Looking back at my gifts of blog I’ve heaped on my wonderful readers recently, it occurred to me that a large portion of most of my material has been fueled and spawned by my curious self-imposed use of public transportation here in the city of the Car.
It’s a zoo on wheels, man. Nowhere in this nation can the practice of using public transportation marginalize you quite as much as it does in Los Angeles. It’s one thing to use the train or the Metro because your car is in the shop or you have a suspended driver’s license (better a drunk than a carless lecher goes the thinking around here), but it’s quite another to voluntarily subject yourself to frantic, sweaty runs to the bus stop, to baking and waiting for the next bus which is about 20:00 overdue on a 95 degree day, to filtering through legions of misshapen homeless and random psychological characters who frequent the underground rail, than for no other reason than you just feel like it!. People look at you aghast when they learn about your strange habit.
In spite of it all, sometimes I need to drive. Borrringggg. Driving is really the most boring task and it doesn’t leave me with much blog material.
There we sit, insulated and cut off from humanity, surrounded by tons of steel and hard plastic and combustive fumes; and surrounded by glass thus letting us view others from a safe distance. I miss the immediacy of public transportation when driving. The ability, if I was so inclined, to squeeze that girl’s ass (if I was so inclined to spend time behind bars).
Today was a driving day. And sure enough, the beginning of my commute was massively boring. I don’t even have a radio in my car and my only entertainment is the random nonsensical bullshit that runs through my head, streaming along like the car odometer. Another boring drive, traffic heavy, lucky to hit 35 mph on on the 60 freeway entering Los Angeles city limits. Then I strike blog gold! Driving 2 lanes apart, nearly side by side, passing and falling behind with the halting flow of traffic, 2 cars with unmistakably curious bumper stickers.
The first was a strange bumper sticker I have never seen before and which I can’t find on the internet; semi-clever and possibly custom made: imagine if you will, the words “PLEASE BACH OFF” on the left side of the sticker, and on the right, a black and white picture of the master himself:
Affixed there to the shiny new bumper of a Ford Expedition. BACH OFF! Now that’s a threat which I can’t imagine will go very far in Los Angeles. BACH OFF or this classic music-listening, fondue-eating, sherry-sipping gangsta is going to stop his car in the middle of the street and walk over and beat you down, mothafucka! So if you see that Expedition cruising around the Hollywood Bowl, give him lots of space. Lots. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And the other…on one of those nameless worn-looking mini-vans you see hauling around town. This one was called a Silhouette, a navy blue mini van brought to you by the geriatric Oldsmobile company. So it’s no surprise, really, that the vehicle displayed a (surprisingly new-looking) bumper sticker:
Yep, a 2004 Presidential campaign sticker brought to you by the pre-banking crisis Republican Party. When the party still had hope and had yet to unleash Sarah Palin on the hapless American citizenry. And judging by the shininess and crispness of the sticker, the owners just stuck it on their car in the past few months. That is horribly wrong and embarrassing. How many more ways can you advertise loudly and disturbingly that you are clinging to a dead past? Seeing this sticker decorating a car is like seeing a 52-year-old woman waltzing her flailing ass into a dance club wearing her best ill-fitting disco era vintage leftovers. Wrong time, wrong place.