Today was the kind of day that makes me never want to leave the house again. I can just hear you now.
"Oh, no, Meg. What happened?"
Well, since you asked...wait, go get a drink,a glass of red wine perhaps, and sit in a comfy chair. Ready? Right. Oh, and this first part is a wee graphic. Deal with it. Most of you are moms anyway.
I woke up around 3:15 this morning to the smell of cat poo. Someone had to use the litter box. It occurred to me that maybe it was a little too...stinky. Being the good kitty mommy I am, I got up, turned on a light, lifted up his tail. He was a mess. Did I mention he was sitting my my dresser? I picked him up and went into the bathroom only to realize, he missed the litter box. First things first, I gave him a bath. This kitty HATES water. And by hates, I mean he clawed the hell out of my arms. Right now, I look totally Emo. While I was giving him his bath at 3:30 AM, he was squirming, clawing, meowing, squawking, and generally protesting. As soon as the bath was over, I wrapped the soaking wet kitty in a towel like a burrito. Instantly, kitty burrito became calm and began purring. It was amazing. He didn't want to get out of the towel. Crazy. The snuggling was short-lived as I needed to clean up and Swiffer my bathroom floor, hallway, bedroom floor and dresser. Did I mention it was now 3:45 AM? Yup. When I was done, I got back into bed, when wet kitty decided he needed to snuggle more. This was nice, however not conducive to sleep.
I called in sick this morning, planning on sleeping since, to add insult to injury, I have a cold. Due to something beeping at the church next door, I only got about an hour sleep. Turns out they are doing work on the stone, sandblasting or something. I decided to get up and go run an errand in Hillsborough. I thought I'd take the bus.
Famous last words.
I caught the bus at 9:40-ish at my usual bus stop. When we got to the stop across from NCSU, there was a woman standing on the curb. She was waving as frantically as someone on a deserted island waiting to be rescued. Never mind the bus is supposed to stop there no matter what. She begins to motion to the woman sitting on the bench minding her own business as though without her help the bus won't stop. The woman on the bench just sits there. She is a regular rider and knows the bus will stop. This frantic woman, lets call her
::quick aside:: while Googling cast away looking for famous people on deserted islands and I ran into this. Before you click, I shall warn you, it's, uh, shall we say...racy? Click here if you dare.
Okay, so this Crazy Lady acts like she's climbing the north face of Everest as she's climbing the bus steps. She has with her a GIANT plastic mug with a Hardee's Racing logo on it and a big straw poking out, that I'd wager should not have been that brown. She also has a tote bag with her, and from the way she carried it, smart money would say she was carrying an anvil. She immediately sits down without putting money into the fare box. She asks the woman behind her if she can hold the gross Hardee's mug. She digs through the anvil bag and pulls out a few ones. She waits for a red light to stand up and put her money in the box. We have a green light and the old man driving the bus proceeds very slowly. I mean, like 2 MPH. Crazy Lady acts like she's going ass over tea kettle down the steps. She can't get the last dollar bill in and begins coaxing it. "C'mon, baby. Baby, you can do it." And so on. She's got this loud voice and she's a little manic. She sits down and begins talking to the bus driver in her "Outdoor Voice," you folks with kids know what I mean. She starts bitching about the out of service TTA bus that went by about 10 minutes before. She's acting like it was the last bus on Earth and repeats herself five or six times. She's very concerned about this bus not stopping for her and is convinced that the old man bus driver both cares and will personally be responsible for correcting the error. She then digs into the anvil bag again and pulls out her cell phone. Again using her Outdoor Voice, she makes a call begging someone at UNC Hospital to wait for her. She then goes into this long, manic rant about having to walk down Brooks Ave and a bus that refused to stop for her, etc. etc. etc. Again, she repeats herself five or six times. I'm sensing a little OCD. Who's with me? Meanwhile, the super-polite woman behind her is still holding the gross Hardee's mug. Just as I'm about to say something to her about Nice Lady still holding her drink, she turns around and tells her she is almost done.
We get to the outlet mall by the airport, when Crazy Lady tells the bus driver to stop. She's again frantic as she tells him there is a guy on the other side of the street waiting for the bus. What does the bus driver do? He stops. For someone on the other side of the street. This is one driver I thankfully don't see very often. He drives really slow, so we're already about 10 minutes behind at this point. Anyway, the driver stops and opens the door and waits like he's got no place to be. Crazy Lady stands up and indicates she's going to go tell this guy that he needs to hurry up. Luckily this guy comes along and the driver asks him where he's going. The wayward passenger says he's going to Page Road. A conversation ensues about where to stand and which bus to take and so on, but we're still not moving. Finally we're start moving and now Crazy Lady is all worried about us being late. Really, she's worried about this now? The driver claims he asked dispatch to wait. Crazy Lady goes into this Clockwork Orangian loop of "I pray they hold the bus." By some act of I don't know which deity, they held a few of the buses.
