Transportation Tuesday: I Like Your Earrings

Scene: The seat behind me. Back of the bus. Morning.


Annoying Girl Laughing at You


Like A Cholo



GANGSTA: [Gets on bus]

IMPULSIVE TALKER: Hey, are those diamonds? [Points at GANGSTA’s earrings, half carat Dollar Tree studs that sparkle like an oil-covered baby seal]


IMPULSIVE TALKER: [A little louder] Hey, are those diamonds?! Hey! Are – those – diamonds???!

GANGSTA: Why you wanna’ know, foo? Huh?

IMPULSIVE TALKER: Geez, I was just asking. You don’t have to be an ass.

GANGSTA: Ey, I don’t needa’ take that sh*t from you. I don’t need to take that kind of sh*t from you, b*tch.

OTHER PASSENGER: She was just asking a question.

GANGSTA: Shut up, man. Why don’t you mind your own business?

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [scoffs] Don’t be rude! I’m telling on you. [Gets up and walks toward the front of the bus]

GANGSTA: You need to grow up, b*tch! [Mutters in Spanish]

ME: [Thinking] Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh. Don’t laugh.

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [To bus driver] The man back there is using bad language. He’s being rude. I mean RUDE.

DRIVER: [sighs, wondering why he has this job, oh yeah, because job position on the Magic School Bus was already taken] I’ll talk to him.

IMPULSIVE TALKER: [Struts back triumphantly] I told on you.

GANGSTA: You need to learn how to grow up. [Mutters in Spanish again]

ME: [Thinking] Fight, fight, fight, fight!


Unfortunately, no physical fighting occurs. Darn. Although I think I could hear the daggers flying through the air from IMPULSIVE TALKER’s eyes for the rest of the bus ride.

Jersey Shore sucks

Still better than "Jersey Shore"

Transportation Tuesday: Preview

I don’t take the bus because I want to be green. I don’t take the bus because I like the smell of cigarette smoke and body odor. And I most certainly don’t take the bus because I like waking up two hours early to get to class on time. (If there’s anything I value more than the sanctity of my olfactory system, it’s sleeping.)

I only take the bus because I don’t have a car and I’m broke.

No, this is not a smear campaign against public transportation. Public transportation is great. It is a cheaper alternative to driving. I’d rather pay $6 a week for bus tickets than $60 a week filling up my gas glutton Hummer. On the bus, I can finish the homework I procrastinated on (not that I procrastinate), read a non-academic book (What’s Your Number is almost as bad as the movie), or people-watch (it’s only creepy if they catch you staring). It’s fun, like the adventure of someone who hardly has a life…


Yes, it hardly smells like a Hallmark candle and the [lack of] elbow room is deplorable, but let me tell you one thing: It’s a heck of a lot better than “Jersey Shore.”

Bobby Moynihan as Snooki

Google search: "Jersey Shore Stupid"

The greatest upside of public transportation is the front row seat to live, unscripted, reality entertainment. It’s true that people from many walks of life ride the bus, not just the people (like me) who can’t afford to drive. However, crazy people with enough spare change in their pocket inevitably ride the bus. And boy what a ride it becomes.

Thus begins the new segment “Transportation Tuesday.” Each Tuesday will bring a written, word-for-word transcript of one of my wacky experiences while using public transportation. Well, perhaps it won’t be exactly how the incident occured, but it will be close enough for the sake of laughs and your reading pleasure.

Here’s an unsavory taste:

WOMAN WITH LARGE NOSTRILS: [Digging for gold in the mines of Mt. Left Nez, while talking on phone] “Yeah, Cheryl? Yeah, I’ve got the charger. I’ll be there in 10 minutes. Meet me there.”

ME: [Directly to her left, trying to dodge the nugget rockets]

WOMAN WITH LARGE NOSTRILS: [Snorts] “Well, tell Gary not to slap the meat next time!” [Guffaw, guffaw, snort] “He’s so stupid…”

ME: [Thinking] Look out the window. Pretend she’s not doing what I know she’s doing. La la la, la la. Happy, sanitary place.

Yeah, riding the bus is a dream.

Do you ride on public transportation to/from school? Or at all? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Small Talk (Warning: Awkward Ahead)

Setting: College cafeteria, lunch hour, daylight pervades the room. Brain dead students scattered around tables.

Players: Two college students, not previously acquainted with each other.

Ready… and… ACTION!

Socially Adjusted Person #1: [Takes the open seat opposite stranger] Hi, I’m Socially Adjust Person #1.

Socially Adjusted Person #2: Hey, I’m Socially Adjusted Person #2. Nice to meet you. [Extends warm, friendly hand]

SAP #1: [Takes hand] Nice to meet you, too. So, what are you majoring in?

SAP #2: Political science. You?

SAP #1: Awesome. I’m majoring in underwater basket weaving.

SAP #2: [OMG face] Whoa, there’s a major for that?

SAP #1: Yep. And it’s totes amazing.

SAP #2: It sounds like something a writer would make up in an effort to be funny.

[We’re straying from the point]

SAP #1: Hey, let’s hang out sometime. I know this really cool italian restaurant served by dangerous convicts.

SAP #2: Sure! That sounds great! See you later, new friend!

End scene.

What just took place? Based on extensive research conducted with large social samples compiled over the course of 18 years, my sources inform me that this is what is called “Casual Small Talk” or CST, as I like to call it. [No, English Prof, this is not a run-on sentence.]

Although I have observed CST for a considerable time, studied its nuances, and recorded its rhythms and patterns, the phenomenon still baffles me. What allows a human being to possess the incredible ability of CST? Is it genetic? Is it random? Is it caused by bites from mutated spiders? The research is ongoing.

As a member of Homo Sapiens Awkardiensis (HSA), I seem to lack the social component that allows me to interact like CST-carriers. The ease in which they engage in conversation with complete strangers is quite extraordinary. How do random topics come to them? How are they capable of voicing these random topics without difficulty? Have they no fear of rejection? Have they no fear of the “awkward pause” phenomenon?

Homo Sapiens Awkardiensis is void of the CST gene or whatever causes the development of CST. When faced with social interaction, particularly with strangers, HSA tend to exhibit one or a combination of these traits:

  • Involuntary freezing
  • Speech impedments (stuttering, sober slurring)
  • Extreme volume levels (mousiness VS obnoxiousness)
  • Hyperventilating
  • Blank mind (can’t think of anything to say)
  • Lack of excitement/general reaction (mistaken for disinterest, actually signifies timidity)

And these are only a handful of attributes of the HSA in action (or inaction).

Has interesting and insightful conversations with friends... in head

Even penguins are socially awkward

In college, the HSA is at its weakest. We are forced into entirely new environments in which we know absolutely no one. With minimal knowledge of our surroundings and of what to expect, we are Doomed. You see? I just capitalized “doom.” You know shiz is serious when it’s unnecessarily capitalized.

However, no guts, no glory.

Immanuel Kant wrote “Enlightenment is man’s leaving his self-caused immaturity.” Similarly, socializing is man’s leaving his self-caused seclusion. To survive, to thrive, humans must adapt. We must be able to at least pretend to be capable of keeping up with the daunting evolution of social interaction. Introduce yourself. Smile. Read HowStuffWorks and Cracked for interesting topics to randomly talk about.

The previous paragraph is an example of hypocrisy at its finest.

What do you think of small talk? Love it? Hate it? Share your socially awkward moments (college or otherwise) in the comments.

Read some more about social awkwardness:

How to NOT be socially awkward


Embrace Your Awkardness

Team Awksome