So, this is Come On, Let’s Go’s first anniversary week. Unlike what I stated on Thursday, the actual anniversary is this Thursday, putting an inordinate amount of pressure on me to compose something both heartwarming, edifying and mindblowingly awesome for you beautiful people out there in Internet-land.
So, obviously, today you will be treated to the tall, tall tale of this morning’s commute to school. My campus is situated on an adjacent block to Midwood High School. As my first class starts at 9:30 -- roughly the same time as Midwood -- I get to share my bus ride with teenagers, who slowly turn the B6 into a hot north Brooklyn bar at midnight on a Friday …unfortunately lacking both the watered-down liquor and overdriven music to dull the grate of two dozen horrible conversations. However, today hit a level far past “inane.” Today, for at least twenty minutes, I was entirely convinced that I was being gaslit by a pair of teenage girls who plunked down on the pair of seats directly behind me.
I had my headphones in, but I wasn’t listening to music. By the time Morning Vagueness started to give way to Morning Annoyance, the bus had already began to resemble a sardine can and none of me was in a position to easily retrieve my iPod without repeatedly thwacking, elbowing and groping my fellow travelers. Of course, I regretted not going through that effort when I was unwillingly thrust into the avant garde comedy stylings of the two girls behind me. I didn’t notice their features, but by their intonation I could tell that they were both ethnically Chinese, raised in Brooklyn, and about 14 years old. So, if you wanted to construct a more concrete mental image of their hellish vaudeville act, there you go.
I first noticed them when one kept repeating the same word. I didn’t catch the context; however I’m pretty sure the word was ‘moo’ so any sort of context would probably have raised more questions. Left – I will refer to them as Left and Right, lacking any other way to the distinguish the two – shut Right up and began to tell jokes. The first one was bad, told worse, but relatively innocuous:
“Okay, so there's this guy right. And there's three girls and one has blond highlights and one has red highlights and one has green highlights. And he comes up to the girl with the blond highlights and says 'how did you get your highlights?' and she says 'they're natural.' So he comes up to the girl with the red highlights and says 'how did you get your highlights?' and she says 'they're natural.' So then he comes up to the girl with the green highlights and asks 'how did you get your highlights?' and she says 'they're natural.”
(Pause) “Oh. I get it! She was lying.”
There's an episode of Seinfeld where Elaine tries to figure out the joke in a New Yorker cartoon, eventually making it up to the magazine's cartoon editor. Rather than giving her an explanation, he states that “you don't dissect gossamer.” Sitting there, reeling from that punchline, I considered the idea and how, rather than the rending of fabric, that one sentence contained within itself an entire Eli Roth movie. I didn't have time to think about this any more because Left had dropped the big one. The I-Am-Become-Death of shitty jokes told inside an uncomfortably cramped bus on a rainy Monday morning.
“Orange. Knock knock.”
“Orange. Knock knock.”
“You already said that.”
“Fine. Who's there?”
“Orange you glad I didn't say 'orange'?”
I woke up about twenty minutes later when the B6 did its famous morning clown-car act and extruded us all out into the rain.