One-word newscast

Cranky Old Fart #204

Go gently on the brakes driving the bus, please. A few drivers don't know this, or don't care, and one of the don't-know-don't-care drivers drove me to the diner on Tuesday. He wasn't driving too fast or too slow, just braking too late and too hard.

See, passengers on the bus don't have seat belts, nor even bucket seats to sorta hold us in place. We're all sitting on a thin layer of slick synthetic padding over a hard plastic seat, or standing up, hanging onto a metal rod or a dangling strap. Driver hits the brakes, passengers' bodies are nudged forward. Driver hits the brakes too late and too hard, all sixty passengers have to hang on to the bars or they'll end up on the floor.

This driver was braking too late and too hard at every stop light and every bus stop. The guy behind me had two sacks of groceries, and they toppled, cream of mushroom soup rolled up the aisle. A stoner had his arm wrapped around a stanchion like a snake. 

Am I gonna say something to the driver? Hell, no. He's probably been driving buses for twenty years. Even if it's just twenty days, people have told him before, go easy on the brakes, and if he gave a damn he'd go easy on the brakes. Some drivers don't give a damn, same as anyone else in any job.

Other people were hollering at him. One or three of the passengers might file a complaint, which won't accomplish bupkis. I won't be the one, or one of the three. Ride the bus, you get the drivers you get.

Mrs Rigby's Diner has been feeding me a few times weekly for six months now. It's my special happy place — the food is always good, it's not expensive, and sometimes I have rhubarb pie for dessert.

There's a bum who's almost always in the parking lot, on the sidewalk, or across the street. If you don't see him, wait five minutes and you will. Black guy, graying, ratty clothes, wiry and wired. Most days he walks slow, some days he walks fast, probably depending on the drugs, but he never stops walking for longer than it takes to light a cigarette, unless he's asleep. I've seen him sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the laundromat twice, and once behind the building. 

Always I've kept my distance from that guy, not because he's sketchy or dangerous, but because I figured he might glom onto me, and expect a conversation or a handout every time I'm there.

But fuck it. He's only asked me for spare change a few times, always I've said no, and he's never yet been a problem. Seems like a nice guy, as bums go, so as I was walking from the bus stop to the restaurant and he was walking the other way across the parking lot, I said "Good morning" to him. 

"Good morning," he said and kept walking, and I don't think it's the start of a beautiful friendship or anything. When I saw him again after breakfast, he was across the street at the bodega's parking lot. Too far out of my way. But next time I see him, I'm gonna say hello again, and probably give him a handout, like I'd give to any bum who asked.

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

In a "please don't print this" email, someone asked what's the intent behind these one-word headlines. Stupid me, I thought it was self-explanatory, but I'll say it more plainly:

Climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and nobody's doing squat about it. • climateclimate 

All cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing. • copscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscopscops 

Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy. • RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans

Watching a very bad movie from the 1990s, there was a brief scene where UPS came to a man's apartment with a package, and the recipient signed for it on an electronic device.

I remember those devices. Do you? I also remember signing for packages on paper, before those devices existed. What I can't remember is the last time UPS or any carrier asked me to sign for a delivery. It's been five years, at least, maybe longer. Now they just leave the box on the porch.

How the internet keeps track of time 

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The raven in the highway 

But now, as I was driving into town, seeing a black thing in the middle of the road, with cars whizzing by, my heart sank. Somehow I knew who this was.

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Pigeonpedia is your info source for all things pigeon, except Walter.

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Goodshirts is actually a collection of kinda bad shirts. 

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It's a little too high-tech for one of my laptops, but it worked on the other, and it's gorgeous. Let's go for a night drive, shall we? 

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Hans Niemann probably cheated in more than 100 chess games, investigation finds 

The 72-page report, conducted by Chess.com and initially reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, found that Niemann “likely received illegal assistance in more than 100 online games” as recently as 2020, including in events where prize money was at stake. 

Here's the full report from Chess.com.

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Starbucks is using the police as strikebreakers 

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Amazon suspends dozens of workers who staged walkout after fire at warehouse 

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The strip club was closed, so three Indiana judges went to White Castle instead and got into a fight. Here's the footage. 

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Rename New York City park for sewer alligators, historian says 

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The End

Loretta Lynn
David Foreman
Newton Harrison 


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...

Cranky Old Fart
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