May 17th, 2013
If you want to read 2,388 words of bullshit, read Peggy Noonan’s column today, “The Worst Scandal Since Watergate.” I’m not suggesting you do it, it’s just that thanks to your new glasses, you have the option.
If it doesn’t strike you as reasonable that the IRS would look into Tea Party groups — most of whom advocate some form of Fuckin’ with the Tax Man, then reasonable ain’t your thing.
On February 18th, 2010, Texas Terrorist Joe Stack, flew his Piper airplane into the IRS building, killing himself and the head of the Austin tax office, Vernon Hunter. Why February 18? Because if he wanted to claim the loss of his airplane, he had to do it before February 19th; Texas Tea Party Terror Tuesday.
I just realized that in order to keep this piece shorter than Peggy Noonan’s, I have to edit out all references to republican hypocrisy, criminality, pederasty, and Louie Gohmert.
There. All done.
May 16th, 2013
May 14th, 2013
I just got off the 45 bus. A one mile, early evening trip on Union — from Fillmore to Taylor. I sat facing oncoming traffic and saw four cars equipped with pink mustaches affixed to their grilles. This is the sign of a Lyft car. For those of you living on a dirt lane, a Lyft car is a home-brewed taxi-cab. For the past few months I’ve watched their numbers increase. As a frequent cab rider, I have a good deal of sympathy for the drivers of licensed cabs, so I’m not inclined to look favorably on the people who give all these mustache rides. Still, I haven’t partaken, so how could I know?
The reason I use official taxi-cabs is that, as a handicapped person I qualify for ParaTransit. This service gives me $90 worth of cab rides monthly for just $15. It was worth the red tape. But I like cabs, too, because I know the drivers are insured. The fact that they don’t fist-bump me when I’m boarding is disappointing, but I’m usually wrestling my crutches into the back seat and my hands are occupied.
I spent the last half hour reading the Yelp reviews of Lyft. Written by passengers and a few drivers, they are mostly favorable (about 85%). I’m not sure I trust all the reviews as they have the same breathless, cheery take on the service. But more, because they trash cab drivers so badly. It’s true that our cabbies speak with a great variety of accents. That’s tough on America-Firsters, but c’mon, this is San Francisco. Many reviewers talked about the overly aggressive driving of cabbies. I don’t agree.
The bad thing about this, though, is that it’s just another unregulated business. Conservatives love these. If it succeeds in hurting the cab business — and I don’t see how it cannot — then we will be left with a bunch of part-time drivers. The fellow who runs Lyft seems to be a generous person, given to charitable contributions, but the professional drivers (those who drive cabs) want continued work, not contributions.
I’m with the cabbies on this, but go to Yelp! and read the reviews.
May 11th, 2013
What is being experienced by the gay community — hell, all of us — is the Second Gay Revolution. The first one was in the late sixties when, around the time of the Stonewall Riots, homosexuals began referring to themselves as “gay.” Now think back just a little over a year ago. Joe Biden had just made a speech in which he said president Obama would sign a pledge assuring gays the right to be married. Just a little Biden shove and the next day or so, Obama did sign it. Hate has been deflating rapidly since Obama took office. I think this will be the one change he will be remembered for. (Didn’t he also mandate the end of ending a sentence with a preposition? Well, you can’t win them all.)
But where are the Gay love songs? Maybe gays hear them on certain radio stations, but I sure haven’t. Here’s one I think might be good. It’s about this guy who’s planning on coming out because he just learned that Randy, the guy he yearned for in high school is not only gay, but has just come out of the closet. Randy is living out west in — where else? — San Francisco. Here’s the first line:
Hey Randy, I’m coming out your way, real soon.
(okay, second line, too)
And I’m bringin’ out that yearbook that you signed,
(why not the third)
“Hey handsome boy, lets don’t lose touch in June.”
(and a fourth)
“Let’s take a swim next week, if you’re inclined.”
But our boy never gets in touch. He dreams of Randy all the time. Even writes an email but can’t hit “send.” That kind of stuff. Probably a country singer should do it, although I’ve got no idea who’s a gay country singer. Maybe y’all kin be of help.
May 9th, 2013
I’ve been trying to work out this Evolution vs. Gun Rights muddle ever since I realized its importance to civilization. Isaiah, Chapter 53, Verse 5 says, ”He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” The stripes, of course, are the whip slashes on the Lord’s body. A whip is a handy bruising device. The first whips were made from sharp, heavy grass and they cut like a bitch. Eventually, animal hides produced better “bruising.” It’s easy to understand why the iniquitous suffered greatly from their use. Evolution has given us even more effective whips; e.g. ropes of sharpened badger teeth known as “Your Mother-in-Law’s-Colon.” This is without doubt evolution doing its job.
