Fuck off, I was abducted by Aliens.

by Pumpkin S. Parker on November 19, 2012

Possible reasons why I haven’t written in 6 months:

  • I was mauled by a pack of wild canines in Central Park and have been recovering in a charity hospital run by The Sisters of Mercy in Yonkers.
  • Channing Tatum saw me in a coffee shop in The Village, instantly fell madly in love with me, divorced his greyhound-looking wife, and we’ve been making love in a private villa in Bora Bora three times daily for months.  I was too bow-legged to type.
  • Ok, that was a lie.  It was Ryan Gosling.
  • I accidentally super-glued my nipple tassels on, then got one caught in a piece of machinery while I was manufacturing widgets.  That shit hurt.
  • I was marooned on a desert island (Wiiiiilllllllssssssooooonnnnn!) and had to use my laptop as a raft and a palm frond as an oar to paddle to civilization.  The trip took a few months and the Compaq HP just recently recovered from the damage brought on by that wicked Pacific Ocean.
  • The dog ate my homework.

Actually, my hands got full with Regular Life.  A few major changes- big move, new apartment, new job, dating and then not dating… But, I’m back in The Groove!  Much to the joy of my (three) supporters!  So, I figured I’d start with shit I am grateful for.  So very Thanksgiving-esque…

1)      I have a roof over my head and a full belly.  Every day.  Sometimes too full, but I got a thing for cans of fried onions.  Whole cans.

2)      Black out curtains in my bedroom.  My mother refers to me as “The Mushroom” because I like darkness more than light.  Sweet, sweet night.  24/7.  Damn, I love those curtains.

3)      TV documentaries.  If it weren’t for National Geographic, The History Channel, Nova, and Investigation Discovery, I would be lost.  Lost and much dumber than I am now.   I know some shit, people.   The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.  Take that.

4)      I have a pretty optimistic outlook on life, which I did not inherit, but, rather, built.  Insert jazz hands here.

5)      I’ve got a rescue cat that is such good company.  She listens to me pontificate on whether or not I should be a Libertarian, watches me dance like MC Hammer in the kitchen (sometimes it just IS Too Legit to Quit), and walk around looking completely unacceptable for public viewing… and she never judges.  Well, perhaps she does, but she doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak Siamese, so we’re just co-habitating in blissful ignorance.

6)      I have enough pain and distress in my life to keep me grateful and sweet (and give me funny stories), but not enough to kill my spirit.  Please remind me to tell you the story about the time I completely shat myself in a Best Buy parking lot.  Not so savory at the time, but a hilarious story.  Hilarious.

7)      I live alone.  And I love it.  A lotta of people spend time feeling sorry for me because they think I’m lonely.   Save your pity (and please do stick it straight up your arse sideways).  I love my own company.  And I never have to shave my legs, no one can divorce me, I can pluck chin hair or clip my toenails anywhere and anytime I want, I can decorate without consideration of leather recliners, neon signage, or any sports prints or paraphernalia, and ESPN has never graced the screen of my television.

8)      Cat pheromones and tin foil.  I wish this had a sexier explanation for this one, but it is currently keeping the cat from using my leather ottoman as a loo.

9)      My on-the-spot phone charger.  I perpetually forget to charge my phone and, thus, it is always on 10% battery life.  Perpetually.  This little jobby saves my bacon.  Almost every day.  I loves it.

10)   Words.  I have loved words since God was a Boy. Words are so awesome.  Platitude.  Frisson.  Courtesan.  Snollygoster.  Merkin.  Zaftig.  Scintillate. Hooligan. Doppelganger.  Chicanery.  Juggernaut.  Shenanigans.  Mobius.  Succubus.  Grimalkin.  Zephyr.  P.S.  Eskimos have 100 words for snow.  This is so awesome, I feel faint.  Words give me the vapors.

11)   My friends.  I have such awesome, generous, cheerful, interesting, smart friends.  They are truly amazing.  Even though I hate talking on the phone, and I’m a complete shit-show most days.

12)   My family.  They are crazy enough to make me crazy, but they are loving and loveable.  And, even though I consider the possibility from time to time, I would never trade them in for a different set.

