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A Tale Of Pride Lost/An Anecdote Won...

by Chris Sorrenti

A Tale Of Pride Lost / An Anecdote Won
Or How To Get A Day Off Work Without Asking For It

Something told me I shouldn't run the grindstone that day, however ignoring the advice of my ‘call in sick" muse,’ I packed up the brief case and headed off to work. I might add wearing a fine pair of black dress slacks made of pure virgin wool.

Getting a seat on my particular express bus is like grabbing The Scrambler at the Ex'...while it's going full tilt. You take what you can, unless you want to stand for half an hour with all the bumps and sways of the aforementioned ride. Being half asleep as I usually am in the morning, and paying no attention to a what seemed like a repair patch on the first vacant seat I came to, I quickly invested my derriere for the usual uneventful ride downtown.

The man who occupied the window portion of the seat looked over at me with an expression that might have suggested I still sported a full head of shampoo. He said nothing, then turned his glance back to the bikini on page two of The Sun.

Twenty minutes later, I reached my transfer point on the Mackenzie King Bridge. Once I had boarded that second bus, there'd be no turning back; which meant a full day of endless phone calls for information from others who live off the same money tree, but have longer arms and bigger hands. Standing up to get off the bus, I suddenly heard and felt a strange pealing sensation at the southern most tip of my being. Turning around to look at the seat, much to my horror I suddenly realized that the spot I was sitting on had transferred itself into a two inch patty across the right cheek of my rear end, as my fingers quickly confirmed the worst.

The man who had sat so quietly beside me, now looked up to see what I'm sure was every expression known to mankind shoot across my face, including "Why didn't you warn me." His own expression was "You didn't give me time!"

My mind was racing as I analyzed the situation. Here I was with a sticky beige intruder stuck to the rear of my black dress pants. Should I sit back down and just ride the bus all day? Should I go to work, and once there, attempt to remove the offending hitchhiker? And if it doesn't come off, then I risk an even longer trip back home. No maybe I should just jump off the bridge?! In those seconds of panic, while it seemed the whole world was gaping at my bicoloured ass, I came up with ‘the plan.’

The definition of calm, I moved towards the door of the bus, fitting myself as tightly as possible between other disembarking passengers, rearranging some of them as necessary to hide the source of my predicament. The next step was to cross the street to catch a bus back home, attracting as little attention as possible. I don't know what came over me in the following seconds, but once clear of the bus, I didn't even wait for the light to change. Bolting across the street like a spooked white tailed dear, four lanes of traffic slammed to a halt, indignant drivers beeping their horns until they saw the monster wad stretched across my behind, their anger quickly turning to delirious laughter.

Step one completed, I contemplated waving down a police cruiser. Again my imagination got the better of me, wondering how a cop would react. Would he just laugh and speed away, or maybe throw me in jail for causing a disturbance with my bum. "Oh come on, you're getting carried away," I told myself. "This is Ottawa. Surely the police would take pity on a down and out civil servant." Much to my relief, two minutes later a bus pulled up, saving me from a growing crowd of onlookers gawking and discussing in no limited detail the appendage eating a hole in my pants...and my brain. Scurrying up the steps, the bus driver could see I was traumatized, but said nothing as I poured into the first available seat, making sure there were no new ‘friends’ to contend with.

Forty minutes later, I was back in the safety of my home, so upset that I immediately telephoned work, informing the boss of what happened and how I wasn't prepared to risk another confrontation with Double Bubble or Mr. Wrigley. Later that day, the dry cleaner reassured me with a smirk there'd be no problem in removing the offending addition to my wardrobe. Whether I wanted to or not, I had ended up with the day off work.

So to you the reader, I give this piece of advice. The next time a strong inner voice is telling you to stay home from work, believe me, you'd better listen to it.

© 1993

1,980 hits as of June 2024


Posted on 05/07/2006
Copyright © 2024 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Maureen Glaude on 05/07/06 at 04:11 PM

Hilarious and so human! I've heard vaseline takes gum off. When Val was little and had a lovely new long winter coat on, a bus trip stained it black somehow, and I never got it out. Groan, we should have travel insurance on our clothes. So would you say you bummed a day off?

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 05/07/06 at 11:45 PM

Very funny story, well written - and to turn it into a day off - you are a clever fellow!

Posted by Ashok Sharda on 05/08/06 at 04:55 PM

Well, the beautiful aspect of the whole anecdote is your approach to this experience. One need to detach one's selve's from one self and you did it laughing out the self who could have felt so irritated.Well, in the end you were the net gainer. You did spent a liesurely day. ahah

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 05/09/06 at 06:53 PM

Hi Chris. This is a great piece to have hung onto. Glad you posted it. It's a kick!

Posted by Rula Shin on 05/10/06 at 04:49 PM

What an amusing little slice of life anecdote. Indeed one tends to relate so well, drawing upon our own past experiences with life's ironic presentation of coincidences, reconciling upside down and sideways when we predicted straight forward and right side up hahaha Indeed your approach is what is beautiful. If one can't laugh at ones self then all is lost. A very enjoyable read :-)

Posted by Katerina T Nix on 05/11/06 at 05:28 AM

Awesome little story, Chris. Believe me I know your pain..... :) Kat hehehe

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 05/11/06 at 02:28 PM

Oh! what I also most love is your approach, and the inner thinking expressed that goes on with all of us in (these sit-uations?) the delivering of a great tip. Next time I call in 'sick', I will remember this story, and - with jolly detachment - I will unfasten myself from myself. hahaha! Wonderful to read!

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