Coffee or Vagrant Piss? You Make the Call!

As I made my way to the office this morning via the Shit Line (some know it as the Blue Line on the L, but there is nothing blue about it. it is brown, like shit. only shittier) I witnessed a youngish, attractive woman playing the old CTA game “What Did I Just Sit In?” (insert laugh track here). I’ve been there before and I’ve utilized the same strategies to answer the question:

  • You part jump, part recoil in horror, from your seat as the realization that your ass is unexpectedly wet dawns on you. It looks like you sat on a scorpion or rattle snake, and not only does it hurt like hell, but you need to simultaneously look at where your ass just touched to see exactly how long you have to get to the hospital
  • You forget that any other human being is on the train. Your world, in this vulnerable moment, ends approximately 1 inch from any point outside your skin. It is you, the offending seat, and your wet ass. As Metallica said, “Nothing Else Matters”. If someone was knocked to the floor or took an elbow to the face during your trampoline bounce off the mysteriously damp seat, that is collateral damage and anything goes in war. If a terrorist bombs your train at this moment it is nothing but background noise
  • You get angry at the seat. As though this inanimate object conspired with the dampening agent to fuck you in the ass. You consider kicking it. Maybe you actually kick it
  • You rub your open palm furiously up and down on one of your ass cheeks as though you are trying to remove a chalk mark. You need to confirm your ass is wet, despite the fact that you know, beyond any reasonable doubt, that your ass is in fact wet. You can even see the liquid on the seat. But you won’t really know until you rub your ass cheek
  • You swear. It won’t change the reality you are in, but you need people to hear you swear. You need to make sure they understand you are not pleased about having unexpectedly sat in liquid of unknown origin
  • Then comes the ultimate moment of truth: you must place three flat, slightly curved fingers, almost certainly the index, middle and ring fingers of your dominant hand firmly on your ass cheek. You let it rest there a moment to soak up the sass you just rested in. Then with curled lips and lemon-suck face you bring the fingers slowly and deliberately to your face. You inhale deeply. You meant to not let the fingers touch your skin but the train encounters turbulence and you jam the fingers inadvertently against your upper lip, philtrum, and nostrils
  • Now, finally, you make the call

I’m not sure if it was the look on her face like she opened up her backpack and saw her mother’s severed head in it, or the panicked sprint out the doors as they opened at the very next station (in the hood, didn’t bother to wait until we reached a civilized stop, just raced her honky ass right out into the middle of a heroin gang war), but it was obvious to me the result of the game. IT’S VAGRANT PISS!!! Alex, tell her what she’s won! Well Missy, it is a pick ‘em: 1) A trip back home to shower, put on new skivvies and pants, burn your old skivvies and pants, and spend the entirety of your trip back into the city trying to concoct a different story as to why you are so late or 2) Google Map on your smart phone the nearest Ann Taylor Loft so you can pick up an affordable pair of generic black pants to get you through your work day, but in the knowledge that the skin of your ass is undergoing a metamorphosis, the result of which is wholly unknown, as the nitrogen-rich and liquor tinged bum urine enjoys extended contact with your epidermal layer. You know in your logical mind, the analytical part, that you cannot contract the High-Five (HIV) from skin contact with vagrant piss. In the recesses of your primitive brain, the part that wants to watch Paranormal Activity but hates every minute of it, you aren’t so certain. Alex, I’ll take #1! Chicago Transit Authority, I Love This Game!!!


About Zach

Male homo sapien. Warrior poet. I live in Chicago with one wife, one offspring, and Scout the dog. I enjoy various stuff. Besides skinny skiing and going to bullfights on acid, I also enjoy running, reading, drinking, eating and procrastinating on many things, such as starting this blog. I have a mom, a dad, and a younger brother who recently produced a sister-in-law. I'm the only person in my family, sister-in-law included, who doesn't have a post-graduate degree. I guess that makes me special. I grew up in a small to medium sized town in the middle of Ohio. In fact the even smaller town next door has a sign which reads "The Geographic Center of Ohio". Given this is what they choose to boast you can only imagine how exciting that town is. My town is infinitely cooler. For example on weekend nights people from my town and the surrounding villages and hamlets converge on the public square to "cruise" in their souped-up mini trucks, some bearing Confederate flags, despite growing up and living rather safely north of the Mason-Dixon line. This is high-minded stuff we're talking about here. I graduated sometime during the Clinton presidency from the local high school where I played football and participated in absolutely nothing else. This strategy paid huge dividends when I applied to numerous colleges on the eastern seaboard which were highly selective. When you show up to the admissions table with "HIgh School Football and Nothing Else" on your application, you get respect. After graduating from Ohio University with a degree in Economics that I've used for absolutely nothing, I moved to Boston. Boston is a lovely city. I was doing things I'm not proud of for beer money and I left after 16 months. My next move was to Chicago and 10+ years later there I still reside. I write this blog for therapeutic reasons. Much like some people paint to relax or smoke crack to unwind after a stressful day, I record my thoughts on Al Gore's World Wide Web for 9 friends, 4 family members, 1 person who accidentally clicked through after an unsuccessful Google search for something else, and a guy named Patriot1 who lives in a silver Air Stream in the Nevada desert and broadcasts his own radio show. Is there a point to all of this? I doubt it. Years ago and in a galaxy far, far away (College Park, Maryland, then Athens, Ohio) I was toying with the idea of being a journalism major. I enjoyed writing so it seemed the obvious fit. Then I attended career day and learned that journalism majors could look forward to a salary of $EA,TSH.IT per year with the promise of a fatal heart attack at 47 years of age. I'm not falling for that trick, I told them (them being no one, and told being saying it in my own mind in the shower). Approximately 15 years later here I sit declared the big winner in that battle: I never made any money doing anything else and now I'm writing entirely for free. So suck balls, journalism career day. The views expressed in this website are mine and mine entirely. I don't wish to be an even bigger black eye to my family than I probably already am. As a result of this I will never be able to run for public office and I accept that reality. But this website is a very dignified, well-dressed skeleton full of witty retorts and honorable deeds compared to the disheveled, stenching, staggering and loud skeletons who would come marching out of the closet to White Zombie's "Thunderkiss '65" if they ever unearthed the college years. So enjoy your train ride, your hangover day at work, your AA meeting or your dump. I'm here to serve.
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