Commuting adventures between Tacoma and Seattle.

Category: Conversations People Have


OK, gross.

The Scarecrow just told Mamma Lovell that his dad took a part-time job at a funeral parlor after he retired.  Why?  Because he liked looking at the naked dead women they prepared for burial.

That is all.  Have a nice Friday.


“Ching Chang-a-Ling Dong” Needs to Pee, and Other Scatological References

Scarecrow and Mamma Lovell were at it again this morning (driving is a privilege, women wearing sheets over their heads, sharing driver’s licenses, etc…).  Today he started making embarrassing “sounds” to mimmic the way foreign names sound to him.  He was particularly proud of “Ching Chang-a-Ling Dong” and repeated it about five times.  Mamma added a new dimension to the xenophobia by complaining about people on Welfare, and how they don’t need to take a “pee test” to get “her money”.  A brilliant and insightful woman, Mamma made these cogent points:

  • Anytime there’s money involved, you should need to take a pee test
  • If I have to take a pee test to earn my money at my job, they should have to take a pee test to receive Welfare
  • They’re getting my money, and I’m not giving it to someone who won’t take a pee test.

The Fourth Amendment comes to mind, but I’m not sure Mamma knows what that is (“weren’t they a group of soul singers in the ’60s?”)

As a reminder, Mamma is a diligent, church-going woman who reads her bible every morning, and takes pride in telling everyone how much time she spends at church as an usher and whatnot.  I’m not completely current with my understanding of the various versions of the bible, but I’m guessing Mamma is reading a “New Abridged Version”.  Equal and opposite to the Jefferson Bible (Thomas Jefferson’s attempt to strip away all the witchcraft and nonsense to reveal the “diamonds in the dunghill”–for his own private use, BTW), I imagine the “New Abridged Version” to have stripped out all of the “diamonds” and gerrymandered it’s way toward the purest heap of dung anywhere known to Man.  It makes sense, if you think about it scientifically–conservation of energy, equal and opposite reaction, etc…

Thinking about it a little more, reducing the Bible to a series of anti-Christlike talking points would certainly allow the indignant Righteous a lot more time to watch Fox News every morning.  What a benefit, to skip over the troublesome sections about caring for the sick and the poor and get right to the important stuff: homophobia, anti-semitism, wholesale slaughter of foreigners, and an abundance of smiting.  Oh, the smiting!!  You could finish reading the whole thing before your coffee got cold, then turn your attention to Fox and Friends.  That would be a really handy little tome.  Something you could carry in your jacket pocket right next to your copy of the U.S. Constitution.

I think I just found a new hobby: become the author of The Holy Bible Cliff’s Notes for Sociopathic True Believers.  Early retirement, here I come.


The Scarecrow is used to seeing “5 or 6” rats in his house every year.  In fact, he got so tired of reloading the rat traps that he got traps with plastic cheese (for the plastic rats, I suppose).  He doesn’t mind mice, which begs the question how does he protect the mice from his rat traps.

Everything in his basement is covered in rat droppings, he reports.  Ew.

When the Black Plague breaks out in Tacoma, I have a good idea of where to look for patient zero.

Pardon Me, You’re Sittting On My Friend.


One short line for a man, one giant leap for Scarecrow-kind.

Some days, the weird starts early.  Today the weird started on my walk up the line of people waiting to get on the 1502.

The Scarecrow wasn’t wandering aimlessly around the platform, or hocking loogies, or rhyming random words: he was just standing there in line.  Seeing how this was The Scarecrow, you just know it couldn’t be that simple.

The first thing I notice is there really isn’t a line.  He’s the only one there: a line of one.  Not so weird, you say?  Agreed; every line needs to start somewhere.


My arm is fine; what’s wrong with your face?

The second thing I notice is he is standing back about 10 feet from where the line starts.  He’s kind of hanging around where there should be a line, maybe in third position, but for some reason didn’t want to be up where the first in line traditionally positions himself/herself.  Maybe he’s standing behind a couple of imaginary friends.  What do I know?  I sure as hell don’t want to test that theory, so, being the rational guy that I am, I get in line behind The Scarecrow thinking he’ll take up the slack he left ahead of him.

