March 10, 2011 Leave a comment
Last Wednesday I was minding my own business while sitting on the bus, doing my best to concentrate on writing something particularly witty, when the man next to me decided to say hello. A wave of alcohol-laden breath washed over meat the same time as he said, ‘I like fucking Brazilian women,’ assaulted my ears. Now call me a little slow if you like, but I wasn’t quite sure what the appropriate action was. Was this a statement or did he want some kind of response? Should I continue ignoring him, my first preference, or should I respond? A non-committal response would most likely draw me into a conversation that did not promise to be intellectually stimulating, while a curt response might draw abuse or even violence. As I pondered these choices he solved my problem by adding, ‘Do you like fucking Brazilian women?’
I took a close look at my neighbour. He looked about 60 years old, had grey hair, dark skin, and bright red eyes – quite an achievement at 7:30am. He tried to focus on me as I sought a reasonable answer to his question that would wipe the smirk of the young lady sitting in the seat facing me.
‘Haven’t had the pleasure,’ I said and then went back to my writing pad wondering if he was now going to offer me the chance to carry out his favourite activity?
‘Well you should try it.’ He told me with an earnest expression on his face.
‘I don’t think that my wife would appreciate such an experiment,’ I replied. The lady in front stifled a laugh at my obvious discomfort with the conversation. I thought that might distract him but he did not seem to notice – well she wasn’t Brazilian as far as I could tell.
‘Your wife wouldn’t mind,’ my new friend insisted.
‘Oh I think she would,’ I told him.
It was at this time that I regretted that I did not have a match close at hand to light his breath. I might also have disappeared in the resulting fireball, but it would at least have shut him up. I could see that the conversation was taxing his highly addled brain, so I decided to ask him a question.
‘I’m writing a song, I said, ‘Do you know what rhymes with orange? I really need to find a word.’
He tried to focus on me and failed. ‘Eh?’ he said.
‘A word that rhymes with orange,’ I repeated.
The lady across the aisle was smirking once again so I decided that there was no help to had in that area.
‘I like fucking Brazilian women.’ He was looking at me again, probably trying to work out if I’d been sitting here some 30 seconds previously.
‘Yes I know you do.’ She was laughing openly now and it was then a rather nasty idea hit me. As the bus stopped to pick up some more passengers I decided to leave and wait for the next one.
‘Perhaps this lady can help you with a word that rhymes with orange. And I believe she is from Brazil,’ I said as I left my seat. Nasty I know, but she didn’t suffer too long; she got on the next bus some three stops down the road from where I had boarded it. She just scowled at me.