Sunday, April 26, 2015


From Friday morn till Sunday evening I sweat in the salt mines, associating with the mad and overstimulated cigar-smokers, as well as what may modestly be termed a small group of like-minded bright-eyed individuals, that being the pipe aficionados, of course.
This takes place in Marin County, the epicentre of self-centered stargazers and tie-dye underwear makers.

Marin, as you have probably heard, is filled with dreadfully sincere spiritual types, many of whom avoid gluten in between chanting self-help mantras for peace.

Come the revolution, all of their heads will be running in the streets.

That, of course, is the future. At present time they pee.

If elderly, and wearing incontinence pants.

While riding the bus to SF.

When I got on yesterday evening, I wondered at the passengers who fled, cursing the bus driver and loudly exclaiming about the odour. They had suffered, they resented it, and they had paid overmuch for these privileges.

"Good luck with your bus, man, it staaaaank!"

"Your bus all kinda nasty!"

And other cheerful utterances.

At first I didn't know what they were talking about. After I had sat in my usual seat, a woman came up to the front and asked the driver "did someone pee on this bus?" "No ma'am. Nobody peed."

By the time we had been rolling along for a few minutes, I became aware of a strong warm reek. A pong remarkably like pee, in fact. When we passed the Spencer stop by the freeway, I had already put generous pinches of menthol snuff up both nostrils. It did not disguise the smell, but played with it, accentuating the richness and concentration. In some ways it reminded me of a cat box that needed emptying. One with non-absorbent sand or gravel. Which you get if you keep recycling the sand or gravel, because eventually it cannot take any more, even if completely dry. All porosity is fully taken up with urinary deposits, crystalline or condensed to the tar stage.

At the far end of the bridge, at the toll plaza stop, several tourists paid the four fifty to get back into town. I felt like telling them "no, don't do it! It costs too much, AND it stinks!"
But I was pretending I was asleep and SO not going to get involved.
Tourists always ask if the bus goes to Union Square.
Toward the Fishermans' Wharf area.
North beach or C'town.
Ho. Tell.

The smell filled the bus. Catholic grammar school. Men's room at Grand Central. Porcelain wall at Diego's Border Cantina. The bog at The Castle.
A leather tannery. Post-consumer waste.
La vraie définition d'urinoir.

You know, I nearly caused a crash. Several blocks after the gentleman across the aisle disembarked at Fillmore, I asked the bus driver "is it my imagination, or does the bus smell better since that man got off?"

He just started laughing and beating the steering wheel. Darn near lost control.

Well, it did smell better. And it no longer smelled like pee.

The driver had earlier made me concerned, as at times he seemed to be trembling and sweating, or on the cusp of loosing consciousness. Veering dangerously close to other lanes. Leaning forward at an odd angle.....

The pee master had been sitting right behind him.

Probably made him nearly pass out.

This evening I got on the number seventy, and noticed the same elderly gentleman, two seats behind me. I promptly tagged off, and waited for another bus.

So yes, the title of this post makes NO sense, given what I just told you. But I was planning to talk about my food for the last three days. Keeblers, yoghurt (breakfast). Chicken pita and yoghurt. A vegetable and meat-ball casserole, yoghurt. Little snack biscuits, yoghurt. chicken-veggies-rice, yoghurt. Toast with turkey liver pate, yoghurt. Icecream and yoghurt as a late-night snack. More little snack biscuits for breakfast, and yoghurt. Chocolate chip cookies. Yoghurt. Chicken salad sandwhich, yoghurt. And a BIG cookie. Plus yoghurt.
Everything washed down with buckets of tea.
But I visit the bathroom when needed.
Especially before leaving.
There or here.

When I came home this evening it was to discover that our landlady had baked, and brought us a plate of oatmeal - raisin cookies.
I'm drinking tea right now.

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