13)   My country.  I love that a those Yosemite Sam-esque Texans can apply for secession without bringing on a government police state, that people can object to other’s politics and still be friends, that we are a nation together and essentially free to pursue happiness as we see fit.  Sometimes I pursue it with Twinkies and Xanax and that is A-ok.

14)   Martin Sheen.  I fucking love that guy.

15)   Humor. Can’t get through life without finding it funny… even if you sometimes have to plumb for it.  For instance, there is a cheese called “Stinking Bishop.”  I don’t even have to plumb for the funny on that one.  And the pope’s hat.  Makes me laugh every time I see it.

16)   Cold weather.  No Floridian will ever know the joy of the first day when it’s warm enough to not wear a jacket after months and months of gray days and bone-chilling wind.  The gratitude and joy that is felt on that first day… or on a gorgeous late Fall day when you get one last sun-filled 55-degree day. .. is palpable.  JOY!!!

17)   Salt.  I need say no more… but I will.  I have a salt lick in my backyard, but it’s for me, not the deer.

18)   Channing Tatum.   Lord, have mercy, that man makes me sweat.  I tried to vote for him for President because I am sure he was our only chance for solving the national debt.  Put that guy, shirtless in leather chaps, on the White House lawn, dancing to “Pony” and women will come from far and wide to throw dollar bills at his ever-so-finely-chiseled abs.  A simple, expedient way for debt resolution.  And basically our only chance with our current government.

19)   Lipstick.  I look like an unbelievable hag without it… uh, sorry, coworkers.  If I were on a desert island, one of my three choice possessions would be lipstick.  The other two would be Advil and cake.

20)   Chuck Norris jokes.  If you type in “find Chuck Norris” on Google, it responds “Google won’t search for Chuck Norris because it knows you don’t find Chuck Norris, he finds you.”  Chuck Norris can catch the gingerbread man.  Guns take shooting lessons from Chuck Norris.  Hearts have Chuck Norris attacks.  Amuses me.  So amuses me.

21)   Random things I’m grateful for:  commas, red shoes, pot roast, the Tv show “Hoarders,” the word “fuckwit,” dog booties, bacon, the phrases “Crazy with a Capital F” and “Bluffin with my Muffin,” referring to  men’s underwear as ”grape smugglers,” any and all doughnuts.

My love to you and have a happy, coma-inducing Thanksgiving!  I will be with my divorced parents and my mother’s husband, teaching Pad and iPhone 5 classes.  These fools have to have the latest gadgets and barely know how to text.  Oy.

Class dismissed.



Per Wikipedia, “Every 17 years, mature cicada nymphs emerge… After such a prolonged developmental phase, the adults are active for about 4 to 6 weeks.”

Like the cicada, I rise up every few seasons to go on a bunch of blind date dates, and then− after the series of social tragedies that are truly beyond imagination− I return underground to recuperate.

I looked that cicada shit up on Wikipedia.  God Bless, Wikipedia and the World Wide Web.  My niece recently asked me what people did before the internet.  I replied that we went to the library on Saturdays and researched things by flipping through volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  She was horrified.  She was equally horrified to learn that there was a time before cellphones.  I explained that I used to carry a pair of boots and her mother’s old softball bat in my car in case it broke down because there was no way to call for help.  And that if you made plans with someone, you had to show up.  On time.  And we wrote letters to each other.  With stamps.  Oh, the Horror.

And now back to our story…

I don’t date often because I don’t date well.  On a variety of levels.

  • I pick poorly.  Unwittingly selecting psychos or choosing emotionally unavailable men (Oh, based on that statement you think I need therapy?  How insightful.)
  • I like people to feel comfortable because it makes me feel comfortable.  It’s unclear to the other party that I’m not having a good time.  They think it’s all fine and dandy even when, inside my head, I’m willing the restaurant to catch on fire so I can escape during the kerfuffle.
  • I detest the confrontation of telling someone I’m not digging their chili.  I feel bad.  So bad, I’d rather not date at all to avoid these incidents.
  • I like things to be organic and natural.  All blind dates feel like pretend bullshit to me. And men seem to try to get close too quickly, and it all just feels false to me.