On the other hand, God simply gave us guns. No assembly required. To do a job equal to “Your Mother-in-Law’s-Colon,” you needed only to pull the trigger. Additions like the “safety” and a “reuseable ammunition clip” came along when Man started diddling with God’s design. Man began to use the word “evolution” in regard to this dangerous fooling around. All that was ever needed was patience interrupted by occasional bouts of rapid fire.
Everything pertaining to guns came straight from God. Die HolsterBusch was a fast-growing plant found in what is now known as KonigReich-Hannover. The sacred Second Amendment to our Constitution was proposed at 10:37, September 25th. 1789. Unique among all the amendments, it was enacted prematurely. It is not known how, but a KinderGarten massacre took place — legally — at 10:23 on the same date. And in the same time zone.
I will post more about Gun Rights and the Second Amendment as it is revealed to me.
May 8th, 2013
At the NRA convention it was reported that the organization’s new president, Jim Porter, said, “It’s only a matter of time before we’ll be able to own colored people again.” The fact is that he did not say that. What he did say was:
- “I am happy to be able to say that good African-Americans, such as Allen West, will be applying for membership in the NRA.”
- “Left-handers are like negroes, and Barack Obama is a left-hander. Make of that what you damn well please.”
- “White children must be this tall to ride the pickaninnies.”
- “Look, Mr West, you want in or not? Getcha goddam forehead-print on the form, enclose two-hundred dollars in ones, and mail it off before curfew tonight.”
- “The NRA was started by some Yankee generals who didn’t like the way my Southern boys had the ability to shoot in what we call the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ ”
“This here is Allen. He is a six-foot two inch tall boy of 50 years of age. Turn ‘roun, boy. Strong neck, strong back. Slightly pigeon-toe as y’all can see. Let’s start the biddin’ at 50 dolla’…”
Write your answer here _____.
May 6th, 2013
And I thought Abbott and Costello were du– Ouch, I just got hit in the face with a buttered biscuit topped with sweet cream! No, seriously, after the first two scenes of the movie “Three Sappy People”, I started to regur– Holy Crap, the guy just ducked and I got hit in the throat with a newly varnished ladder! I’m not kidding, these old comedy teams show up on your doorste– Fuck, only 5:13 into this movie and my phantom pain just kicked in. I’ve got to turn it…
Almost 72 years old and I’ve just seen my first Three Stooges movie. Larry Moe ‘n Curly become psychiatrists, Drs Ziller, Zeller, & Zoller, and set out to treat a wealthy young bride in her palatial home. They must overcome the clumsiness of the 13 dinner guests, the director, and themselves. Hijinx Ensue.
I watched it because the blogger, Michael Evanier, touted the talents of its writer, Clyde Bruckman, after noting that Clyde’s gag-writing skills had “begun to decline.” I have no examples of his skills during his heyday, but I hope this is true. BTW Evanier is a terrific, and prolific, blogger (newsfromme.com), so I can’t help but doubt my own taste just a bit. I know very little about comedy from that era and I may miss the point of a man in a tuxedo having his head pushed into a watermelon carved into a likeness of the Mad Pope Adrian the VI.
I had a discussion with my roommate, Kurt, about the presumed comedy masters of the early to mid-20th century. I’m not wild about any of them. Kurt, a damned good comedian himself, was more forgiving. While I remembered loving George Burns and Gracie Allen while they were on radio, I was only ten at the time. At 35 or 40, I listened to their old tapes and was stupefied. I simply did not get it. I felt like comedy, in its infancy, must have been like anything else in its infancy. Infantile and paralyzing. I thought Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” was the most annoying gem of the 40s but, as I mentioned, I had not yet sat through an entire Three Stooges opus.
Kick me in the butt, comedy fans. Bring me to my senses. Stick a wick in my ear, pour wax on me, light me, and let me light my own way into the archives of comedy, either to learn something about funny business, or burn the whole house down.
