Insanity or Retardation: You Decide!

Who loves the bus stories? Show of hands! Yeah, I thought so.

Got up early yesterday because I had some errands to do before work. Early, of course, being about 10am. So, I wasn’t entirely prepared for the passengers who are no doubt typical to this pre-noon route. Or, at least I’d like to think so. The mid-morning parade of horribles filing into some or all of the four buses I took certainly made this one strange time of day to be on a CCTA bus, but I simply wouldn’t have it any other way. And having gotten only a few hours of sleep seemed to make the whole show even wackier. Here were some of the highlights…

Lady (?) Who’s Got A Bug Problem: Actually, I’m going to have to settle on this one being of the female persuasion merely for convenience because, in all honesty, I really couldn’t tell which one this age-indeterminate person was… female maybe, male possibly, hobo certainly. My diagnosis (as if I had a legitimate degree in medicine or psychology) is some serious brain damage due to long-term amphetamine abuse. Classic tweaker, actually, so crank is definitely my guess. Either that, or she is stark raving MAD! Maybe both. At any rate, she spent much of her ride swatting backhandedly at imaginary flies, with all of the rapid succession and jerkiness of someone not quite in control of her nervous system. She also blurted out quite loudly to no one in particular the words “HEY, YOU FRIGGIN’ BASTARD!” and then nothing else for the remaining five minutes of her ride. I think she was looking straight up when she said it, which has its own implications if she were to believe in something as infantile and desperate as a deity. Fortunately, I do not. But you probably knew that. Moving along…

Lady With An Empty Wheelchair: This woman, probably in her late-50s, got on ALL of my four busrides, which freaked me out a little. The whole point is that she wasn’t riding the wheelchair, just carrying it around with her — and slowing down all of the bus routes in her path. Oh, I’m sorry… in MY path. She had this weird flannel jacket on with crazy tartan patterning intermixed with teddy bears. She also had short white hair, moved about 5 inches a minute, and had the face of a munchkin. In addition, she thought it was “funny” every time the poorly-secured wheelchair loudly slammed into something. Believe me when I say that her giggle was the demented cackling of a thousand sanitariums. (Yes, I’m currently reading a Lovecraft compilation as my “bus book.” Be grateful that she wasn’t likened to Yog Sothoth or Shub-Niggurath!)

Lonely Lady: All the lonely people. Where do they all come from? The bus stop, apparently! And If they are terminally lonely, they somehow gravitate to me faster than North End fatties to a newly-transplanted gangsta. In my case, it’s probably the suit. Anyhoo… this short, dumpy gal in her 30s is approaching the stop, babbling on and on to herself about something. She’s bespectacled (great word, by the way) with beady little eyes and a slight mustache, as well as what can only be described as “special person hairdo.” And you know that the head count at the mental hospital came up one short because this one, without missing a beat in her conversation to herself, transfered it effortlessly over to me. No, I don’t mean she stopped talking to herself and then started talking to me, I mean she was in mid-sentence/mid-story and merely choose to start focusing her in-progress babble from no one to someone. Without the generosity of any actual context or crucial details, the story she gave was something about someone who drank too much Nesquik while she wanted him to switch to Ovaltine because it made “the young man” hyper. (In fact, she obsessively referred to him as “young man” over and over again in the story — about 40 or so times — with this laughably bankrupt attempt to sound authoritative. Oh, pity the powerless.) This is basically the gist of the tale, though constantly reworded and repeated for about 10-15 minutes straight. I’m guessing I got about 20 or so permutations of the same story… and I STILL didn’t know what the heck she was talking about. I think she caught my bored facial reactions after 20 whole minutes because she then stopped talking and walked away. Sadly, the virus was planted firmly in my head because I couldn’t remember the last time I had a cup of cocoa and it was driving me bananas. Thanks, loopy lady. Now, stay off the Nesquik and get back in your cell.

No Log Lady, of course, but I certainly wouldn’t doubt it if one frequented the downtown bus stop sooner or later. In fact, it would amuse me to no end… so long as she travels with the Man From Another Place.


Matt G. Paradise is Executive Director of Purging Talon, a media company responsible for releasing groundbreaking and often imitated audio, video, print, and Web work since 1993, including the internationally respected Satanic magazine, Not Like Most. Paradise is also a Magister in the Church of Satan and, since the early-1990s, has also done media representative work for the CoS through all major media forms — network television, radio, print publications, and the Internet. He is the author of Bearing The Devil’s Mark, a collection of writings on Satanism; as well as editor of The Book of Satanic Quotations (First and Second Editions). He was also producer and co-host of Terror Transmission, a horror movie commentary podcast; and is currently the producer and host of three podcasts (The Accusation Party, Vintage Vinyl Vivisection and Strange Moments in Cultural History) on The Accusation Network.

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