Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Went to NYC yesterday to watch my Blog Daddy read at PS 122.

His "cruel tiny angular eyewear" kept sliding down his nose, and he barely paused to breathe as he raced through the virgin text, but he's a natural performer, and the material was strong. A big chunk of the bit was strung around our Big Apple walking adventures. A good 7 1/2 minutes of my 15 of fame got used up.
He killed 'em. I'm so proud.

I got to meet bloggers Aaron, Chris,Chris H, Andy and Davis, and saw Erik and Sparky again. Good folks all, and a fine looking bunch( 'specially the tall furry one). Today I see that a great out pouring of linky love has ensued. I'll eagerly participate, but it'll have to wait. The spirit is willing, but the technological acumen is weak. Jocko wrote to say he'd show me how to set links up, says it's easy (helluva guy that one), so I'll return the props later this week.

This trip, I didn't take the Chinese Bus.

I've tired of the cramped chaos and unreliability of the once lauded Orient Express. Two weeks ago was the last straw.
The 6 o'clock bus hadn't boarded by 7:15, and I wanted to know when, if ever, the next one would depart.
I fought my way through the shoving, jabbering crowd of tiny Asians gripping huge red white and blue woven satchels, dissafected hipsters slung with messanger bags, cell phones open, and bewildered european budget tourists with wheeled luggage and sensible shoes. I reached the plexiglass Great Wall of the office and expressed my dissatisfaction through the drilled holes above the money slot. I wanted answers.

"Bus come when bus come!" the station manager spat at her ledger without looking at me.
"Ten minute!"

She'd said that an hour ago. The ticket girl at her elbow laughed, and the manager joined her. So THIS time I took the Grey Dog. They're having a $24.00 round trip internet special. Ordering was an ordeal, but forgotten by Tuesday when I boarded a spacious, well maintained canine bound for 42nd street. Eighteen hours of bloggy fun later, I took a Peter Pan back to Philly. Peter Pan coaches are each individually named, like race horses (and greyhounds!). The 10 AM I boarded was christened "The Reliable Colonel". We left exactly on the hour, and the first "Harry Potter" movie flickered on the video screens right after the driver's thank you for riding/safety speech( in heavily Jamaican accented ENGLISH). We hit the Turnpike. This past week I'd seen photo's of a recent motor coach conflagration. A Fung Wa on the Boston run had had a mechanical malfunction resulting in fire. The Bus Central Comittee had radioed back to the frantic driver that he continue (perhaps hoping to outrun the flames?). Incredibly, he obeyed. As the smoge dissipated from the charred aluminum shell, the survivors hitch-hiked into Bean Town. I doubt they got refunds. Our trip was initially incident free. But alas, the Colonel wasn't up to his stated reputation and the transmission expired dramatically as we coasted into a rest stop somewhere in the badlands of Central NJ. At least there were no flames. The crippled bus idled, "The Prisoner of Ashtrakan"(or whatever) continued, and our replacement coach "First Laugh" arrived a half hour later, just as the driver had told us it would. With the Jamaican at the helm, First Laugh sped us back to Philly only 20 minutes behind schedule. We even got to see the end of the movie. The driver thanked us for riding, apologized again as we pulled up under the awning at Filbert Steet Station, and opened the door to release us into the cold Philly drizzel. It was speedy, comfortable and civil, not at all like the dramas of white trash desperation you hear about from people who take the Acela. I can't wait to tell everybody.

I hailed a cab, and it took me past the dingy DragonCoach depot on it's way to my studio. Through the rain streaked window I could see the manager and ticket girl inside the florescent lit cage. The cab was well heated, but the warmth I felt was the satisfaction that I wouldn't have to take the chinese bus again(as long as the Greyhound special lasted anyway) and that my new friends The Colonel, and First Laugh had given me the last laugh after all.
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