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22 February 2008 @ 09:57
Mixing with the hoi polloi  
I really should keep this up, especially now that I'm on Mars in America. So much crazy you guys, you have no idea. I am going to write a book called Experiences On American Public Transport, because I have seen more bizarre things in my three weeks here than I saw for three years in London:

There was the snippet of phone conversation I heard on Monday: A woman on the phone declaring, 'I'm done wich you and yo' crack!' (Phonetic spelling, obviously.) And I am proud of her, for being done with them and their crack. Though I sort of always thought of crack (and, well, drugs in general I suppose) like alcohol - it just feels so wrong to be talking about it (and probably imbibing it) at 8.00 in the morning. Though I guess if you're talking about crack at all, you've already crossed the line of wrongness. (Unless you are me, right now.)

Then there was the man yesterday morning at the bus stop who exited the covered waiting area and announced to the queuing crowd that '[He is] a telephone horse!' And then proceeded to spell T-E-L-E-P-H-O-N-E and H-O-R-S-E for us. Many times. And then began preaching what I can only imagine was some sort of gospel, as I heard the word 'Jesus'. Though really that gives the impression that what he was saying was at least discernable as sentences. Really he was more just yelling words: 'Pig!' 'Toast!' 'Car!' 'Go!' 'Bible!' 'Jesus!' 'TELEPHONE HORSE!' Sadly then, my bus came and I could not stay to hear the end of the saga of the telephone horse. The thing was, this dude was totally clean and well-dressed - obviously he wasn't homeless, someone was responsible for his welfare. So where were they? It is also entirely possible, and it would be sort of awesome if this was true, that it was a cold and grey morning, and this guy just wanted to give us a story to tell our friends that day. And if that was his goal, he succeeded. Thanks you Telephone Horse. I will never forget you.

And of course the assorted hoi polloi that I suppose you find in American cities: the woman having an animated (though tragically one-sided) debate with the machine that dispenses the Dallas Morning News, the people who greet me with 'How you doin' baby?' when I get on the train, the men who ask to use my phone and then are not only surprised but supremely irritated when I say no. I know (I mean, I guess) London has its crazies, but for some reason, they are just must less visible than the crazies I have seen here.
Je lit: The Guardian Weekly