Can I Get a What What? / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Last week, my afternoon bus failed to show up. At all. Not just late, just ... non-existent. While this circumstance is one of the few things in life that get me worked up enough to be super pissed off, my transportation abandonment did leave me stranded on Hennepin and 7th with the hands-down craziest man I've ever had the pleasure (or displeasure, depending on if you're a glass half empty person) to meet.

If you can call it "meet."

I call it "bombardment," since he joined me in the bus shelter and simply began spewing forth a stream of words that lasted the next ten minutes, without any reply from me. I don't know how to fully convey how weird it was to have someone talking AT me that long WITHOUT PAUSE and not have uttered a single word in response.

His rant was largely unintelligible, mainly due to poor enunciation. From what I could gather, he was (or used to be) a musician of some sort, who used to (or still does, in his head) live down South, and who was 50 years old (although, according to him, nobody ever believes that.)

My problem was twofold. First, nobody else was around, either to rescue me from the situation or to witness the one-sided conversation.  

Second, I didn't have a tape recorder. I have never wished so hard in my life that I had a discreet recording device stashed somewhere on my person. Because as soon as he said something completely awesome and hilarious, and I would think, "I'm going to remember that!" ... he would continue on to say something even more fantastical and splendiferous, and I would immediately forget what he just uttered.  

But two phrases in particular stuck, and I'm going to write them now, without explanation (because I'm still not totally sure what the context was) for your eternal enjoyment.

1.  "I'm bout to lay down something so cold, they ain't even put it on the market yet!"

2.  (while pointing at his eyeball) "They ain't invented anyone blacker than me!"

In the end, though he wasn't threatening in any way, he had been invading my personal space for far too long. I hopped on the next bus that happened by, but not before he asked me for my number.

At least that's what I think he said. I can't be sure.