May 4th, 2013
Five years ago, when I was newly amputated, I got on a crowded bus. After about ten seconds a man up front got up and moved back, ushering me to his seat as he did so. After a minute or so, I noticed a woman in her sixties sitting across from me. She was giving the heavy stink-eye to the healthy young woman sitting to my right. I assumed — and it turned out rightly so — that she wanted to let the 30 year-old know she was being held in contempt of public transportation for failing to offer an amputee a seat. Since the man had solved my problem, I wasn’t going to be angry at the young woman, but I have to admit I thought she should have given me her seat. After a few moments, she tapped me on the arm and said, “I hope you’ll forgive me. I know I should have given you my seat, but I have fibromyalgia. And it practically kills me to move once I get settled in.” She went on, apologetically, for another two minutes. By this time, the irritated crone was giving both of us the stink-eye. She didn’t like the idea of me chatting with such a rude woman was my guess. It happens. We make mistakes.
On Saturdays, everybody in my improv workshop hangs out at Silver Clouds, a noisy club for mostly twenty-somethings. About the time of Fibromyalgia, we were sitting on the patio behind the bar. It was a nice enough day, but we were really out there because with 12 out of 12 of their huge screens turned to one or another fight (mostly that end-of-the-world slamming and kicking that can end a life) it was far to noisy inside for us forty-thru-seventy year-olds to hold a conversation. After awhile, we noticed a little cigarette smoke drifting our way. Lisa asked the smokers to stop smoking. When they did not, she lost it with them. It got noisy — me arguing with Lisa, Lisa yelling at the smokers to the point that I began taking their part. It was an ugly few minutes.
Earlier this afternoon, it was the same thing at Silver Clouds. The difference was that one of our woman asked the kids nicely to knock it off. They apologized and took their habits elsewhere.
These three examples tell you I know the difference between right and wrong. I haven’t always practiced it — probably because when this shit came up in the past at a bar, I was an obnoxious, show-offy drunk.
May 1st, 2013
Restaurant workers in the big cities, take note. If you work in a chi-chi district, the chances are the parking meters in your neighborhood are taking in more money per hour than you are. Your protest signs should carry this message: NOW, A PARKING METER IS PAID MORE PER HOUR THAN I AM.
April 30th, 2013
“We do present George Rogers for, & Mary Batchellor the wife of Mr. Steven Batcheller minister for adultery. It is ordered by ye Court yt George Rogers for his adultery with mis Batcheller shall forthwith have fourty stripes save one upon the bare skine given him: It is ordered yt mis Batcheller for her adultery shall receive 40 stroakes save one at ye First Towne meeting held at Kittery, 6 weekes after her delivery & be branded with the letter A.”*
Steven Batcheller was born in 1651, 290 years before his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandson, Fred Wickham, was born. Steven had come to America because, as a Puritan, he could no longer practice his religion in England. This was a case of the greater intolerance being held by the man fleeing the mother country. Puritans were a pretty nasty bunch no matter where they held their prayer meetings.
He was 70 when he arrived in the colonies and settled in the town of York, in what is now Maine. He met and married a 20 year old woman named Mary and they settled down to a life of misery. They tried to divorce, but the local laws would not allow it. Somewhere down in the fifth circle of Hell, Mary got together with her handsome 28 year old neighbor, George Rogers. She became pregnant. Soon, it was clear to Stephen, and everybody else, that George was the father-to-be. Puritan territory was no place to practice adultery. If the late Middle-English of the first paragraph is impenetrable, what it says is this: George and Mary each get thirty-nine lashes. George immediately, Mary, six weeks after she delivers. In addition, she is branded with the letter A. The paragraph in this text does not say, but that branding was to be on her forehead.
It sounds like an idea for a novel, thought Nathaniel Hawthorne, a century after this fornicating took place. He wrote “The Scarlet Letter” and most of us read it in high school (but not me). Now that I’ve learned that my ancestor was the cuckold in this arrangement, I believe I will get around to reading the book. Unless I see the movie first.
*Thanks go to my genealogist sister, Ruthie, for uncovering this story.
April 29th, 2013
Mark Sanford’s been debating a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi as a supposed stand-in for Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. Today, Colbert-Busch debated a cardboard cutout of Mark Sanford. In his closing remarks, Sanford said his record as a fiscal conservative would prove necessary at this “tipping point in civilization.” By all accounts, Colbert-Busch kicked his paper-thin ass. He will be back in Argentina soon.
I lived in South Carolina in the seventies.When I got fired from my job at an ad agency in Columbia, I remembered how much I enjoyed the two weeks I spent in San Francisco on my way to Okinawa. That was in the early sixties. I made a decision right then to move here. I’ve never regretted it. I can’t even remember the name of the agency, but one of their clients was a right-wing Republican Congressman named Ed Somebody. Everybody in the agency was asked to display an Ed Somebody bumper sticker. I displayed mine on the floor at the entrance to my office and hand-wrote on it, “please wipe feet before entering.” I’m not saying that’s why I got fired, but I wasn’t invited to the boss”s birthday party at the Waffle House.
