I’m starting off what may be a regular type of entry: Uncanny Bus Tales. All of these happened in the past couple weeks.

1) I’m standing by the bus stop, when this homeless-looking lady wanders up to a young palm tree (knee-high), kneels beside, puts down her backpack, and takes out a handsaw. She then proceeds to methodically saw off every one of the palm tree’s leaves, stacking them neatly on the ground next to it. She then wanders off into a neighboring parking lot.

2) I’m getting off the subway, rushing up the stairs to get to my next bus, and I pass a Chris Farley lookalike, pissed off, in full clown getup, heading for the subway. Other people stopped and looked at him. I just kept going.

3) Waiting for one of my connecting rides, a bus drives by, but instead of saying where it’s going and the number of the bus, it alternates between “Call 911” and “Emergency.” Even the backplate alternated between “911” and “Call.” I looked after it, trying to figure out if it was being hijacked. It was full of pretty complacent passengers, many of whom were reading books — nobody was even standing. Nobody else on the street seemed to notice it.

4) I sit down on a bus that goes through the Hollywood/Highland area, and on to Van Nuys, when this gregarious 30ish black guy sits down next to me. He instantly starts talking as if he knows me, even offering up his hand and saying, “I’ve forgotten your name…” Hard to tell if he’s homeless, as he’s not terribly smelly, and his clothes are only slightly unkempt. Highlights of our nonstop half-hour conversation include:

  • Him asking me if I could get him a job where I work
  • Him asking me if I could get him an internship where I work
  • Him asking me if there are any black people where I work
  • An extensive (and incredibly well-informed) discussion of the movie industry, punctuated by the man seemingly knowing the box office receipts (domestic and foreign) of every movie released in the past 20 years, and claims that he has met many of the bigger Hollywood stars (Tom Cruise, Steve Soderbergh)
  • A three-minute digression on the “pleasures of the Orient,” in which he demonstrates a proclivity for Vietnamese whorehousesThose are the weirdest so far… will keep posting as they come…