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Rollin' a smoke and swappin' tall tales

I board the Red Line headed south at 7:30 am and hear the cacophony as soon as the door opens.

The scene: One 40-ish woman is rolling a cigarette on her RedEye. Across the aisle sits a Vietnam-vet-looking-guy in his mid-50s. He's got a scruffy beard and bad teeth. He's next to a barrel-shaped woman in her 50s with bad makeup.

The guy says: "So I made it to age 53 last Saturday. And I've already had a hip replacement. I have so many screws and plates in my body that I need a doctor's note to go anywhere near a metal detector.

"Hell, two Aprils ago the wind knocked me down. And I got hit in the head with a freakin' pipe!

"But hey, things have been going great since I got this job.

"Except for the days I go insane. "

Then they all get up and exit at Lawrence.


I have encountered this couple going southbound on the Red Line--must have been early July.

They were having the same exact conversation. I remember the guy saying he just turned 53, and the part about the wind knocking him down, and getting hit by the pipe.

Man, what a short-attention-span pair.

Years ago, I was on the LaSalle bus. A man and a woman were talking, and it quickly becomes clear that they knew each other from a psychiatric hospital.

The woman tells the man, "You know, sometimes I just want to kill someone. I mean really just strangle them dead."

After the man leaves the bus, the woman starts singing to herself, "I see angels dancing on the head of a pin." Needless to say, no one dared take a seat close to her.

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