Monday, August 22, 2005

Back On The Bus

This is the first time I am back on the bus since the London bombings. After getting a job in the burbs six months ago, I have been driving to work, along with my virtual carpool of zany morning DJs and shock jocks.

I think the term 'shock jock' has become meaningless at this point, along with 'War on Terror' and 'Whitney Houston's Career.' And after the following things shoved up my ass: a 10” thick Marine cock, phallic vegetables, the Defense of Marriage Act, I am virtually unshockable.

I do wonder how NPR manages to exist, with its dry, factual, nuanced reporting and discussions. Like Sven (formerly of, I find myself teary-eyed at some story from Morning Edition or All Things Considered. Sometimes I wish I could tune in to Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto on The Delicious Dish, but alas, they're only fictional.

I am taking the bus today because I had been summoned for jury duty. As I boarded the bus, I felt some trepidation. Despite what our current administration says, I don’t think we are winning the 'War on Terror' (apparently, it's now called the 'global struggle against violent extremism'). I don’t feel safer that Iraq’s dictator and Cheetos spokesperson has been removed from power.

If anything, I fear that we have now provided a bigger reason for our country to be a target. These people are willing to die for their cause. They went ballistic when they heard about the flushing of the Koran, you think they are twiddling their thumbs after our invasion? I think our tax dollars are better spent on increasing security at our borders and ports and improving our relationship with Islamic nations.

I scanned the bus for passengers who fit the profile of a potential terrorist--someone who looked like Gary Busey, but with a tan perhaps.

I froze when my eyes came upon a suspicious-looking young man carrying a large backpack. I got nervous when he paid cash for the fare. A regular bus-rider would surely have a CTA card, wouldn’t he? His lack of pectoral muscles could also indicate a reason for a suicide mission. I trained my eyes on him as he made his way down the aisle and sat down across from me.

As I examined his backpack, I let out a sigh of relief. I recognized the high-quality leather and metallic tag. They wouldn’t dare blow up a Kenneth Cole bag, would they? Even a terrorist would respect that. And if they don't, they better watch out or we'll sic our most fearsome warrior on them; I hear Andy Dick is merciless.

But I worry about my boyfriend who rides the El everyday to work. Even though I know that statistically, the risk of dying in a car crash is much larger than being blown up in a terrorist attack, I still worry. I can’t help it. I may be a self-assured, stylish homo on the outside, but inside, I am just an old Jewish grandmother. Oy, pass the gefilte fish.

I worry the minute I drop him off at the station until I hear from him. Sometimes, I find myself anxious when I don't see him sign on to Yahoo messenger at work. Is that weird? The bad feelings linger like a fart in an elevator.

Back on the bus, I settled in my seat and pulled out my book. Today at least, I won’t be blown to bits...

NEXT: Jury Duty

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On The Bus - Readin' and Ridin' on the bus. Part 1 of 2.
Three Hours - I hate driving, I hate airplanes.

Stuttering - My encounter with a Marine cock.
A Long Way Down - Nick Hornby and my suicidal thoughts.

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