Archive for July, 2013

Previously: I had to get off this bus soon or someone would soon find someone with a snow globe buried in their head.

And now: I had the distinct impression that Ginger was about to unleash the kind of idea I was running away from. And damn it, I was right. Where are the days when an drug-induced stupor made you immune to such crap, or at least made you feel that way? I tried to crawl under the seat but the bag from the lady behind was already occupying that space. I tried to feign death, but Ginger saw right through that, threatening to administer mouth-to-mouth if I didn’t cut out the act. I was so screwed.

“So, Fog, don’t you just love it? Isn’t it so cute?”

5318539141_dc8782bdd7            You decide.

Yeah, cute in the way an ebola virus is cute. Cute in the way a festering boil is cute. No, not cute at all. “No, Ginger, it is not cute. Keep it or give it away to someone who cares.

Ginger just sat there and pouted. That wasn’t cute either. It was rather disgusting, truth be told. Her teeth matched her name. But she still was my brother, or sister, whatever.

“Fog… you never cared for me much, did you?”, she bleated. Yes, bleat. She was that kind of a girl or whatever.

“Ginger, I always loved you… in my way. That’s all I’m capable of. Leave it be.”

“But Fog, I do need to talk with you. Meeting you on this bus wasn’t just an accident. It was fate. I need your help,” she bleated once again. This was getting old fast.

“My help? What for? You had the operation. What now, a tummy tuck?” Yeah, you’re right, I wasn’t very sympathetic. I was pissed though.

“Fog, please hear me out. I’ve just got an important gig and I need your guidance,” bleating yet again.

“Jeez… what is it this time? And please, no more bleating, OK?”

2674906984_c74407129a Bleaters. Any resemblance to Ginger is purely accidental.

She started to bleat again, but caught herself mid-bleat. “I, I, I’m sorry. But I’ve got my first job as a casting agent and I’ve got this really big gig. I want to make sure I make the right decisions.”

“And you come to me?” What the hell is wrong with you?” I’m not very hospitable. The last time I helped Ginger out was when she had been arrested for forcing bogus Watchtowers on unsuspecting pilgrims. It wasn’t so much the bail money as it was the fact that I had to he;p her dispose of those copies. She wanted to continue “evangelizing” but the judge had ordered an injunction against it. We had to turn it in to a recycling plant. There was no silver lining to that.

“OK, what is it this time,” I relented. I should have never relented.

“Fog, this is just what I always dreamed about. They’ve asked me to cast the remake of Three Men and a Baby. Isn’t that great? Wait until you hear who I’ve signed. I just want to make sure I didn’t go overboard on this.”

Oh no, Ginger, how could that ever happen? It never crossed my mind. “Spill.”

“This is going to be incredible. Obviously, I couldn’t get the original cast, Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, and Steve Guttenberg. But I did even better.” The bleating had started all over again.

Be still my heart. “OK, Ginger, who? I’m all aquiver.”

“OK, OK, you won’t believe this, but here is the new cast. Nick Nolte, Gary Busey, and, wait for it, Mickey Rourke!”

3625722062_6e9fcfc422 Why not?

Aside from sounding like the double feature of a Beverly Hills police booking session, I had no idea what the hell she was thinking of. Three Men and a Warrant, maybe. But this? I was really starting to hate bus travel.

Previously: “Fog! It’s so good to see you!” I try to act like Stevie Wonder but she doesn’t buy it.

And now: I wish I could have said the same, but long-unforgotten memories of our childhood remained like a chalk-marked sidewalk hopscotch board on my still fragile psyche. Fragile you say? Well, not really, but even I need sympathy occasionally. And now with Ped, er Ginger, in front of me, I could use all the help possible. I’ll never forgive him, her!, for dressing me and the dog up in what was to be her signature mode of style – Liza Minnelli by way of Elton John, courtesy of Flavor Flav. Is it any wonder I’ve no desire to see her again?

521787035_584c188a04          One of three strong influences.

“Fog, what’s happening? How are Mom and Dad? How is Ahmed?” It wasn’t ’til many years later that I discovered she and Ahmed had had a thing going on. Still, my love for Ahmed withstood that little bit of crappy news and we remained friends. After all, as I’ve said before, he did have the best falafel I’ve ever had. Food is thicker than blood.

I tried to ignore her, but she wouldn’t give up – another trademark of hers. I had no way off the bus at this point and after she dropped her besequinned butt into the seat next to me, I was effectively trapped. I had to speak with her. “Everyone’s alive.” I muttered.

She knew of my feelings towards her and did not seem upset over my hostile brevity. “Good, good. And it is so good to see you. I’ve been carrying around a gift for you hoping to run into you some time. And guess what?, I did!”, she squealed. Like a little child, overly proud of herself, she thrust a package at me, “Here! For you!”

