18th Street between 10th Avenue and the West Side Highway

Bus driver with reading glasses and Yankee cap, addressing the smattering of passengers on his M14D bus over his shoulder and through his rearview mirror.

Bus Driver: I always say, This is not Planet Earth, it’s Planet Dirt.  And everything on this planet is made of dirt.  And everything sooner or later returns to dirt.  And what goes up?  Sooner or later must get torn down.  This?  This?  (He gestures to the buildings out the bus windows.) All torn down.  So I say to you all, Welcome.  Welcome to Planet Dirt!

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Published in: on December 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Q train over the Manhattan Bridge

Nebbishy dad–gray beard, jacket over hoodie over sweater, wearing both his and his kid’s backpacks–and painfully dorky eight-year-old boy–adenoidal, sticky, tiny, pre-orthodontia–riding home on the Q.  Kid sitting, dad standing.

Dad: So how was the rest of your day?

Kid: Ummmm.  B+.  We did family tree stuff.  We were allowed to include whatever kinds of beasts or creatures we wanted, even imaginary.  Rachel did the whole Simpsons.  She had some really obscure Simpsons characters like Herb Powell, remember him he’s Homer’s long-lost brother, but she forgot Maggie.  The smartest member of the Simpsons family.  Maggie’s even smarter than Lisa because Lisa has an attitude.

Dad: Attitude doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence.  Although a bad attitude is sometimes a byproduct of having too much confidence in your intelligence.

Dad takes out his iPhone.

Kid:  Right.  I think all the characters on the Simpsons are pretty solid.  (gesturing to a bag of barbeuce potato chips inside a Gristede’s bag his dad’s holding) Can I have some more?

Dad: (absent, on his iPhone) Yes.

Kid: Why don’t I hold them, that way I can have them whenever I want them.

Dad: (distracted) Okay.

Dad hands Kid the Gristede’s bag.

Kid: You do what you need to do, and I’ll do what I need to do.

Kid eats chips by the handful for a while, breathing noisily through his nose, pausing sometimes to make quiet robot fighting noises and explosion noises to himself.

Kid: (thoughtful) I think that organized crime family should watch a few episodes of the Simpsons.  I think that would be a good idea for them.

He chortles sardonically to himself: “Good one.”

Kid: I almost cried because these are so spicy.

Dad: Hey how many of those have you eaten?  Now you’re going to be extremely thirsty, what are you going to do about that?  Do you have water in your bag because I don’t.

Kid: No.

Dad: What are you going to do when you’re so thirsty you can’t stand it anymore?

Kid: Suffer!

Published in: on December 8, 2009 at 5:01 am  Comments (1)