flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

October 15, 2011

October Subway Tales

Well, who would have believed that riding the subway would give me so much fodder for thought and blathering?

Of course, I have always done much blathering, so that is not the issue. I just don’t remember the sub being such an interesting place. I remember it being a dirty, smelly place. But not an interesting place.

It is not nearly as dirty or smelly as it was in the late 80s. Believe it or not, the concourse betwixt the Blue line and the Orange line (you Phillyites will know whereof I speak) actually smells… CLEAN. Like they clean it… a lot! It’s still dingy LOOKING, but it doesn’t smell like cleaner over filth. It just smells clean.

It still confounds me.

Yesterday, as I went to take the sub home, I ran into one of my students. This is not a rarity – I ride home with my students every day. However, this was a seventh period student… who had not been in my seventh period class.

Well, now. How evil can I be?

The conversation ended with him trying to bargain with me. (This, after trying to convince me he had been in class and my old head just didn’t remember. I have had 2 children skip my class this year, son. I remember.)  If I could just call his parents. They would punish him. Please don’t put a mark on his record.

I told him, “Kid, you know, I don’t mind that you skipped my class. People make choices to follow or ignore rules every day. And we need both kinds of choices in the world. The deal is, you have to be able to handle the consequences WHEN you get caught. You’re losing my respect not because you cut my class, but because you’re afraid to handle the results of your decision. Man up.”

(And I really did use almost those exact words. Having to talk in front of people 5 hours a day has done wonders for my eloquence.)

He looked at me with a mixture of resolve and chagrin. I wasn’t budging, but he could deal. And I think he got the message… I hope he did.


I also ran into, or rather, sat next to a caricature on the sub. Really! The young gentleman seemed to be in his twenties. He was wearing all black, including Doc Martens and a black beret. He was hairy, and just slightly unwashed. He carried a black messenger bag, with a button on it in red that read “No downsizing! No Layoffs! No Conformity!” His beret bore a button that said: “The People are the Power” or some such nonsense. His bookmark was some advertisement for a rally about universal healthcare, and he was reading a book called “The best of Lenin.” Not Lennon, which I could dig, but Lenin, the author of modern genocide.

Power to the people, indeed.

He was also quite hefty, meaning he has most likely never missed a meal in Mommy and Daddy’s house.

I found him quite humorous, going home to the suburbs after protesting in Philly all day. We’re a day late and a dollar short, but we now have our own “occupy “ protests, like all the real, big cities. There are, quite literally, dozens of people around city hall, daily. 

Those people seem to protest nothing so much as the bad decisions of college students everywhere: going to overpriced institutions and majoring in studies that are unsustainable in a working culture.

Dollars to donuts, ProtestBoy majored in philosophy and is pissed that he’s not a professor at Harvard right now. Not that I think philosophy is bad, or unnecessary, but if you choose to study that, be prepared to be unemployed or serving coffee.

I like my barista to have a Masters of Art. Makes me feel all sorts of culcha-ed, when I sip my latte.

Birdbrain, out.


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