In my futile attempt at downsizing my life, she gives me something else to carry with me. Wonderful. Wrapped in plain, brown paper, I’m immediately suspicious. Only Canadian Viagra, mail-order Depends, and life-size inflatable “people” come that way.

“Open it, open it! You’ll love it!”

“No, no, that’s OK, I’ll do it off the bus when I can fully appreciate it,” and throw it in the nearest garbage can. I want no part of it. But she is insistent and I’m forced to reveal it’s tawdry contents. It has some weight to it and comes in one of those cheap cardboard boxes that aren’t good for anything. I slowly open it and pull out the gift but it’s further wrapped in cheap brown tissue paper. How festive! It’s a friggin’ snow globe. Worse yet, it’s a friggin’ snow globe of the Care Bears in Gdansk, Poland! What!? I’m speechless. Who the hell thought of this crap? And who the hell is going to buy these things? Scratch that last thought, I know who…Ginger!

3175404651_8e428a0142          The first of many. Help us all. Please!

“Ginger, I don’t know what to say,” and that is the damn truth.

“Isn’t it so sweet? It’s the first of a limited edition set. The Care Bears will be visiting the whole world and there will be a commemorative globe celebrating each country they visit. I knew you’d love it.”

Why she thought that I had no clue, but before I could say anything else, she kept going on. “Look at the bottom, look at the bottom, it’s autographed by Lech Walesa!”

I knew for a fact, or at least suspected, Mr. Walesa had nothing to do with this, but didn’t want to open that can of worms. So I just nodded.

But Ginger wasn’t over yet. “In every country the Bears go to, all the globes will be signed by a famous person from that country. Isn’t that great? I hear that when they go to Italy, Berlusconi will be signing them”

Well at least that could happen, He did have a lot of time of time on his hands or would very shortly. Will the Bears be taking part in one of his Bunga-Bunga parties in a globe? I kept that to myself. I had to get off this bus soon or someone would soon find someone with a snow globe buried in their head.

Previously: Next stop …off.

And now: Just my luck. This bus was filled with Amway acolytes, missionaries of some obscure Zorastrian sect, and worst of all a group of life insurance salespeople heading to a convention in Des Moines. So this was hell…on wheels no less! Remind me why I left Ahmed’s and its insanity. Oh, yeah, right, that stuff.

I could stay on the bus until my final destination, 2 and a half days away with this ship of fools or I could get off some five hours from now. It would be a test regardless of length of my intestinal fortitude and ability to keep mindlessly singing an Abba song. On second thought, that might just endear me to this substrata of American society. But then again, there hasn’t been much in my history to endear me to many with the exception of the increasingly dysfunctional crew back at Ahmed’s.

3975923366_b52635d39f           Oh, yeah. Good times.

I’ve decided to stay on the bus until I could endure it no longer. Wisely, I packed the latest book, number six I think and 2,300 pages long, of the Shame of Bones trilogy. I think the author decided to milk his original premise bone dry – hence the title and the number of volumes in this inaccurately described “trilogy.” With my iPad and this book, I should be able to tune out the world, or rather this damnable bus, until I reach my destination. I hope.

Settling in to my “luxo-comfort-travel-pedic” seat as the bus company portrays it, I turn up my music to the Tony award-winning score of Kinky Boots, just then realizing the influence Kippy has had on me. Great! Just great! Before long I’ll probably be humming the score to Sling Blade – The Musical. I’m on a bus filled with people more marginalized than me, humming a yet non-existent show tune. I’m so screwed. But then it got worse.

We pull into the bus station in some town with no other reason for being other than the bus needs to refuel there and feed its occupants with the latest offerings from Little Debbie. New passengers get on; I look up and oh, crap!, there she (he) is: my brother – Ped, so named for the size of his feet which I will not go into at this point. But he’s not known as Ped any longer. No, not since his operation, yes, that operation, she goes by a new name, Ginger Vitus. Yeah. He’s a tranny, but he’s my tranny even if I don’t want to see him, er, her.

6545400661_ba2c27e4f5  Sister Ginger.

I do have to hand it to her – she pulls it off well. She looks good. Not good to me, but for what she’s done. Tasteful but with just a soupcon of garish. She always did have style. And it looks like she’s been shopping at the theatre gift store since she is now the very embodiment of Kinky Boots. I try to avoid her (his) gaze but she sees me first and walks down the aisle to park her butt in the seat next to me. Didn’t I leave Ahmed’s to escape this stuff?

“Fog! It’s so good to see you!” I try to act like Stevie Wonder but she doesn’t buy it.