But, following a period of regeneration, I rise out of my nest ready to date again.  Ever hopeful.  Because I’ve seen far too many romantic comedies.  It’s supposed to end like happily ever after, right?!?  So, I hike up my ball gown, trudge out into the dating world, kiss a few more frogs, get disgusted, and retreat back underground.  The cycle continues over and over until here I am.  Almost 40 and single.  And a social failure at finding a match.  Boo.

I blame Walt Disney.  Every woman is a little bit ruined by those blazing Happily-Ever-After endings.  Before you arrive, every blind date feels like a possibility.  A Spring.  A little voice inside you says, Maybe he’ll be The One.  Every blind date is the potential of a Prince coming to place a glass slipper onto your dainty little paw and whisk you away to the castle.  To a perfect life.

Hope floats.  And it is despicable.

My series of dating misadventures has taught me one thing… a Prince is not promised you.  It is not an absolute.  So, instead of sitting around combing your Rapunzel hair or napping in a glass casket in the woods, waiting for The Big Rescue, you better saddle up, sister, and create your own Happily Ever After.  You might just have to save yourself.

Does that sound jaded?  Maybe it is.  Maybe I am.  But, there’s something very positive in there too.  I don’t need rescuing.  And there’s powerful mojo in that thinking.  I am capable of a Happy Ending without a man (shut up, you filth pots, you know what I mean).  However, there are days where I just want to come home from The Salt Mines, lay my head on my soul mate’s shoulder, and say, “Be sweet to me,” and have it come true.  Fucking Disney.


This next story is yet another arrow in my quiver of Crazy Dates.  If Walt Disney were still alive, I would shoot one directly into his chest.

Circa 1996.  I was living in New Jersey.  My first professional job, my first apartment, and abject poverty.  But, all in all, I was feeling like Marlo Thomas in That Girl.  Real Life was beginning.  I had broken up with my college boyfriend after my friends told me they would not come to my wedding if I married him (I needed that A&E intervention.  Thanks, Girls).  The job was going well, I took two trains to work, and I had an apartment of my own… I felt like an adult for the first time.

One of my college roommates was living nearby- just a train ride away- so I decided to visit her one Friday night after work.  It just so happened that there was a massive snow storm on that day.  Every train that stopped at the station was packed with commuters trying to get home before it became impossible.  I waited on the platform for two hours in the freezing cold.  But, there was a cute Indian boy standing beside me.  Dot Indian, not Feather Indian.  And we started chatting.  His name was Jake.  He was so cute− tall and thin with big, brown eyes and long, luscious eyelashes.  Mmmm mmmm.  And he was charming and witty.  Just before we finally got on a train, he asked for my phone number (my home phone number since this was the pre-historic pre-cellphone era). I gave it to him, and we parted ways.  I spent that train ride to Malvern smiling to myself about the whole exchange and our impending lunch date.

We met for lunch the following week in the city.  It was lovely.  We chatted and laughed.  We had a lot in common, and it felt easy to talk to him.  At the end of lunch, I tried to pay my way, but he insisted on taking care of the bill.  A molecule of suspicion formed over my head, but I brushed it away.  No worries.  I would pick up the next meal.   We made plans for a movie date that upcoming weekend.  I said we could meet in the city.  He said that he would take the train to near my house, so I wouldn’t have to travel.  The molecule of suspicion skidded back into position and rooted itself firmly over my head, but I ignored it.  I was excited.  It was hard to concentrate on work the rest of that day, and I was smiling to myself.

The following day I had lunch with my co-workers.  There was one girl my age at the time- Irish Eileen. Outside of Irish Eileen, the rest of the lunch crew were elderly women… a clutch of clucking old hens.

