Thursday, March 27, 2008

No Sleep Til Boston

So after a long day of work, including a half-hour meeting regarding the correct punctuation of the ellipsis...I'm sorry, I just need to ..cut loose here . . . . woohoo! I am out-of-control! Yeah! .....
Sorry. I hope no one was offended by my horrendous disregard of proper ellipsis usage. In any case, I was exhausted at the end of the day and looking forward to my usual hour-long, end-of-day nap on the bus back to Boston.

But that was not to be. First of all, the driver made me a little self-conscious by calling me out on my bus-napping ways.

"Hello there! You looking forward to your nap? I'll try not to be too loud tonight!"

This was followed by much guffawing. (I've never used this word before but it seems oddly appropriate in this instance. Yes, yes he was most definitely guffawing, if you can believe it. He was guffawing at his own joke! What an ass.) This, in turn, was followed by awkward small talk about the miracles of Lasik surgery. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the guy could see what he was doing, but I really could've done without the details about payment options and eye-correcting layaway plans.

He then made his usual stop at the Starbucks, but this time, instead of picking people up, he sent some poor guy out to get him a mocha grande. He did ask if I minded, but what was I supposed to say? No, you ass, you cannot get your caffeine fix. You must drive me, half-asleep, into a telephone pole? So I sat and smoldered in silence for ten minutes while my fellow saint of a passenger ran inside to get the driver some coffee. Well, almost saint of a passenger. Bastard didn't get me any.

Luckily, the driver's new coffee-fetching buddy served as a nice distraction so I could finally get some sleep. Until ten minutes later when he got off the bus and a Hispanic man speaking no English got on. The driver and the guy jabbered away in Spanish for a bit, ending in the driver and the man stepping off the bus to do some bilingual direction-pointing. Apparently, the Hispanic man was satisfied with whatever the driver had to say, and they both got back on the bus. It seemed to me that more people were spending their time off the bus than on. I couldn't wait until it was my turn.

We were on our way once more. Until, of course, after another ten minutes when the Hispanic passenger had to get off the bus. This, of course, was immediately followed by the driver accompanying the man off the bus, more direction-pointing, and, this time, an almost fist fight.

After the driver pointed the guy on his way and got back on the bus, I heard a gruff voice shout, "Hey! You don't litter in Revere!" Of course, with his accent, it sounded more like, "Hey! You done littah in Reveah!"

The driver had left his damn coffee cup outside. He got off the bus again.

"I put it down while I was giving that guy directions," he told the scary-looking meathead. And then, when he was walking back to the bus, "You should mind your own business."

Oh good gravy. I couldn't even feign sleep this time as the scary-looking man started running after the driver, fists in the air.

"Oh, you're a tough guy? You're a tough guy?" The driver screamed behind him as he jumped onto the bus, slamming the door shut.

The scary man pounded on the door, motioning for the driver to step outside as we sped off at mach 3. I was petrified. I was the only one on the bus. Now I would most certainly have to make small talk with the driver.

"You see that? You see that? What a tough guy! I would've taken him out, too, but I didn't want to make a bad first impression on you."

I was confused. What on earth made him think I cared about him making any kind of impression on me? I just wanted a nap.

He babbled on for the rest of the then forty-minute trip back to Boston. I have to hand it to him, though, he smoothly transitioned from talking about the inherent evil in some people, referencing a teenager who recently killed a young relative, to asking me out for a cannolli in the North End. I told him I'd sleep on it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cowboy Mouth

I woke up this morning not able to feel my face, as it was rocked off the previous night by a band called Cowboy Mouth. I was unfamiliar with the band before the show, except for through the magic of iTunes, which allowed me to preview their music in 30-second bits (yes, I was too cheap to actually buy the album). I really wasn't too impressed--they sounded fine, but not rock-your-face-off, oh-my-goodness-my-head-is-going-to-explode-and-I'm-going-to-like-it great, which of course is what I look for in a band. That, apparently, and a really bad band name. I'm not sure what they were going for when they picked that name out, but it makes me think more Brokeback than rocker cowboys.

But a friend of mine, whose taste in music I trust, said they play an amazing show, so off I went to the Paradise last night with low expectations. Before the show, we got a bite to eat, and my friend told me about the last time he saw Cowboy Mouth. He was dating a girl at the time and some jerk pushed her. My friend, who I always thought of as rather even-tempered, even almost Ghandi-like, punched the guy in the face in honor of his girl (well, he kind of grazed his cheek, he said. Whatever. It was still noble). Chaos ensued. The bouncers were just about to bounce him out, when one of the members of the band yelled out that they had the wrong guy, that my friend was just protecting his girl, and so the jerk was booted and my friend got to enjoy the show. I still wasn't sure I'd like their music, but I was damn sure at this point I liked the band.

They were good ole boys (and one girl) from New Orleans. The frontman/drummer was like Jack Black on about twenty cases of Red Bull. And maybe a pitcher of coffee. He beat the drums like they had just offended his momma. He had everyone in the place jumping up and down for the whole show, and when one of us slacked off a little and was kind of just bobbing back and forth, he ran up to the balcony, confronted the offender, and said he'd take the whole band back to New Orleans if he didn't see everyone hanging from that balcony when he got back to the stage. We complied.

It felt almost like I imagine a Revival to be. He kept telling us to go crazy and "let it all out." I didn't realize until about ten minutes into the show that the "all out" part was gallons of sweat. At various points, he'd tell us to come a little closer, a little closer, but I didn't want to get too close lest I get hit in the sweat cross-fire. I did, however, come close to getting hit by a drum stick--twice. He threw about three or four of them into the crowd, forgetting maybe the very high poke-your-eye-out potential that drum sticks have when flung at high speeds through the air. I'm just glad I had an alert friend with me or I'd have me a nice eye patch to go along with my rum swilling. Aargh.

I was really annoyed that my friend neglected to tell me about the "Red Spoon" song before the show, a song during which everyone gets to flick a (plastic) red spoon at the band. I usually never miss an opportunity to throw things at people.

He kind of lost me at the end when he told us about how they were going to be on Live With Regis and Kelly the next morning, and then proceeded to sing a song dedicated to Kelly Ripa. The lyrics, however, quickly redeemed them: "Kelly Ripa, if you were a lollipop, I'd lick ya/Kelly Ripa, head of a Mom, but the body of a Strippa. Yee-haw!" You just don't find poetry like that nowadays. Except, of course, on iTunes, for free (in 30-second intervals).