The life and times of an ethnically ambiguous little lady.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Say Potato, You Say Orange Juice

I was on the way to Philly a few weeks ago on my favorite mode of transportation, Greyhound. (See

First the bus was delayed. Or it was late. Or the one before it never came. Frankly, I'm not really sure as they never make announcements, which encourages you to play “what do you think happened to the bus?” with the person behind you in line.

Then the "Greyhound management" decided to do bag and person check. As they searched through my bags, I asked them what they were looking for.

"Anything that could cause a problem," the woman said. "Alcohol, guns, knives."

So apparently anything that could make the trip more interesting.

The thing is, you never hear people planning suicide missions that involve Greyhound. Planes, yes, buses on fictional movies like Speed, also true. But Greyhound? Not so much.

And I think that’s go to be because you will never find anyone important on a Greyhound bus. Starving artists? Definitely. Baby mammas? Hell yeah. But never heads of state.

So at least the terrorists realize that to blow up a Greyhound bus would be a waste of their time, and no furtherance of their mission. And if you were to get the sorry mission of blowing yourself to the afterlife by detonating a bus, I’m pretty sure there won't be any of those 72 virgins waiting for you.

When all the bag fondling was over, I settled in to my seat, hoping to go over my set list before the show I was heading to. I ended up, however, sitting next to an incredibly inquisitive woman. Which was the last thing I wanted.

Those of you that know me, probably find that to be amusing, as I'm not exactly shy. But I have to say, I've never had less in common with someone then I did with this woman.

She was Pakistani and very sweet, and had moved to the states four years ago. She married a dude at 20 years old that she met in church and only knew him for a few days before they jumped over the broom. (I think it was an arranged marriage). Her hubby is now the manager of a Dominos. She has never been a trip on her own until now and she's never been on the subway without her husband. In addition, she has never owned a cell phone nor knows how to use it.

Throw me a bone here, people!

So we stumbled through a conversation trying to be able to relate to each other, which was kind of heartwarming.

When I told her I was Jewish, her face lit up.

"I love those people!" she exclaimed. "They are so beautiful."

Now we were getting somewhere! I mean, we Heebs are indeed a very beautiful people, if I may say so myself.

"But why do you all have the same hair?" she asked.

And then it hit me. She was talking about Orthodox Jews.

I was then forced to do my best to teach Hassidic Jewry 101. Talk about awkward.

After our lesson, she asked me what I did for a living. I explained to her about my dual professions of comedy and book publishing. I had to describe to her what stand-up comedy is.

"Tell me one of your stories," she implored.

So I thought. And thought. And thought some more. And I realized, there was not a single joke (or Spanish telenovela) I could tell that wouldn't confuse her or upset her.

"I got nothing," I said. "Wanna talk more about the beautiful Jewish people?"

She nodded her head. And so we did.


Anonymous lisa said...

a beautiful people? really? then why aren't you dating one?

8:40 AM

Anonymous Paul said...

I ran across yr blog via Gawker. I laughed my socks off. Mission accomplished, I guess.

3:01 PM

Blogger Danny Bronski said...

you have a serious talent for observational humor and a great writing style. this blog is hilarious.

6:18 PM

Anonymous icesurfer said...

greyhound is nada. ride the chicken bus in central america. life is thrust upon you in all it's range of brutal, beautiful extremities. you'd love it. it would touch your soul. pero en principio debes aprender un poco del idioma! saludos.

7:05 PM

Blogger annulla said...

Next time, skip Greyhound and try one of the wild chicken buses in Chinatown. You can get a ticket from New York to Philly for $12 and let's face it, hanging around Chinatown waiting for a bus sure beats hanging around the Port Authority anytime.

9:42 PM

Blogger Rory said...

Port Authority's great for gettin' into fights with strangers.
Just sayin'.

10:30 PM

Anonymous raincoaster said...

Team Jeepney, represent!

Jeepneys are the most hilarious transportation in the world. If you're white, they ALWAYS make you sit next to the driver, and one guy in the back always designates himself the tour guide, although he doesn't speak English, so each "that's my brother's wife's cousin's nail salon" comment gets passed through the entire busload like a game of telephone.

2:08 AM

Anonymous TD said...

I like the new look of the site! I like the greyhound story as well...

p.s. Please tell me that this Lisa person is a friend of yours and her comment is a joke?

1:13 PM

Blogger lauren said...

if we ever meet at a greyhound station again, I am officially going to call you a stalker:)

thanks for always cheering up my rides


11:24 AM


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