Quick intermission… E.R., I hope you are reading this.  You made my first real adult experiences so much fun.  Even though you had a local circle of long-time friends, you took me in and were a gem to me.  And no one else has ever taken me to secret doors with secret knocks in Manayunk for drunken 2 AM egg & bacon sandwiches. I thought you were so worldly!  And now back to our story…

The Hens lived vicariously through the adventures of Irish Eileen and me.  So, over sandwiches, I announced that I had a date and that he was planning on coming to my house.  They were immediately a-twitter.  They collectively agreed that I could NOT let him into my house− it was too early, he was still a stranger, meet him in a public place, call him ahead of time to make sure he understands the boundaries, no kissing.  Their nervousness fed that molecule and turned it into a tiny, dark cloud.

This was not the (mostly) safe haven of college anymore.  This was the Real World.  And my parents told me my whole life that all strangers were most likely kidnapping murderers.  DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS was permanently imprinted on my brain by my grandmother.  What if this guy was a khaki pants-clad sociopath?  Ted Bundy had a nice smile too.  Hmmmm.  So, I followed the orders of the Hen House and left a message on his machine that I was not comfortable having him to the house just yet and that I would meet him at the train station.

On Saturday, I got all dolled up and met Jake at the train station a few blocks from my apartment.  He was carrying a medium-sized bag.  Curious.  But I ignored it.

I’m an adult!  And I’m going on a Saturday afternoon date!

We went to the movies.  I tried to pay, but he insisted, so I said I would get dinner.  He held my hand all through the movie.  I wasn’t too keen on that.  I told you I’m a slow burn.  After the movie, we went to get dinner… Chinese food in my neighborhood.  His idea.  We went inside, and the waitress tried to seat us.  He told her no, that we were getting it To Go.  I looked at him quizzically.  He said, I figured we could have a picnic on your living room floor.  I brought champagne and a house-warming gift.  He gestured to the bag.  The once-tiny cirrus cloud of suspicion was now a medium-sized cumulonimbus.  I raised an eyebrow at him.  He looked at my arched eyebrow and laughed casually.  “It will be fun!”   The waitress handed us take-out menus, and we ordered.  I tried to pay for the food, but he insisted on paying again.  (Insert sound of Thunder here).  We walked the few blocks to my house.  But, when we got to the door, I asked him to wait outside for a few minutes.

Me:       Um, I wasn’t prepared for company, so give me just a minute or two to straighten up.

I ran up the stairs, kicked all of my dirty clothes and whatnot into my bedroom and closed the door.  The thunder cloud followed behind me through the quick chores, rumbling.

What if he was a serial killer?

Were my parents right?

Was he going to come upstairs, subdue me, and chop me into tiny pieces after the egg roll appetizers?

As I straightened up, I tried to talk myself off the ledge.  He was so polite!  There is no way he was a murderer!  And this is what adults do.  They have other adults over to their apartments for dinner.  It has to be appropriate− I’ve seen it on TV!  I briefly considered going back downstairs and telling him I wasn’t comfortable, that it was too soon, but I didn’t want him to think I thought he was a murdering fiend.  I didn’t want to be impolite.

And this, my friends, is exactly how pedophiles take advantage of children and bad men take advantage of women.  We’re too fucking polite.

So, I determined that I, indeed, would bring him upstairs, and we would have a Chinese food-picnic in the living room.  But, before I let him up, the rumbling thundercloud pushed me to put one measure of safety in place.  I walked over to my butcher block of knives, took them all out, and hid them all over the house.  Under every magazine, every couch cushion, under the mouse pad on my computer desk was a big-ass knife.   I figured that if he did try to chop me into shark bait, I wasn’t going down without a fight.

Buddy, you might win in the end, but, by God, you are going to bleed beforehand.

So, he came upstairs.  I settled him in the living room, took the Chinese food into the kitchen and started to put it into dishes.  I heard him get up- from the couch.  And then he started switching off lights.

A lightning bolt hit me square between the eyes.  I was about to be murdered.  Holy Fuck.  However, I did not run out of the house… because I didn’t want to seem like some psychotic.  So, I casually walked into the dimly-lit living room, handed him his dish, and sat across the room at the computer desk.  And here’s the conversation that took place to the best of my recollection…

Him:     Why don’t you come sit near me?

Me:       (Like hell).  Oh, no, I’m fine here. 

