The lady who folded herself

Riding the buses regularly, you start seeing the same faces on the same routes.

There's big black Bea, always in drag, usually smiling, sometimes perfectly put together, sometimes not so much. 

And there's the skinny old white guy who keeps a journal. I see him everywhere — on the bus, at the coffee shop, and in the library, where he's always on the computer. Probably he doesn't have internet access at home, if he has a home. 

Sept. 19, 2022

There's also a 50-something black lady who rides the #120, and sometimes she's eating breakfast at the counter, at Mrs Rigby's Diner. She reads books, and I used to read books, so we have something in common. When we're feeling extra talky we sometimes say good morning, but never anything else.

There's the burly white guy who gets on at Safeway, off at Delridge. He has a muscular body, muscular face, so we have nothing in common. No muscles here.

There's an old dude who shops at Saar's. One time he had an open can of beer in one hand, sack of groceries in the other, as we were waiting for the #120, and he started telling a story about his time working on a fishing trawler in Alaska. The bus came, we got on, and he sat in a sideways seat up front, but I hate the sideways seats so I sat toward the back. "I didn't get to finish my story," he hollered at me, and I said, "Next time, buddy." There've been two next times, but I still don't know what happened with him and the woman on the trawler.

And there's one familiar face whose face I sometimes don't see at all. She gets on at the same stop every time, with her walker, one of the fancy ones with a built-in seat. When she gets inside the bus, she sits on her walker instead of in a seat, and then she bends over — way, way over, so her head is almost on the floor of the bus.

That's how she rides, and I don't judge. Must be more comfortable for her than sitting. I only wonder how she knows, from down there on the floor, when to ding the bell and get off the bus? Guess if you've been riding the same bus for long enough, you can tell by the sound as we ride by. She always reaches up without looking up, dings the bell, then walks and rolls off at California @ Genesee.

I've been eying that lady's walker. For an old fat man, I'm still in good health, and have no particular difficulty getting around, but the convenience of a walker appeals to me.

Maybe I'm accidentally on a long walk, or sometimes there's a glitch in the transit universe and you're standing at a bus stop for twenty minutes. And there aren't any seats at Dick's, so I always eat my burgers standing up. It would be nice to have a seat with me, like that lady at the floor of the bus. 

And under the walker's seat, there's a big basket for carrying stuff, so I could retire my go-anywhere bag, and move all the stuff I sometimes need into the walker's basket.

Some stores want me to leave my go-anywhere bag at the counter, but they couldn't very well demand an old man abandon his walker, eh? With a bungee cord, I could go shopping and put groceries on the seat, so I wouldn't need my kinda-clumsy granny cart any more.

Looks like a walker with a seat costs $60 or so. That's less than I'd expected, so I'm thinking about it. Maybe I'll be a fat guy with a walker.

The tragedy is, my wife had a fine walker with a seat, and I gave it to damned Goodwill before moving to Seattle.

And now, the news you need, whether you know it or not…    

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As climate change speaks loudly through heat waves, flooding and wildfires, here are 5 things you can do to try to turn the tide 

I glanced at this article, and as expected, it is horseshit. It's a list of feel-good measures — buy local, plant a tree — but that won't "turn the tide," not without huge-scale action by a government that gives a damn.

No such government exists, so the world will be a disastrous hellhole in a very few years. We're not doing a fraction of a fraction of 1% of what's needed to stop that, so yeah, plant a tree. Feel good about yourself, and watch the looming end of it all.

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How to deal with aggressive over-talkers 

Politeness does not work here, nor does trying to "take the high road." You will wait forever for them to notice that they are doing this. You will die or fall asleep or the universe will end in a white-hot explosion before they will stop and think "hm I have been talking a lot I wonder if I’m talking over this person."

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These candidates are one election away from becoming their states’ top election officials, and they’ve all denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. 

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Biden says "pandemic is over"   

Long COVID experts and advocates say the government is ignoring "the greatest mass-disabling event in human history" 

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The Queen is dead. The monarchy should be next. 

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Attorneys for "duped" migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard call for criminal investigation 

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Tearing down the academic research paywall could come with a price 

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How 1968 east L.A. student walkouts ignited the Chicano movement 

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The case for the one-Porsche building 

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Rare mystery diamonds came from outer space, scientists report 

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M*A*S*H: They didn't want it to be McHale's Navy 

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Public urinals in Paris 

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9-year-old finds 3-foot-long earthworm 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...




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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


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The End

Marsha Hunt
Irene Papas 

Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

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