Well, he doesn’t move up.  So now we’re both standing there out in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the train about 10 feet away from where normal people wait for the train, like we’re friends or something, just hanging out where people also just happen to wait for the train.  Now the Weebles show up and they get in line behind me.  That makes four of us standing there lined up at some imaginary hotdog stand, or whatever it is The Scarecrow has in his head.


What we didn’t hear is Momma Lovell’s 13-minute love affair (Apollo 13?) with a DRY hamburger patty took that long because it had the size and texture of a truck tire.

As The Weebles approach, Momma Lovell starts talking about her lunch from yesterday.  She scarfed down her lunch in 13-minutes.  What did she eat, you ask?  A hamburger patty….a DRY hamburger patty.  Not sure what’s more sad: she knows it took her 13 minutes to eat lunch, or that it took her 13 minutes to eat a DRY hamburger patty.

You Had Just One Job.


Drifting a commuter train is harder than you may imagine.

CSX can move one ton of freight 400 miles a teaspoon of unicorn tears (or something like that), but Sound Transit can’t manage to keep the generator running long enough to bring us from Tacoma to Seattle in under 2 hours.

This poses an impossible question for Loogie Hocking Zombie and The Weebles: Get off the train at the next stop and catch the later train, or sit tight and just ride in on the disabled train?  Oh man, you’d think they were trying to decide between paper or plastic, boxers or briefs, soup or salad.

“The way I see it, as long as your moving you’re doing alright.  Just like the rabbit and the hare.”  So, LHZ is staying put.


A watched pot never boils, and a clock watcher never works.

Discussion shifts to how late they’ll be to work, and how much extra time they’ll need to work to make up for the delay.

“If we’re an hour late, I need to work an extra hour to make it up,” LHZ reports.  “Yeah, I’m serious.  I can handle making up 15 minutes, but an hour is a lot to make up.”

Now, I value my personal time as much as the next guy, but counting every minute you owe the company is pretty small.  The Weebles were right there with LHZ, though.  I’m glad people like this have a place to work, I’m even more glad that it’s not where I work, and I’m the gladdest because they don’t report to me.

Too Cold for the Undead


Scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’…

Loogie Hocking Zombie is moving a little slowly this morning, kind of like a lizard without enough sunlight.  I guess he left his car out in the cold overnight and the windows frosted up on him.  Before he could drive into the train station, he had to scrape the windows.  He had to take out one of his credit cards and start scrapin’.  Oh, he was scrapin’, and scraping, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’.

And scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’, and scrapin’.

Thank the lord he made it in on time.

Why Johnny Can’t Read

You don't want to go to Hell, do you?

Beat the shit out of that kid!  You don’t want to go to Hell, do you?

Loogie Hocking Zombie was a school teacher before taking a job at Boeing.  Yes, your child may have been educated by this mumbling, brain-eating, phlegm-bound ghoul.  He was a teacher for 10 years before he quit, because “There wasn’t no disciplining those kids.”

“You can’t even touch them these days.  I used to hit them with a ruler when they needed discipline, but these days that would get you sued.”  Momma Lovell shares LHZ’s lament for the good old days when you could smack “the little monsters” in school.

Hello there, firm young buttocks! It’s Jesus here for a little pleasure love discipline.


This is coming from people who spend an awful lot of time every morning talking about church as a regular and important part of their lives.  What would Principal Jesus do?  He’d probably beat the shit out of your little monster.

The conversation ended with some more word association from LHZ: “Holland America, Holland America, just like Air America, Holland America…”  Man, is the train a weird place, or what?

The More You Spend, The More You Save!!!


It’s not a Pak if it’s not a ValPak.