Him:     I’d like you to sit near me.

Me:       (People in hell want ice water too).  Nope, I’m good.

Him:     You know… we are going to do this.

Me:       Excuse me?

Him:     We are going to do this.

Me:       (What the friggin’ hell is this kid talking about?) Do what?

Him:     Have sex.

Me:       (Did he just say SEX?) Excuse me?

Him:     That’s what adults do on dates.  They have sex.

And now, despite my rising panic and the thunderstorm that was now going on between my ears, my dander was up.  Nobody tells Baby what to do.

Me:       I don’t know who you think you are or who you think I am, but that’s not how this is going to go down, so you better re-tool your thinking. (And I will cut your bitch ass- just try me). 

Him:     Don’t be so naïve and old-fashioned.  And don’t forget that I paid for your lunch last week, I paid for the movie this afternoon, and I paid for this dinner in front of us.  And I brought you a cactus.

He gestured toward the coffee table where a tiny cactus sat.  Worst gift in the history of gifts.  Then, he set his plate down on the coffee table and stood up.

White lighting was all I could see for a few seconds.  My first thought was, I’ll give you a cactus, you jerk.  My second thought was, Well, my parents were right, and I’m an idiot.  A very mannerly idiot, but still an idiot.  My next thought was, Damn. I am going to get blood on this carpet.   And so, I stood up too.  I took $20 out of my jeans pocket and threw it across the room.

Me:       I don’t care what you paid for I’m not having sex with you.  So, here’s $20 to settle the bill.  I’ll mail you the rest.  Then, I leaned back on the computer desk (trying desperately to look casual) and put my hand underneath my mouse pad and on the hilt of a decent size bread knife.  He didn’t move, and neither did I.  We just looked at each other.  He had no idea that I was planning where to plant this bread knife.  And then…

I bolted out of the room like a panther after a gazelle.  I flew down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk in front of my house, grabbing my keys off the hook by the door on my way out.  And then I stood there in the middle of the street.  He’s in my apartment.  I’m outside.  Now what the hell?

He emerged from the apartment, looking angry.  We looked at each other but did not speak.  I walked over to my car, opened my door and got in.  Then, I opened the passenger door, and let him in (what the fuck, you ask?  I have no good answer).  I drove him 6 blocks to the train station in silence (why didn’t I make that mother-scratcher walk the 6 blocks?  Why didn’t I stab him in the head with my keys?  I have no good answer).  We arrived at the train station, he got out of the car, took the door with both hands, and slammed it as hard as he could.  I made it two blocks away from the station then pulled over, dry-heaving and hyperventilating.

After 15 minutes of minor hysteria, I drove the rest of the way home, went inside, locked the door, and tucked a chair under the doorknob.  I grabbed that cactus, took it into the kitchen and shoved it down the disposal.  I felt a great deal of joy at chopping up that innocent little plan, I must say.  Then, I popped the cork on that bottle of champagne.  Mischief managed.

That sociopath left me a message about two weeks later.

Hey, Pumpkin, it’s Jake.  I haven’t heard from you in a little while.  Just wondered if you wanted to have lunch this week…  

I never returned the call.  I learned my lesson.

I still fight with trying to preserve other people’s feeling without compromising my needs… or my safety.   And, ultimately, my rape and murder was averted by my panther-like speed.  Sure as hell, not by my dolphin-like wits.  Idiot.

What I learned from that mess: When the dark cloud of suspicion shows up… pay attention.  And… happily ever after, my hind end.


My Karate Kid, Part 2 or…Mad as a Hatter!

May 13, 2012

As I mentioned, I once dated one of my karate instructors.  It was circa 1996 in southern NJ.  I was church-mouse poor, i.e. I was one step away from pushing a baby carriage full of tin cans down the street.  Frankly, we’re all two or three lost paychecks away from that fate, but I digress.  […]

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My Own Personal Karate Kid~ Part 1

May 10, 2012

I once dated one of my karate instructors.  He seemed nice and normal between punching me in the face and kicking my legs out from under me in every class.  But he turned out to be massively fucked up.  Naturally. Naturally. To give you some framework, it was 1995, and I was living in southern […]

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Bad Woo & the U.S. Constitution

April 30, 2012

Teebone asked for a post tonight.  I’m supposed to be answering 212 unread work emails and reading paperwork.  Tomorrow, I’m going to be hysterical with workload.  But, fuck it.  Teebone, this one is for you. A regular question I get asked is, “Why aren’t you married?”  It’s an impolite question, really.  I’d like to ask […]

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Take that.

