Cowguy, and other bus adventures

A woman diagonally behind me on the bus was attending a kid's birthday party, via Zoom I guess, on speakerphone, while the bus rolled toward downtown.

"Feliz cumpleaños, feliz cumpleaños..." with a whole lotta goo-goo da-da, all in Spanish. It's arguably cute, but on a damned city bus it's really not. Transit ought to be moderately quiet, like a library or a restaurant. At least take the birthday party off speaker phone.

Four men got onto the bus together. They were friends, chattering, and four out of four were wearing pro sports jackets — team colors, a player's name on the back, etc. It's noon on a Monday morning, so they're not going to a game; they're simply wearing their winter jackets that shout Seahawks, Raiders, Mariners, and Nike.

These are grown-ass men, not kids, not even teenage or twentyish twirps. They're in their 40s. Old enough to know better.

It's paid advertising, but the men wearing the jackets are the ones who pay. It's never made sense to me, never will, couldn't possibly, but they're always out there.

I have sometimes paid for tickets and watched games, but I've never bought or even been gifted clothes branded with a team's name, or more bizarrely, a player's name. Like, that fat graying white guy wants me to think he's Ken Griffey Jr?

That's saner, I suppose, than wearing a full-body cow costume. It's nowhere near April Fool's Day or Halloween, but an old man stepped onto the bus wearing an inflated cow get-up — Holstein patterned, white with black splotches, and the legs were puffed up, inflated.



& links

March 2, 2023
The balloon legs made it a challenge for the man to squeeze his way down the bus's aisle. He took a sideways seat, probably because the inflated cow-legs wouldn't fit in the space between front-facing seats.

Seattle is a big city, and the big city rule is that you're not supposed to stare, but I was right behind him. His entire bovine self was two feet in front of my face, and stare I did. 60-ish years old, stubbly face inside an inflated cow head hoodie. In his lips was a cigarette, unlit because there's no smoking on the bus. In his hand, a thick stack of lottery tickets. 

Where's this guy going, dressed like a cow? I wondered. Dude must have a story, but I wasn't asking. He noticed I'd been looking at him, and half-growled, "How ya doing" at me.

"Hey, I'm doing great. And you, Mr Moo?"

"Don't ask," he answered, so we weren't getting his story today, but maybe he's a regular. Maybe I'll see the walking cow again some other day, and ask where men dressed as cows commute to.

Cowguy took a coin from his pocket and started scratching those lottery tickets. Lots of lottery tickets. He didn't win.

A mile or so later, he rang the bell, and stepped off the bus. We were idling at a traffic light, and as we pulled forward a minute later, cowguy was walking in the crosswalk beside us, smoking his now-lit cigarette and carrying his book of lottery tickets, casually making his way across the street, toward wherever men dressed as cows might gather on a weekday morning.

Well, here's a moment you don't see daily. I was downtown, waiting for my bus home, at a bus stop in a mostly skeezy area. Downtown, in other words.

There was a bum-help facility across the street, and another, larger bum-help facility a block away, so there were lots of bums in all the various forms of bummery, walking around slowly and talking to themselves, leaning on buildings, asleep just off the sidewalk, etc.

A bald black bum was half a block away, sitting on the sidewalk against an abandoned building. It's part of the scenery so much that I hadn't even noticed him. What I noticed was a mid-twenties white man, dressed casual but not sloppy, who stopped to talk to the bum.

They were too far away for me to hear any words, but they talked for a bit, and then the younger white guy reached out for him. The bum took his hand, and the white guy gently pulled him up.

The white guy stuck out his bent arm, and the black guy held on to it for stability. He was having difficulty walking, though whether drunk or disabled I couldn't guess. The helpful white guy slowly escorted him toward the bus stop where I was waiting, close enough I could hear them.

The black guy said he had family in Kent, and the helpful man explained which bus goes there, and almost on cue the bus for Kent came down the hill and stopped.

The two men hugged, and the black man got onto the bus. I could hear him tell the driver he had no fare, but the driver didn't care and motioned him to take a seat.

The helpful white guy waved goodbye to the bum through the window, as the bus rolled away. Then the white guy walked past me down the street, and I was curious enough to break my vow of silence. "Friend of yours?" I asked him.

"Nah, never met him before."

"You're mighty kind to a stranger," I said.

"Everyone needs help sooner or later," he said to me and walked off. And he's right so I jotted it into my notebook.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Norfolk Southern donated $100,000 to Cop City 

South Asia sweats as climate change fuels food risks, threatening disaster for second year in a row 

An incendiary form of lightning may surge under climate change 

Animals and people are clashing more frequently thanks to climate change, new study says 

Boston's police oversight office has yet to uphold a single civilian complaint 

Cop gets six months for strangling woman 

Cop accused of sexual assault quietly retires, faces no charges 

L.A. County agrees to $28.85-million settlement with Bryant family over crash photos 

City agrees to pay $21.5K each to protesters trapped by NYPD during 2020 protest 

Cop charged with assaulting woman during traffic stop 

Video appears to show Texas anti-drag bill author dressed in drag 

Both of South Dakota's anti-drag bills have now been defeated 

How an anti-abortion law firm teamed up with a disgraced Kansas attorney to dispute the 2020 election 

Florida Republican leader calls for ban on opposition political parties 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going






My browser history
without the porn

Democrats should call the Republicans' East Palestine bluff 

Sheltered people raised by super religions/cults: what was something about the real world that shocked you when you learned about it? 

Will the Supreme Court force girls to wear skirts? 

50 years later, we're still living in the Xerox Alto's world 

♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Also Sprach Zarathustra — Deodato 

Common People — Pulp 

Foggy Mountain Breakdown — Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs 

The Immigrant Song — Led Zeppelin 

Sing about Love — Chumbawamba 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Istvan Banyai 

Friedrich Cerha 

Jean Faut 

Margaret Heagarty 

John Harries 

Donald Spoto 

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 ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.
Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.

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