Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fart Machine Guys Are The Way Of My Walk

So it's been two years since my last post. I wish I could say I was incredibly busy doing incredibly awesome things during this time, but I was pretty much just working, looking for errant punctuation or, horror upon horrors, the dreaded comma splice. I bet most of you don't even know what this is or why it's so terrible, and I'd explain it to you, really, but I just put myself to sleep for a second just writing about it, and now I've got to wipe this drool off my keyboard. Dang. I hate comma splices.

I've also been getting into great shape (if I do say so myself, and I do) walking to work. And back. And then walking on my lunch break. I even take the long way to get to the bathroom. OK, so I might be a teensy bit crazy about it, but it allows me to eat cheeseburgers and fries dipped in mayo and bacon grease without much consequence (well, except for the obvious -- a stained shirt at the end of every lunch), so it's an insanity I can live with. Not like, say, OCD, which I used to have, where I was checking all the rooms and closets in my house and under the beds and then tapping the wall three times, that I cured myself of years ago. Not like that at all (one, two, three; one, two three). OK, to be honest it might have manifested itself in my blogs, but at least I can leave my house now without checking that the iron is off for the millionth time. I've never even owned an iron. Just kidding. I actually love to iron. So much so that I ironed my carpet. Total accident, but now I have a nice iron imprint on my bedroom floor, so I have this idea of maybe imprinting the whole damn thing so it'll look like I did it on purpose. Appliance decor. It's going to be huge, I'm telling you.

So my morning commute, probably not unlike most of your commutes, consists of walking past a short, chubby guy with John Lennon glasses and a medicated (psycho killer?) smile, who lets out a loud, piercing fart every time I walk in his direction, which unfortunately for me is every damn day. Thank you, work, for giving me a job that I can only get to by walking past psychopathic fart machine guys every morning. And it's not an organic toot, I might add. He has this electronic fart machine that he lets rip every time I get within a foot of him. I swear I am not making this up. Now I can't count on a lot of things in life, like that I'll get to work without bits of breakfast eggs on my face (thanks, all of Boston, for letting me walk four fricking miles without any of you giving me the heads up that I literally had egg on my face) but there is one thing I can count on: at 7:45am there's a crazy guy walking down Cambridge St. with a fart machine that he cranks up to 11 every time I have the audacity to walk his way.

It's gotten so bad that I've resorted to walking in the street when I get within about twenty feet of him. I have discovered that I will risk certain death to avoid hearing obnoxious electronic farting noises. I guess in a way I should be thankful I know what my thresholds are. My coworkers say to count my blessings they're not real. But I think the fact that they're fake is even more disconcerting. I mean, I can understand a guy with a gas problem, but a guy who intentionally and premeditatively commits an act of flatulence every damn day he sees me walking by is right up there with axe murderers and Carrot Top, if you ask me.*

One morning, I was just about to pass a girl to my right, when fart machine guy totally ambushed me and started walking toward me, on my left. It was too late to retreat, so as I was sandwiched between fart machine guy and this girl, he lets it rip, speakers blasting. The girl turns and looks at me right at this moment, with a look of disgust I haven't seen since I was caught drinking out of a used punch cup at a frat party that may or may not have had a discarded cigarette butt floating in it. (They were out of punch, people! Which, by the way, they had been serving to everyone at the party out of a garbage can, so I don't know why anyone had the right to be so judgmental.)

As if this daily situation isn't traumatic enough, one morning last winter, after my encounter with fart machine guy (a label I don't wish on anyone to be forced to use in their daily life, by the way), consisted of walking down Longfellow Bridge behind a guy who refused to let me pass him. He didn't outright say "I refuse to let you pass, mofo," but at the rate I was going (like somewhere between Mach 1 and Mach 2--maybe Mach 1 and a half?) I should've been able to pass him without a problem, but as I approached him, he kind of turned his head to the side, so I know he saw me, at least partially, and then started walking faster. I know he was walking faster because before he was walking normally on a really slushy bridge, and then all of a sudden, his feet were pumping and slipping out from under him at the same time. It was actually kind of funny to watch, like Wile E. Coyote pumping his little coyote feet really fast and not getting anywhere, so I just hung back and enjoyed the show until we were just stepping off the bridge. And that's when things got a little f'ed up.

He started slowing down again, so I thought I'd make my move to finally pass him. Just as I was approaching him, and I mean, I was just about to step around him, without even so much as a glance in my direction, he suddenly jets off like he's being chased by, well, let's go with Wile E. Coyote. I was stunned. I love to make good time, but I actually stopped dead in my tracks and just watched him race/slip away on the crowded Cambridge sidewalk. Once he was a few blocks away, he finally slowed down again into a walk and looked behind him, searching for me in the crowd. I waved. With one finger. What more could I do? I still don't know if he was annoyed I was maybe trailing him too close or whether he actually thought I was a Warner Brothers cartoon coming to eat him. I guess I'll never know. But I do know that not even fart machine loonies and mad morning sprinters even come close to my experiences on the 441, so for now I'll just invest in some good earplugs and pray to Jesus I just don't bump into Carrot Top. I hate that guy.

*And if you don't believe me that Carrot Top compares to an axe murderer, then I know you must have no idea what Carrot Top looks like. Say if the Joker had a baby with the creepiest clown you've ever seen and that baby had red hair a shade I'm pretty sure exists only in Hell and Carrot Top's head ... that's your man.