At that time, Mark Sanford was just a horny Eagle Scout living on his parents 1,200 acre Coosaw Plantation near Beaufort. Not much is known about his early life, so I’ll have to make up something: Mark was a hardscrabble boy who by dint of practice learned how to play scrabble on a competitive basis with a blind-folded shimpanzee, although he lost his title after misspelling “chimpanzee.”
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, began working in the maritime business and has held many impressive jobs. She is the sister of Stephen Colbert, and it is not known whether she pronounces the final “t” in her last name, because it’s stuck way in the middle, right before a hyphen. As this is a “tipping point in civilization,” I believe it is my duty to support the better of the candidates. If I were a Republican, I could probably wangle some way to vote in a state I haven’t visited in thirty-eight years. Instead, I donated $3 to her campaign simply by checking the $3 circle in the email.
She is the sister of Stephen Colbert, an unsuccessful candidate for President in 2008.
April 27th, 2013
Mutt n’ Gruff are brothers, wealthy corporate wizards. They walk along a downtown street on a beautiful evening. Mutt looks down the street and slaps a nearby parking meter with enough force to make it vibrate metallically.
Mutt: Look! My car. (He gestures at the parking ticket tucked under the window).
Gruff: This is so unfair.
Mutt: (Snatches ticket from windshield) What’s this going to cost? They don’t even print the fine on the ticket.
Gruff: Who knows?
Mutt: Parking costs are going up like crazy. Figure it out — eight bucks an hour.
Gruff: That’s more than we have to pay our employees!
Mutt: We’re paying our parking meters seventy-five cents more per hour. (Mutt sees the Meter Attendant putting along across the street. He takes off running, waving the ticket at her.) Hey lady. What gives? (She keeps moving) I’ll see you in court!!!
CUT TO: Courtroom. Mutt n’ Gruff sit at the plaintiff’s table with their well-groomed attorneys. The Meter Maid, in costume, sits at the defendant’s table with her unkempt, overworked public defender. The Judge slams the gavel down.
Judge: …And the Court of Abracadabra finds Parking Meter Officer Ann Butler guilty of offending a superior citizen by refusing to stop her vehicle when he ordered her to do so. The Court sentences her to six months in jail and pay a fine of $750,000…
MUTT snaps out of his reverie in the middle of the busy street, just as a city bus runs him over. GRUFF races into the street to try and save his brother, but is shot and killed by a gang-banger.
THIS SCENE is, in turn, revealed to be the reverie of a worker by a quick CUT to a lunch table in a fenced-in area just outside MUTT & GRUFF INDUSTRIES. A factory whistle blows, the WORKERS gather their lunch-buckets and drag their asses back into work. TWO WORKERS continue their discussion.
Worker #1: Remember when we almost got that raise in 2001?
Worker #2: Fucking’ Al Qaeda!
April 25th, 2013
Avoid bestial paternity suits: Make it with a donkey. It’s guaranteed there’ll be no offspring because something happens in a donkey’s vagina when a man takes her in the missionary position.
It’s okay to fuck a duck, but never duck a fuck.
Now, how do you get that donkey into the missionary position? Don’t even try offering it money or a great meal. Donkeys like big quantities of grain. Or straw. Nothing fancy. And despite the cartoons, they don’t know what to do with money. They just lose it if you give it to them. The sad fact is you will have to use force to get them in position. Remember this, though, the forces of nature are your friend. 1) Acceleration: Upend them quickly by chaining all four ankles to your pickup, then floor it. Be sure to do this over a large soft bed of straw. 2) Gravity: If you are wealthy, place your donkey in a large 4-engine airplane, like a C-130. Fly it in a parabola, which will give you 28 seconds of Zero-G fun. Mind your position in space when the plane recovers to standard flight. A physically attractive donkey is 1,100 pounds.
You may now legally copulate with a donkey of the same sex as you. Remember, a male is a Jack, a female is a Jenny. If you are with a Jenny, take note of her large ears. All you need to do is whisper, “Jenny, you are so hot.” She will hear you even if you are in a workroom off the floor of a large solar panel manufacturing company. (Yes, Solar Panel!)
