It was really no big deal.
Last Thursday started like any other Thursday, which is to say like any other weekday except that I also shaved. Monday and Thursday are my shaving days. I go scruffy for the rest of the week. As long as I practice basic hygiene on other areas, no one at work seems to care.
With my face as smooth except for spots I invariably miss, I headed to Muddy’s on the way to the bus stop. I got my usual coffee and bagel, and sat down at my usual table and thought my little thoughts.
By little, I mean they were of no importance. The world would continue to be just as good or bad as it had been regardless of what was bouncing around in my noggin. In some ways though, they were anything but little. They took up my powers of cognition pretty much ear to ear, leaving only enough gray matter for autopilot to function. I was able to walk to Muddy’s without incident, but I had no recollection of getting there.
The topic, unimportant yet all encompassing, was a Joe Don Baker movie called Mitchell. The film was neither a critical nor a box-office success, but it was of great cultural significance to an MST3K fan such as myself. This was the movie that aired on the episode where Joel Robinson escaped from the Satellite of Love and Mike Nelson was sent up in his place.
The heavily edited version on MST3K is the only one I’ve seen so I couldn’t tell you if the love scene between Mitchell and the prostitute played by Linda Evans had any nudity, let alone alone any full-frontal Joe Don. It did have a song performed by someone who was not Randy Newman, but was trying really hard to sound like him.
I couldn’t remember the lyrics to that song for the life of me, so I came up with some of my own:
Just polished off his eleventh Schlitz
He thumbs it into the hole that shits
I considered thinking up more lyrics, but I didn’t think they would be as good as what I had so far. So instead, I repeated them over and over until I was confident they had been etched into my long-term memory. I did this on the way to Muddy’s and while I sat and ate my bagel. I don’t think I said the words out loud, but it’s impossible to know for sure. At any rate, it was getting to be about 6:35 so it was time for me to head down to the bus stop.
The ride down to San Jose is one of my favorite parts of the day. I have my coffee, it’s still dark out (at least for the first part of the trip), and I get to sit in my usual spot way in the back of the bus.
The back has a couple of advantages. One is that I can look at anything I want to on my phone without fear of someone behind me being appalled at what is none of their business to begin with. I am also all but untraceable on the vehicle’s WiFi. Sure, they may log my IP somewhere, but so what? Lots of passengers on the bus. Shrug and deny everything. I’m good at that and besides, it’s highly unlikely the matter will ever come up.
I’m more careful once I get to work. There the WiFi demands login name as well as my password. I know what sites are inappropriate in the workplace. I also know how to turn my WiFi off.
The second thing I like about the back of the bus is that few people want to sit there. Maybe it’s the vicinity to the lavatory. Who can say? All I know is the privacy allows me to break wind without shame. My diet of late has had a lot of beans, eggs, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, often all in the same meal. I’d prefer no one be sitting near me while I sound off like a tuba concerto.
If someone needs to use the toilet and catches a whiff of my morning expulsions when they move to the rear of the bus, they probably assume the odor is coming from the lavatory. Of course, this ruse won’t work if they close the door behind them and find that the smell improved. So far, no one had said anything and in my book, that’s the same as it having never happened.
The bus arrived pretty much on time. I boarded, gave my badge a swipe on the reader, and headed back toward my seat at the rear.
It was not to be. No one was sitting in my usual seat, but there was some guy one row up asleep with his seat reclined all the way back. I couldn’t sit on the other side of the bus because once the sun rose, the light would come in at a perfect angle to ruin my day.
I stared at the sleeping man and for a brief moment, thought him no better than the kind of jackass who parks diagonally across two handicapped spots. I quickly realized that this was nonsense because nobody on the bus gets a reserved seat, not even me.
I found a place to sit a few rows up. There I held in my farts, pulled out my phone, and had a look at BBC News.