aisle.

"Let me help you out," I say, moving them out of the way a little—-even though I'm actually helping myself and other passengers more than I'm helping her. She thanks me.

When I get off at 95th, I head across the street to McD's. It's been a while since I tasted some McCrap. While in line I watch a bunch of unruly get-o girls, looking to be junior high, wearin' stuff way too tight for their ages. And grown-ass men breakin their necks to turn and stare at them.  Damn, brothas, keep yo eyes in the sockets. Yall act like yall ain't never seen a big booty before. 
You know the Roadrunner cartoon where Wile E. looks at the roadrunner and imagines him as a big, steamin' hot roasted turkey on a platter? That's the way they're looking at these little girls. 

I enter the 95 station and some brothas are in a freestyle cipher, trading battle rhymes as they drink some kind of pinkish-orange drank from little flasks and pass around a blunt (even though there are cops in the station). One of 'em makes a pot-smoker scowl and then starts goin' buckwild like Redman on a killing spree. A couple others are on a West Side, Twista/Do or Die type flow.  Some college –type sistas are hanging around them and egging them on as they trade battle rhymes.

The junior high girls from McD's show up, clownin', being loud, tryin to get the brothas' attention.

I love 95th. It's an ever-changing exhibit of Chicago ghetto-fab, and ghetto-ridiculous. 

Friday, May 20, 2005

Names of shame, or acclaim (retro-post)

IF YOU'RE MENTALLY hyperactive, like me, and you're stuck in a repetitive or slow-moving temp job, you come up with stuff to amuse yourself rather easily. 

One way is poking fun at the names you find in client or member databases.

Tommy Almond, Red Bank, NJ
Wanna bite of my Almond Joy, baby?

Huge Blane, Redmond, WA
First, I'm sure this is a typo and it should be Hugh. However, even if his name really is Huge, at least his last name isn't something like Balz or Cox.

Diana Booher, Grapevine, TX
Whether pronouced "boor" or "boo her," this can't be good for self-esteem.

Randy Chittum, Strategic Partners, Potomac, MD
Who are the other partners, Dewey and Howe?

Jen S. Darling, Potomac, MD
A built-in excuse to flirt. 

John Devine, Hammond, IN
This could have been exciting. Had his first name been Dick, he could have been either a Cook County state's attorney or a porn star. Had it been "Miss," he could've been a drag queen. Or "Father," then he could've been a cheap knockoff of a famous black religious/civil rights leader from the early 20th century, or maybe an indie band.

But John? What a waste.

Bob Dust, Richmond, VA
"Meet my son, Angel." 

Debbie Frame, St. Simons Island, GA
If she's attractive, then "getting framed" just might be a good thing.

R. Goodbody, NE Illinois Federation of Labor
If you're in labor you need a Goodbody.

Greylock Associates, Baltimore
Sounds like some kind of tech-savvy wizard coven.

Max Holmes
How many times a day does he have to hear "What up, Holmes?"  

Peter Horne, Winnetka, IL
Lots of junior high school laffs there.

Howard H. Hush, Lincolnshire, IL
Once upon a time, he was the Hush little baby.

James Jones
Unless his middle name is Earl, this name says "mama just didn't give a sh1t."

Norman A. Klotz
Oy gevalt, you're such a Klotz.

Mr. and Mrs. Roman Lipp
My girlfriend's always complaining I've got Roman eyes, and, well, I guess I've got Roman lips too.

Mr. and Mrs. Norris Love, Winnetka, IL
Gives "making Love" an added layer of meaning.

Mike Loveless, Shelbyville, IN
Let's hope it's not true, but in a place like Shelbyville, IN, it just might be.

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mustered, Ottawa, IL
"Honey, how'd you like some Mustered on your weiner tonight?"

Mr. Jim C. Neidy, Ottawa, IL
If I were them I'd set up the Fund for Neidy Children. Everyone would assume it was just a typo, and the bucks would come pouring in. 

Elizabeth Null, Cambridge, MA
Does she have a business partner named Void?

Mr. David School, Ottawa, IL

As head of the School house, I guess you'd call him the Superintendent of Schools.
He sounds like he might be an old School to me, but maybe he and the wife have got a new School on the way.  

But the weird thing is, no matter how many degrees they earn, his kids will always be School children.

I wonder if he's shy and introverted. I guess that'd make him a private School. If he's really introverted, call him a home School.

Maybe he's like 6'4", which would make him a high School.

Or if he's an intellectual, then I guess you'd call him a School of thought.

Maybe he's even engaged, which would make his fiance a pre-School.

And for all I know, maybe the guy is actually the retired rapper formerly known as Schooly D--truly one from the old school.

Last but not least:

 Chip Stilwell, Potomac, MD
"How are ya, Chip?"

"Stilwell, Frank!"