experimental biology experiment
TOO MUCH, MAGIC BUS
A very drunk man is yelling on the bus. “I DO NOT LIKE WHITE PEOPLE! White people on this bus, I will BEAT YOUR ASS! Who on this bus is white and wants their ASS BEAT?”
Silence. No white person seems to want his or her ass beat.
He goes on like this for some time. He is behind me and I really don’t want to turn around. Do Not Engage The Crazy. Besides, there’s a drunk guy yelling on the bus, what else is new. I am used to such things. I do look, though, when someone else yells, “Shut up, motherfucker! You’re white!” Yeah. This seems to be true, at least from my quick I-don’t-want-to-get-involved glance. He still doesn’t like white people, okay? That’s his prerogative as a white person.
A few days earlier on the same bus, I watched a young girl hijaab-ify herself up in transit. She boarded wearing a tank top and knee-length cuffed shorts, big earrings, and awesomely curly wild hair. As we went along she unrolled her shorts into pants, pulled on a long-sleeved t-shirt, and tied on her headscarf. Secret Agent Modest Dresser!
POLITICS AS USUAL
Recently I volunteered at a fundraiser for Personal PAC. For a while I was assigned to help at a silent auction, which was a little mystifying because who needs help at a silent auction? If you can read and sign your name, you’ve got silent auction behavior down. But I gamely hung around anyway, and I also got to do an exciting live thing where people were asked to raise their hands and donate cash, and I ran over to them with a clipboard and took their checks or credit card information. It was kind of cool to have someone put a thousand bucks on their credit card right in front of me. I probably should have pocketed some of those numbers and security codes for myself. (Kidding!)
The fundraiser was at House of Blues, which I had never been in before. The acts they book are usually not my kind of thing, and I know they put on some kind of “gospel brunch” for tourists but that sounds like the worst thing ever to me. A bunch of pork-based menu items with yelly music about Jesus, no thank you. Anyway, House of Blues is actually quite nice inside, despite being covered every inch over with semi-questionable folk art,* and I had a good time. I ended up talking to a candidate for state’s attorney in a different county, and I am sad that I cannot vote for him because he smelled AWESOME. He would have had my “good-smelling man” vote in a heartbeat. Pro-choice, pro-justice, deliciously fragrant dude.
*I should not be so cynical, but where is that line? If I, with all my advantages, drew a soulful but fucked-up picture, it would not be “outsider art,” despite my lack of art training. I would have to move to an Alabama shack and have a conspicuous disability, I think. It’s hard to tell what is “bringing undiscovered folk-art talent to a wider audience” and what is “being a condescending art-world prick to people less fortunate than yourself.”
AND LO THE TERRIBLE MUSIC BEGINS
Nora likes some of the harder-rock things on my iPod, plus perennial ‘90s favorites like Pavement and They Might Be Giants, but due to the influence of other third-graders she is also starting to enjoy what she calls “pop music.” She will sometimes request the radio in the car by asking if we can listen to “pop music.” Hello, are you my daughter or Ed Sullivan? Anyway, I am becoming acquainted with the dismal autotuned wasteland of today’s hits. I will cop to sort of enjoying that Kelly Clarkson song about the things that aren’t killing you making you stronger, plus there is some boy-band song popular right now that is like the MSG of “pop music.” It has been specially engineered in a factory to stick in your head. There is a different song with a chorus that goes, “You make me feel na na na na na.” What? That might actually give Yummy Yummy Yummy (I’ve Got Love In My Tummy) some competition in the inanity department. There is another dance song with the line, “Why can’t we just live life with no consequences” to which I could not help replying out loud, “Because that would be irresponsible.” Unfortunately Nora heard me and asked follow-up questions and I had to fumblingly express a version of this essay in 9-year-old terms. Made even more confusing by a modern kid’s take on the word “consequences,” which is defined by parents these days as “what will happen if you don’t do what I say.” Oh well, getting philosophical certainly made a trip to the eye doctor in bad traffic more interesting, so an indirect thank-you to Adam Lambert for his very terrible song with the very stupid lyrics.
MY CALENDAR OVERFLOWS
How did June get so crazy so fast? Nora and I are running another 5K on the same day as my cousin’s wedding, so SHOWERING and DEODORANT and REHYDRATION BEFORE DEHYDRATION will be the words of the day and night. Also upcoming is the wedding anniversary of me and LT. We’ve been married for 17 years okay? We don’t write our stuff anymore we just kick it from our heads you know what I’m sayin? We can do that. No disrespect but that’s how we are.
—mimi smartypants makes you feel na na na na na.