Loogie Hocking Zombie plopped down next to me this morning, and tore into his mail: junk mail, to be exact.  He was very proud of his ValPak coupons.  While sitting on the edge of The Fonz’s seat and leaning…no…stretching out toward Momma Lovell, he holds each coupon up to The Weebles, as if to entice their inevitable envy while he shows off the treasures in his fat blue envelope.

Muttering not exactly to himself:

“Hmmm.  Car Wash?”

Momma Lovell waves him off.

“Papa Murphy’s?”

Momma Lovell chuckles.

“How about sun tanning?”

“Oh, I’ll take that one,” she says–not for herself but for her granddaughter…yeah, right.

He casually flips through the remaining coupons, then puts them away.  Probably saving the best ones for his pal, The Fonz.


I’ll bet The Hillbilly Bears and The Cosby Kids shop at the same music store.

If you remember the “Hillbilly Bears,” you’ll recall “Pa” and how he spoke.  You couldn’t really understand what he was saying except for a random word here and there:

“Merphl, gibber, sam, sam, PECAN PIE, flibble, perking, sam, sam, marfl, HUNGRY, sam, sam, bootle, jim.”

His boy would always be there to translate:

“So, you say you smell someone’s baking a PECAN PIE, and it sure is making you HUNGRY for your dinner, Pa?”

LHZ sounds just like Pa when he talks, but is slightly more intelligible.  I’ll bet he plays the tree-branch-and-oil-can bass in church on Sundays.

Railroad Revival


We Be Los Lobos Fans

Momma Lovell and her friend hopped onto Loogie Hocking Zombie’s stream of consciousness this morning.  Somehow he went from excitement for getting to sit in The Fonz’s seat (“I’ve got Lonnie’s seat!  I’ve got Lonnie’s seat!”), to mispronouncing “Hylebos” over and over again (“Hybelos”).  He was pointing all of his energy at Momma Lovell who was, not surprisingly, a little confused.  Then he started saying alternately “Webelos” and [mispronounced] “Hylebos”, which got him into talking about the progression of Boy Scouts into Cub Scouts (yes, I know that is backward).


Mmmmmm. Don’t you just love the hit of parsley in Original Cragmont Cola?

The stream of semiconsciousness then turned to sharing acronyms that he knows from church.  One was something along the lines of “IWANA” which is supposed to mean something like “I am a willing worker [for the lord]” or some baloney like that.  Not sure if that means there is a Boy Scout equivalent at his church or something.

So he starts repeating “IWANA” and “IWANA Cubby”, back and forth.  “IWANA Cubby” is apparently some group of “willing workers” who are actually children–kind of like Cub Scouts, or so LHZ reports.  The “IWANA Cubby” thing sounds like an icky and ham-fisted approach at taking something totally uninteresting and lame then trying to make it cool for your average young kid; and as we all will remember, this strategy never works.  Toughskins were no substitute for Levi’s, and ain’t nobody got time for Cragmont Cola when there is a frosty Coca Cola nearby.


There is so much wrong with this picture, I don’t know where to start.

In the case of LHZ’s “IWANA Cubby”, it sounds like a transparent attempt at corrupting a child’s innocent and unmolested imagination in order to lead them to a life not-of-their-choosing.  IMHO, it’s not a whole lot different from Hitler Youth or using cartoon characters to sell cigarettes.  Toughskins will always be Toughskins no matter who is VP of Marketing at Sears.


C’mon kid. Don’t be a square. Bibleman loves Camel bare-butts almost as much as he loves raisins.

I mean, honestly, when has any kid legitimately chosen Bibleman over Superman if he/she wasn’t artificially influenced by an adult? Line up all the superheros ever created, and unless the kid has been lead to Bibleman at some point by an adult there is no way a kid is going to self-select Bibleman as his one true lord and savior preferred superhero.  What kid ever got excited about getting a little box of raisins on Halloween?  Same thing here.  Don’t ruin a kid’s Halloween with raisins, and don’t ruin a kid’s childhood with Bibleman.

And don’t even get me started on the Cookie Monster to Veggie Monster debacle.