While you can have same-sex relations in most Redneck states, these states do not allow printed material concerning its whys-and-how-tos. Sorry. But in communities that have schools, most schoolyards have men selling booklets with diagrams. Illegal, sure, but anything that brings trade to the schoolyards is looked upon kindly.
If you live near inland waterways, take note, crocodiles are very dumb animals. Words that will pacify a donkey are useless with a croc. Always carry a gun when approaching one for sex, but not the gun you take to church. A crocodile in heat puts off a stink that will stay with your revolver for a month of Sundays — or more.
April 24th, 2013
As a film actor I have two virtues. One, when I play a dead person, I really appear dead. No breathing, no eye movement, no brainial activity. Two, when I play an amputee, I really appear to have lost my leg above the knee. If you, Mr or Ms Cinema Director, need one or both of those attributes, google me. Somewhere in that billowing cybercloud exists my contact information.
Today, I played a grizzled amputee, recently murdered by writer, Michael Meehan’s, titular “Monster” — a grotesque possessor of everything but tits. The Monster tore off my leg and left me bloody and staring at the sky. Actors appeared into, and disappeared from, my visual field for the two hours I remained on my back in a cold and windy field populated by dry stabbing weeds. One of the performers, a very funny man named Johnny Steele, kept Gina, the criminal investigator/nurse, laughing by doing variations on his lines between takes. I have to admit, after saying what a genius I am at playing dead, I broke character as well. (Note to Steele’s manager, you can post that on Yelp!)
There were ten of us — actors and technicians — and I mind telling you I felt old, but there’s no getting around it. I was laid out in the field, first on some fluffy sound-insulating material, but when the shooting began the material was taken away. That’s just the way the Monster is. No amenities. Every so often, the director came over to assist me in a sit-up, that I might relax my aching back. As a death specialist I never allow myself to complain. If had, the shoot would have taken a bit longer. When we finished, I needed help standing up, being handed crutches, escorted over a gravel berm, picking dangerous shards of straw out of my t-shirt, etcetera.
This is going to be a good movie. It really is funny — at least the parts I’ve seen during filming. The writer/director is Mike Meehan. The actors are good. Some of them, I believe, could even play dead. They may have to — we’ve only shot the first few scenes and I’ve already passed on.
April 20th, 2013
Today Adolf Hitler is 124 years old. Of course, this is not difficult for me to remember. It’s a day that loomed worrisome in the second and third weeks of April, 1989. My son’s mom, Katie, was out to here (I am making like a very pregnant woman while sitting at my keyboard). Like most fathers-to-be who were Third Reich history fanatics at that time, I was worried my son would pop out on April 20th — Hitler’s 100th birthday.
I’ve never thought of myself as superstitious, but it’s pretty damn superstitious to worry that my son would grow up to be an a) Evil, b) Mass, and c) Killer just because he shares a birthday with someone having those character defects. That’s the problem with living on a planet that circles the sun once every 365 days, 36,500 days later is a big-ass anniversary called a centennial, and this fact invites magical thinking.
Whenever I see a digital clock that reads 12:34, I quietly rejoice. I don’t know why, but once I came before a digital clock on a bank that read out all the way to the seconds. I waited about four minutes for it to read 12:34.56. It made me feel especially good — partly because it was raining.
Hitler was known to be a superstitious man. If a new Hitler comes along and he happens to be born on my son’s birthday, he won’t have much villainy to look forward to, because my son is a good boy.
On a non-superstitious level, I once shaved my mustache in the Hitler fashion. But this was in my twenties and my head and facial hair was a rich chestnut color.
Enough about Hitler. Katie gave birth to our son, Max, on April 17, 1989. I breathed a sigh of relief. A few days later, when we all felt he was up for it, his doctor strapped him onto the Olympic Circumstraint, and I held it, and him, in place while she removed his foreskin. I’ll bet Hitler never got that treatment!
April 18th, 2013
Finally, towards the end of the sixties, there was a moment where everybody knew that racial relations had made a truly significant leap. We thought the Civil Rights Act was the nugget that the pearl would grow around. It had been a very difficult destination to arrive at — many tolerant people died in the gunsights of haters. Unfortunately, racists are once again stocking their armories with bombs and guns. Republicans are their enablers. The world of race relations, despite a black president, is as bad as it was sixty years ago.
But there is one positive civil rights movement on this planet that is unlikely to backslide the way racial equality has. That is gay rights. How can I be so certain? Look at any family tree.