I get on the Chapel Hill bus. The driver is the guy who drives my second morning bus. I really like him. I tell him I'm not sure where to catch the 420 bus. As he's telling me, Crazy Lady walks up behind me. Lucky me, she's going to Chapel Hill too. I interrupt him to say, "this lady is fucking nuts. Good luck!" To which he laughs. He tells me where to go and I go sit way in the back of the bus, far away from her. She sets her stuff on the seat and tells the driver she has to use the loo. She holds us up for another five minutes because she has to whatever in the port o'potty. He was a little pissed. I had my head phones on so I couldn't hear him, but she repeated several times that she was sorry but she had to go and she couldn't help it and it wasn't her fault.
Finally, we're on our way. I get to Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and find the stop for the 420 Hillsborough bus. Three of us get on this little orange shuttle bus and a black guy walks up to the bus door and asks the driver, a black woman, where this bus goes. She tells him Hillsborough. He wants to know how much to ride this bus. She tells him $2. He's wants to know if that's a round trip. He can't believe a round trip is $4. She tells him he can get a $4 day pass online. He says okay and starts to step back. He steps up again before she can close the doors. He asks her, "What's Hillsborough like?" Since she's surprised by his question she mistakenly asks, "what?" He goes off..."I mean, you know, what's Hillsborough like?" "It's okay," she replies. "What's there to do in Hillsborough," he wants to know. She tries to tell him she has to go. Now he wants to know if there are a lot of black people in Hillsborough. Are there more black people than in Chapel Hill? Which city has the most black people? The worst part is that she's entertaining his questions. Finally, she tells him she has to go and closes the doors. We're off.
The ride to Hillsborough from Chapel Hill should only take 30 minutes. It takes almost an hour. I arrive at the stop at the court house just before noon. This being the South, I was afraid the court house would be closed for lunch. Luckily, they appear to be open. Sherrif Barney Fife is at the entrance, presumably for security, and asks me if he can help me. I tell him I'm here to pay a ticket and need to talk to someone. He tells me that he doesn't think anyone can help me. They are moving and all the records are packed up in boxes. Dear god, don't tell me they don't use computers!!!!!! He tells me to walk two blocks up the street and I'll see "Clerk of Courts" on a storefront. I swear they only thing this guy needed to complete the image was a good coon dog asleep at his feel.
I walk two blocks north to what turns out to be "the other side of town." I found the Clerk of Courts office. Surprisingly, it was empty except for a few people behind the counter. I give them my name, they look me up and tell me how much I owe. I walk across the street to the Bank of America ATM (gasp! technology!) walk back to the office, pay my fine, get my receipts and I'm done. Fifteen minutes tops.
Since the bus driver takes a lunch break and doesn't run until 1 o'clock, and because I haven't eaten anything by this point, I go get some lunch. I decided on a little place called Tupelo's, since everything else but the Bandido's was closed. I had an awesome sandwich which I swear was the highlight of the day. It was a BLT on pumpernickel, except that the "T" was actually fried green tomatoes. Okay, living in the South does have certain advantages. Once I was finished, I had to go to the patisserie. On King Street, there is a real French patisserie, run by a real French dude. Two shops down is a Cup A Joe coffee shop. In between? A bait and tackle shop. I kid you not. I got my blueberry turnover and Earl Grey tea, opted to forego the nightcrawlers on this trip, and walked to the police station to catch the bus.
The ride back was significantly less interesting, but took just as long since there was a lot of traffic. The Chapel Hill buses go across the UNC campus, which takes forever since there are students galore milling about. While I was waiting in Chapel Hill for the bus I popped in Light Years and bought myself a new scarf and walked across the street to Sugarland for a red velvet cupcake. Like I said, living in the South isn't all bad.
I didn't get home until 4. By that time, I was tired, cranky, and just wanted to be home. By the time I got home, I was fairly certain that, if I had to speak to another person, either flames would shoot out my mouth, or pea soup as my head spun around. Essentially, it took me four and a half hours to run a fifteen minute errand. There's not enough red velvet cake in the world to make that better.