April 22, 2012

An Englishman, a Frenchman, and a New Yorker are captured by cannibals.  The cannibal chief says, “We’re going to kill you, eat you, and use your skins to make a canoe.  But you can choose how you will die.” The Englishman pulls out a revolver, yells “God Save the Queen!” and shoots himself in the […]

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Booze, Shoes, and Boys with Tattoos

April 11, 2012

This past weekend was the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender (www.vivalasvegas.net).  Their 15th most-fabulous show, but only my second.   Let’s just say it was 48-hour of pure mayhem.  I loved it. Some girlfriends of mine bravely ditched the soul-sucking black hole of Corporate America to live their dream− selling fancy girl things.  They named the […]

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Chicks Digging Chicks

April 1, 2012

The real title of this post is “Why Women Don’t Run the World, Why Men Should Be Very Afraid, and Why I Separate Whites from Yolks,” but all that was too big for the header.  And I’m a Marketer by Trade, so I went with sex.  Sex sells.   I’m not talking about weight in […]

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Fat-Bottomed Girls. Freddie Mercury knew the score. Well, not really…

March 13, 2012

Next week begins a weight loss competition at work.  So, you know what I’m having for dinner tonight?  I know what you are thinking. Bacon with a side of Nutella.  And 99% of the time, you’d be right.  But tonight, I shall be dining on a White Chocolate Blueberry-Filled Crumbs Cupcake.  Try ever so hard […]

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Damn cat

March 8, 2012

I showed the cat a few of my sweet ass dance moves to Pitbull. I broke it down. I even gave her a little old school Roger Rabbit. She watched me for a while, unamused, then walked away. She totally doesn’t get me.

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Fracking carbs

March 4, 2012

I have a new tagline for Fiber One cereal. “For those who would like to potentially shit themselves in public… Fiber One!” I’m on a personal March Madness program- eating 6 times a day, high protein/low carbs, walking as much as possible, some random push-ups thrown in for good measure. All because I’m shaped like […]

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I’m climbing on my SoapBox. Where’s my stepladder?

February 5, 2012

I’m obsessed with Advertising, particularly taglines.  For those of you without professional marketing experience, a tagline is a few catchy words that tell a customer something about your business or product, particularly your Mission.  The pinnacle of tagline success is when it becomes part of popular culture.  A few of my personal favorites: Where’s the […]

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Sucky Suckerton

January 23, 2012

I took a muscle relaxer last night with the great hope of sleeping a 6 hours prior a week of work away from home.  Slept two whole hours, tossing and turning so much the cat got disgusted and went to sleep on the couch.  I dragged out to the car service at 5 AM- a gross […]

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January 22, 2012

There’s a 65-year old woman sitting next to me on the bus in a penguin hat. No, not the sports team. The animal. It has a big yellow beak that protects her forehead from the 50 degree weather here in NYC today. It’s clear. I’m surrounded.

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January 15, 2012

Angelina Jolie looks like a pipe cleaner with eyes. Seriously, eat a cheeseburger or 10.

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January 15, 2012
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Goddamn Typos!

January 10, 2012

Why can’t my eyes see them BEFORE the post goes up instead of after?!?  It’s because I’m close to 40, isn’t it?  Do NOT answer that.

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Sometimes it’s Just a Rolling Dutch Oven

January 10, 2012

I mentioned before that I ride the bus because there are less crazies on them than on the subway.  Crazies (generally) feel exposed in the sunlight.  Additionally, in the winter, homeless people scrape together enough money to ride back and forth all day on the subway.  It’s warm, and they can sleep (or pee in […]

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