|Riding the bus:
the last place this woman should be shopping
As most of you know—I dont own a car. I take
the bus. It began as an experiment and the
experiment was so successful that, 4 years later,
it has evolved into something else--part of the
routine—a big part. Its not for everyone and
there are times when I find myself aboard the
Auschwitz special, jammed in there haunch to
paunch with my fellow Angelinos and a teensy
weensy bit of burnout begins to occur. But this is
the exception. The longer I ride the bus in los
angeles the less inclined I am to ever own
There are three things. The first is: money I
estimate that in 4 years if you figure the money
saved on gas, insurance, maintenance, etc and
combine with that all the golf I no longer play
(the downside to the upside)—Ive saved
2: Road rage. There is road rage and road rage.
To drive the car in Los Angeles tends to
exacerbate the road rage and ratchet it up a
notch or two—well into Charles Manson territory.
No one is immune. Put mother Teresa behind
the wheel in Los Angeles to navigate an errand
over to the Westside at 4pm and her eyeballs
begin filling up with blood. Its a fact.
3: the bus is entertaining. A friend said: do you
read. I said No. I said: no book could be as
entertaining as the people on the bus, the things
they do or say and they way they dress. Ive
written of all this in my story –No Car in Los
Angeles—but the material continues to spill forth,
ever more hilarious, perverse, retarded, etc and
to accommodate some of the juicier examples
Ive created the on the bus page.
I begin with the Korean mother—or: the last
place this woman should be shopping.
I board the 16 eastbound, corner 3rd/Fairfax—
the Farmers Market. I take my preferred seat,
one of the triples up front reserved for
I say preferred because the seats install against
the side of the bus, facing crosswise, not athwart
the axis one behind the other and in this way you
are spared the rider behind you who may decide
to start coughing into the back of your neck, etc,
On to the next stop—to pick up the shoppers
from Ross Dress For Less and the Grove mall
across the street, featuring the usual lineup—
Nordstrom, The Gap, Banana Republic,
And here is the Korean mother, late 20s or
therbouts and the kids, 3 of them which are: a
baby she carries strapped to her chest papoose
style, a daughter of 3 years and the son age 7.
You get the picture—the person with their hands
full concept.on the triple opposite myself sits a
teenager who now offers his seat to the woman.
She sits, with the 3 year old to the right and her
son to the left.
Shes been shopping—at the Grove. And I know
where because of the logo on the shopping bag.
Ill get to that—the last place she should be
shopping. This isnt a story, more an observation
and to follow my point you need to know the
Grove and the Grove stores.
Lets assume you do know the lineup and now I
pose the question—of the woman with the 3 kids
and the last place she should be shopping and
you say: I dont know Jack—Barnes and Noble?
The Crate and Barrel?
An American Girl?
No. No, no, no.
OK Jack—I give up. Where?
The last place this woman should be shopping is: