That 70’s Guy
I’d seen him before, somewhere. Shorter in height than most, and with a strong old Italian look like his name was probably Anthony or Vincent but everyone called him Vinny or Vin or Guido. He had probably been alive for the last 60 years or so, maybe less but with the wear and tear of a hard life of nicotine and too much wine with his high cholesterol diet, his hair slicked black, surely dyed, and greasy enough to form a helmet of a combover. Pudgy, he stuffed his pleather jacket – maroon – pushing out the seems, and when he sat down towards the front of the bus (where the crazies all inevitably hang out), he did so more by falling than letting himself down with his knees.
It was around 2:30 in the afternoon and this particular bus, the 500 Highland Park / Zoo, was hauling a load of Catholic school girls, with their short skirts and thick thighs, to their respective neighborhoods. Most of the girls had gotten off of the bus in Highland Park, and the passengers were wearing thinner than Guido’s combover (but none were nearly as slick.) Suddenly he spoke up, “Excuse me there, miss.”
She turned her attention from the text message relay she was beforehand so dipped into that they might make a chocolate covered out of her cherry and replied “Quarter til 3” which was accurate by then.
“Huh!?” he shouted, and I do mean loud. It clearly surprised her, and thinking he was either senile or her youthful brain had tricked her she opened and closed the phone to turn on the outside LCD screen.
“Fifteen minutes until 3. 2:45.” she reassured him.
He stretched his arm out from the cold maroon leather that was his second skin and looked at a watch, a large, gold and silver colored, clunky thing of a timepiece. “2:45?! How in the…? My watch says 2:13.”
She smiled and said again, “No, it’s fifteen till.”
“Two hundred dollars I paid for this watch!, and it can’t even tell the right time.” He reached into his left pocket and pulled out another watch, similar in girth and gaudiness. “And this one, I paid three hundred and seventeen dollars and it doesn’t work either. Who pays three hundred and seventeen dollars for a watch?!” Another woman, probably crazy and closer to his age, smiled at him. The school girl quickly pulled the cord to signal the driver to stop and got off.
“Oh,” he said, as if yelling to her while she was getting off of the bus, “it was just the pin…the pin was out, that’s just what it was.”
Up Next: All-the-Way Down