Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slip Sliding Away

Way back when, when I was in University, I caught the bus to campus one very rainy day. It was about this time of year, and it had been a wet autumn.

It was the middle of the morning, and there weren't too many people on the bus. There was a row of single seats on one side of the bus, some doubles on the other side, and some benches at the back. I was at the very back, facing forward, and a middle-aged woman sitting in the singles near the middle. There was only one or two other people on board, all ahead of her and I, up near the driver.

As I said, it was a really rainy day, and everything was pretty wet. The woman sitting in the single seats was wearing a longish yellow rain slicker.

At one point, the bus made a hard, fast right turn, and the rain on her jacket must have made the seat very slippery, because she shot right off that seat and onto the floor; she didn't even have time to catch herself. It was like she'd been shoved off by invisible hands. She landed right on her bum, and pretty solidly, too, and she made an impressive noise, sort of like an "ooof", but deep and low, like someone had punched a bagpipe in the stomach. One second she was sitting on that bus seat, minding her own business, and the next she was sitting on the floor of the bus in a puddle of water, wondering how the hell that happened.

And the only one to see it all happen....was me. I quickly made like I was looking out the window and didn't see her, because I figured her day was going to go a lot better from here on in if she thought no one was looking. Meanwhile, I was practically herniating myself trying not to laugh. Not only did she shoot off that seat like a cartoon coyote off a cliff, but the noise she made was unlike anything I've ever heard before or since.
I got off a few stops later and couldn't hold it in one more second. I was laughing so hard and so long I gave myself the hiccups. And then I giggled about it every ten minutes for the rest of the day.

You know, that was almost 30 years ago, and I still laugh whenever I think about it.

I'm sure someone else has their own hilarious story that day, about seeing a young woman laughing her fool head off in the pouring rain, all by herself.

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