Mimi Smartypants in Chicago, Illinois

Urban Encounters

  1. This morning I was walking up the subway stairs right behind one of those girls . You know, with the hair? And the fingernails? And the ass pants? Her ass was pretty much right in front of me, all snug in the stretchy ass-pant fabric, and this ass was tiny. I have seen, and eaten, baked goods bigger than her ass. Her ass was pathetically small and wan, like an orphan selling matches in the snow. WHERE? IS? YOUR? ASS? I wanted to cry aloud to the heavens, shaking my fists. Weeping and rending my garment. Because I have a fairly tenuous grip on reality this morning, I came real close to saying something. Damn. I am not a large person, but even I have more booty than that.

  2. There is a sign on Lawrence for a package-delivery place called Order Express, but I always misread it as Odor Express. A place where you can go to pick up little vials of different odors. "I'll take a whiff of 'decaying whale shark' to go." With every ten orders of "cheap tequila," you get a free "pee-stained sheets!" I wonder if the good odors, such as "towels right out of the dryer" or "oatmeal cookie" or "Thom Yorke's neck" cost more. (Disclaimer: Thom Yorke could smell like hobo crotch, for all I know. His pleasant fragrance is all conjecture on my part.)

  3. Here are some more signs from the multicultural carnival that is my neighborhood: WE WATCH BATTERIES WHILE YOU WAIT (Missing verb or new form of meditation?)

MANGO PULP $5.99 FOR SIX CANS. NO DISCOUNT FOR ONE! NO DISCOUNT FOR SEVEN! MULTIPELS [sic] OF SIX ONLY! (Okay, okay, I get it. This one was handwritten -- whoever wielded that Sharpie needs to lay the hell off the caffeine.)

APARTMENT FOR RENT INQUIRE ABOVE GOAT STORE (I am assuming this means the butcher's next door. Unless there is a secret goat store and I am missing it.)

PURVEYORS OF FINE LUGGAGES AND HOUSEWARE (I find the perfect incorrectness of the plurals inexplicably charming.)

  1. Slicked-back hair, mirrored sunglasses, suit and tie, this jag-off in a Jaguar is speeding through a yellow light in River North, and -- for real -- he is blasting the Phil Collins song "Sussudio" on what is no doubt a very expensive car stereo. I was, like, Wait, was that Patrick Bateman? Please tell me that was some sort of prank, like the guy is participating in a rousing game of Rich Person's Truth Or Dare, because why, why, why would you listen to "Sussudio" in the car, where other people can hear you? I mean, maybe you are allowed to keep the Phil Collins CD in a dark closet and throw on "Sussudio" when you are cleaning the house or something, but even that is skating on some very, VERY thin musical-taste ice, mister. The only possible use I can see for that song is possibly to clear the last few cokeheads out of your house when dawn is breaking and you need the party to be OVER, NOW. (Somebody call Sartre, quick, I am having a new vision of existentialist hell where it is always five in the morning and everyone is doing coke and there is always Phil Collins on the stereo. Oh, my god, I have to go lie down.) 5. Scene: I am at the baked potato place getting a baked potato for lunch. Mmmm, baked potato. I order my potato (broccoli, cheddar, black olives) to go, and sit down to read until it is ready. Soon, the diminutive Hispanic lady yells out, "Potato!" (even though I had an order number -- I guess she prefers the direct approach). When I go to the counter to retrieve it, this guy in hideous wraparound sunglasses is right behind me. "Uh-uh, no no no!" he sings out in this weird Pee-Wee Herman voice. "That's not your potato!" I don't enjoy being spoken to like a preschooler, but, whatever. I only want the potato that is rightfully mine. I am not trying to usurp your potato, dude. He has his hand on the bag and is trying to wrest it away from the counter lady, who refuses to relinquish it. "No," she keeps saying. "Hers. Her potato."

"I don't THINK so," says the guy. "I ordered first, and this is my order: broccoli, cheddar, black olives. This is my potato." For fuck's sake, I am thinking. Do we need some kind of potato paternity test here? 1-800-WHO'S-THE-SPUD-DADDY? Two potatoes of the same genus and species were ordered, so you can take this one, you silly git, if you want it so badly. Some of us don't mind waiting a whole extra two minutes. The counter lady insists, through broken English and pointing, that I take the potato, so I do. Now I am wondering if she insisted just for the pure comic value of seeing the sunglasses guy sigh and pout and curse her out under his breath, throwing a fit like some horrible child actor or stereotyped queen-y interior decorator, because it was quite funny. I left chuckling, avec potato.

BLOGSITE: smartypants.diaryland.com

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