Chocolate on the Bus

With the price of gas sky high, Seattle city buses are more crowded these days.  So, on Wednesday, when I got on the bus from downtown Seattle on my way home from work,  I was feeling fortunate to get a seat right up front near the driver.

As I got closer to home in Fremont,  a skinny young pimply kid got on the bus, hefting a very heavy load in his hands.  He staggered under the weight of it.

“Whoa, dude!  Whacha got there?”  Suddenly, everyone wants to interact with the kid.

“Looks like a fuckin’ giant mud pie!”  This comment is followed by the congested laughter of a heavy smoker.

The young guy ignores the comments, looks around, and squeezes his skinny butt into the nonexistent seat next to me.

As soon as he sits down, the distinct smell of chocolate fills the air.

“Holy Crap!  That there chocolate??”

“Fuckin’ chocolate or a fuckin’ mud pie.”  More hacking bouts of laughter from our friend who seems to not know there are at least 100,000 adjectives to choose from when describing something in the English language.

Finally, my young man says something.  “Yeah, it’s chocolate all right!   Got me a MOTHER LOAD here.   ‘Bout 55 pounds of it.  The real stuff, too!”  Now he’s got a full grin on his face.  He’s one proud kid.

The rowdy bus crowd goes wild.

“No shit?!!”

The kid’s underdeveloped chest puffs with pride, “OOOHHH yeah! Y’all want some?”

“Hell YES!”

“Hey, we need somethin’ to cut it with!”

“Anyone gotta knife?”  (God, I hope not!)

“More like a fuckin’ machete is what we need!”  Yes, more congested laughter. You can guess who said that!   I really want to start throwing out some alternative adjectives, but I am not so courageous as to confront a roughneck.

“Hey, drop it on the floor, dude.”

“No, no.  Here’s a piece.”  The young guy starts handing out huge pieces of  broken edges off the massive brick of chocolate.  He even offers me a fist-sized chunk and I politely say no to his generosity.

Someone whose mouth is full of chocolate manages to say,   “This shit’s good!”

The guy with the great vocabulary  chimes in, ” Nah, it’s fuckin’ great!  Where’d you get all this fuckin’ chocolate from anyway?”  This time, our creative speaker is too busy dealing with a mouthful of chocolate to laugh or cough.

“From the dumpster.”

Everyone goes quiet.

I am cracking up inside.  I dare not show my amusement.  It’s as if Skinny Boy has dropped the punch line and I’m not sure it’s going  over very well.

Unnerved by the silence, Skinny Boy continues to explain,  “At Theo’s.  There’s a dumpster.  There’s another huge brick there.   Another brick of chocolate.  I saw it.  ‘Bout a 60 pounder.  Seriously!”  The more nervous he gets, the choppier his speech.

Everyone is staring him.  My internal mantra has become,  “Never take chocolate from a stranger!”

Finally the silence is broken.  You could probably guess who says this next line.

“Ah, SHIT! A fuckin’ dumpster, dude?”

“Yeah.  I mean, it might have some organisms in it.”

I am thinking to myself, “Did he actually say “organisms”?  Does Skinny Boy have a death wish?”

A contorted face says, “Whaddya mean, organisms?”

“You know, like, organisms from a dumpster. You know, I ate some, too, and I’m kind of feeling sick.  But it might be ’cause I didn’t eat nothin’ all day ‘cep for chocolate.”

“Oh, thanks for fuckin’ tellin’ us now, dude!

More rumblings from the disgruntled riders on the bus.  I fear they might harm Mr. Skinny Boy Chocolate.  If only he hadn’t mentioned the organisms or that he is feeling sick!

I hate, really hate to say, that I will never know the fate of Skinny Boy Chocolate because my stop came up and I had to get off the bus.  I like to think the crowd let  Skinny Boy Chocolate off the hook.  I want to think the quality of Theo’s chocolate is so good (even if this was a discarded batch found in a dumpster)  that the bus riders decided to just let things go.  I want to believe that the boy’s youth, innocence, and generosity hung around his neck like a talisman.

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7 Responses to “Chocolate on the Bus”

  1. Rene Says:

    Oh my…. wow. That is incredible! O.M.G!!

    Like

  2. kay Says:

    Great bus tale, Fran! i know you’ve got a million of ’em.
    We bus riders should write them all down and compile a best selling book!

    Like

  3. Joon Says:

    Love the story! Bless the boy! ^^

    Like

  4. Randy Says:

    Skinny Boy chocolate had the good fortune(or prescience) to sit next to a talented storyteller, thus elevating his dumpster diving from the mundane to the literary.

    Like

  5. randy Says:

    Food for thought: when he has finished his 50lb slab, will he still be “Skinny” Boy?

    Like

  6. Nancy Regensburg Says:

    It’s so great not having a car! Aren’t buses a study in “mankind”? LOL

    Like

  7. frangallo Says:

    Yes, the bus experiences are so very colorful. Sometimes the ride is uneventful, but, sometimes, riding the bus is better than watching a movie!

    Like

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