In the past two years about half the gay people in America have left their closets. To apply for a job they deserve. To claim an apartment in a once unfriendly neighborhood. To make bedroom noises while visiting mom and dad. Maybe soon you’ll see a brave couple holding hands at a NASCAR event. If your sister is a genealogist, as mine is, you’ll discover that the vast majority of white families have only whites playing in the branches of their family trees. With black people, the opposite is true. White blood is everywhere in black families — and the sad thing is that once it has mixed with black blood, white people consider it black, and have little compunction about spilling it. Or standing by while it is spilled.
But the good thing about the gay movement is that every family has gay people in it. America now knows that. And it is amazing to me that families are now willing to embrace their homosexual brothers and sisters. How quickly this has happened. I guess it’s a mixed blessing when it comes to family trees — if you can’t prune ‘em, join ‘em.
April 16th, 2013
A jerk I know comes in to Peets. I don’t really want his company and I subtly position my body to let him know. Too subtle. He sits at the neighboring table.
JERK: Hear about that bombing?
JERK: (LAUGHS) I dunno, they’re trying to make it like it’s some big thing.
ME: I think it was pretty big.
JERK: (LAUGHS) They make such a (SEARCHES FOR WORD)…big thing out of things like this.
ME: And you don’t think it was?
JERK: I dunno. This government. What about the drones Obama’s sending into Pakistan?
(I SAY NOTHING, BUT CONTINUE LOOKING AT HIM)
JERK: (LAUGHING, SPITTLE GATHERS AT THE CORNERS OF HIS LIPS) You know what they shoulda bombed?
JERK: Harvard Law School.
JERK: (LAUGHS HARDER) Because then it would have gotten some of Obama’s future judgeship appointments.
ME: You know, you’re not really a funny guy. You may think you’re being a satirist, but…
I let my words trail off and turn away from him. After it dawns on him that our conversation is finished for eternity, he leaves the cafe, nodding at me as he goes out the door. His nod says let’s forget about this, I probably fucked up and I might have pushed it too far this time. He’s right. Normally, I let things like this go, but I looked up and saw that my forgiveness screen had flatlined.
April 14th, 2013
I don’t often spend Sundays in Peets so I don’t really know the crowd. It was pretty well packed when I went in at about 4 pm, but I didn’t see any familiar faces. I sat down at the handicapped 4-top (waiter slang) — no, not because I’m an amputee, but because it was the only space available. The table stands flat against the wall, so it’s really only a 3-top. My two guests, unknown to each other, were a homeless woman with a purple scarf wrapped tightly around her neck, and an over-friendly man who would not allow me to read. After a while, a phone rang in the vicinity and I was completely surprised to witness the woman reach into her jean pocket and then answer. After saying nothing other than “H’lo” for twenty seconds, she said in her most elegant tone, “And I’d like you to educate me as to why you think it’s fine for me to sit in your sister’s car for the whole 45 minutes she’s in emergency!” Mr Friendly tried to get me to react with an agreeing smug grimace, but I resisted. I simply waited even more fervently for a small table to break on the side wall, and practically dove for it when it broke (warning: I may continue with waiter slang).
I’m deep into the Oppenheimer biography, “American Prometheus,” and the light had shifted, putting the north sidewalk in the sun. Now the tables were occupied out there. Mr Friendly at the handicapped table was still in his seat, even flashing me a smile, but the homeless lady had disappeared. Possibly into the sun.
After another hundred pages (my Kindle is set to very large type)* I felt the need to take a whiz. I had just completed the shifting, chair-shoving, and scraping about on the floor required to get up on my crutches, when a woman with a baby in a bosom-carrier shot past me. Even though I knew she had the race won, I followed her into line. She did not knock on the bathroom door, so I reminded her to do so. She said something, then I realized I still had my earplugs in place. I removed them and she told me, “There’s somebody in there. I heard water running.” After a long couple minutes a baby began wailing out in the coffee shop. The woman suddenly left, saying only, “That’s my baby.” Sure enough, she rushed up to her husband, who was in line comforting the child by passing him from arm to arm. She returned to her child. Her husband had relief, and I had a shot at getting into the bathroom much more quickly — I thought at the time.
After another two minutes, I heard the water running, then the paper dispenser being pushed. I prepared myself to step into the john. I shouldn’t have bothered. A couple more minutes went by — water noises, paper dispenser noises. Then a couple more minutes. Paper. Water. And, voila, the door opened. The first thing that greeted me were a pair of woman’s hands shaking a soaking wet purple scarf. It was Homeless Lady. She smiled like a celebrity and strolled past me.
Sympathy for her phone-caller swept over me.
*not waiter slang