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November 17, 2008

Welcome to Los Angeles, where smoke is the new yoga...

This morning I woke up and prayed for rain. A huge gushing downpour that would drench the fires and wash the ash away and clean the air because the sky is now so heavy and thick you can slice it and serve it with barbecue sauce and potato salad.

Anyway, it didn't rain. I still can't control the weather and it's very frustrating! On the other hand, I'm finally feeling human again after all the croaking, sniffling dramatic wheezing flair of the past week. The one downside to being that kind of sick is that you lose your sense of smell, which is also conversely the only upside of being that kind of sick -- you lose the sense of smell! When you take mass transportation in a big city, it's best not to have any olfactory sensation. Between the folks who have only a passing acquaintance with soap and those who bathe and steep in vats of horrible perfume, the sense of smell is by far the most offended while riding a bus or train.

I don't wear perfume because I think it's anti-social to show up on a small, crowded, enclosed bus or train and sit next to someone while your chemical scent is oozing into their airspace. A nice bath with soap and water ought to do the trick, leaving nothing but fresh, clean sensory-neutral inoffensiveness. Maybe I should make a pamphlet explaining to people the real perils of mass transit. I could include a Passengers' Bill of Right Actions such as:

1) Arrive at chosen form of mass transit smelling freshly washed. Soap and water essential.

2) Do not bring smelly food on transit or use hairspray while trapped inside bus or train with other humans (seriously -- people using aerosol hairspray. On the bus. IT HAS HAPPENED.)

3) Do not floss on mass transit.

4) Ditto shaving, tweezing or nose-picking.

5) Do not stare at women like they were juicy steaks and you are a starving dog.

6) Do not try to sit on a woman's lap or otherwise indulge in handsy pansy on mass transit. I will cut you.

7) Do not play annoying games on your cellphone with the music turned all the way up! If I have to listen to your muzak version of Super Mario music one more minute I will cut you.

8) Do not start yelling at the bus driver and calling him or her nasty names as said bus driver is responsible for our lives for the next 1 hour 45 minutes and if we crash I will cut you.

9) When feeling the urge to strangle other passengers, close eyes and think happy kitten-covered thoughts (this one may just be for me.)

10) If other people are obviously trying to reach a zen, calm acceptance of mass transit scenario by wearing their headphones and quietly amusing themselves with music and/or whatever, refrain from constantly trying to start up conversations whereby the laboriously remove headphones and try to act interested but really want to strangle you with the cord on their earbuds.

Wow! I feel so much better just typing this all out! Behold the cleansing power of a list!!! I didn't include anything about those people who bring rolly bags on the bus or train and can't seem to maneuver them thereby holding up all passengers but we can't expect radical change all at one time. I'd be happy with a Mass Transit Bathing Act (Addendum Article 21: Usage of soap, not excess perfume) and we'll go from there.

Anyway, none of it matters today since we all smell like kebabs straight off the grill (Love you Los Angeles, stop being on fire now!) but this too shall pass.

Posted by laurie at November 17, 2008 9:24 AM