Thursday, February 26, 2009

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 42
The weather has been unbearably cold. I don’t dare leave the house until I’m bundled up to my eyeballs, my arms jutting out from my sides (a la The Christmas Story). If I could tuck my skirt into a snowsuit without causing wrinkles, I would. I seriously would. It’s that cold.

Those (197) layers were my only defense last week.

It’s because I was attacked on the metro.

Before you completely freak out (mom), let’s start at the beginning of the story.

As we've already established, the morning was arctic and I left my house completely bundled, layered and mummified (and yet STILL freezing).

(Apparently in addition to fashion description, trauma, terror and the metro, this story is also fraught with multiple parenthetic asides. (Maybe even parenthetic asides inside parenthetic sentences inside parenthesis?)).

I made my way to the metro platform, boarded a train and sat next to a gentleman reading the paper. After peeling back the mitten part of my convertible fingerless gloves (an iPhone essential) and unwrapping my scarf from my face (for breathing purposes), I extracted a book from my Mary Poppins-esque bag and began to thaw.

All was fine for the first stop.

Then came the assault.

A puff of fetid air nailed my nostrils, which flared reflexively. It was immediately evident that I was not dealing with the usual stinky fart or obtrusive B.O. This wasn’t even the ever assailing vomit (although one whiff and I was ready to retaliate with my own regurgitated breakfast).

I tucked my head in my scarf and smelled the faint, yet relieving scent of my perfume.

The train whizzed along.

After a few seconds the air cleared and I sat up straight.

Immediately, another stunning puff of pungent, sour air blasted my nose. I couldn’t tuck my head away before the offender fired again.

Now I knew the source of the stench. He was sitting next to me, reading the paper. And (apparently) unbeknownst to him, his death-inducing breath was eeking from his clenched teeth. Every sigh, every exhale, every throat clear, every minute parting of his lips projected a cloud of stink.

My perfumey scarf was no match for his lack of dental hygiene. The hot air ricocheted off the newspaper and hit me squarely between the eyes. My stomach heaved and sloshed. His breath wrapped its tentacles around my neck and squeezed.

Just as I bowed my head to pray for an emergency train evacuation, he folded the paper, turned to face me and said, “Excuse me. This is my stop.”

I died. On the spot. I’m writing this postmortum.

But for the love of dental floss, can you please take a breath mint and pass one on? I would hate for others to suffer death by breath. It’s a stinky way to go.

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Kelsey said...

Was he wearing a wedding ring? If so, you probably just joined his wife in the world of "death by bad breath."

Holly said...


love it.

love the mary poppins esque bag. witnessed your bags, and heaved your bags, oh how true.

Jessica F. said...

Sort of reminds me of everyday in Russia on public transportation. I almost passed out do they not know they smell so bad???

Gel said...

That is great!!! The joys of riding the metro will soon be ending and you won't have all these great stories!!

Alisha Haight said...

I could almost smell the breath from your description. I remember being exposed to that before and literally gagging. It is horrible!!

DC Diva said...

love. this. post.

favorite parts:

"a la The Christmas Story" (great visual)

"mary poppins-esque bag" (so true)

links to old stories (some I hadn't read!)

the word "ricocheted"

but the BEST line: "I died. On the spot. I’m writing this postmortum." -- lol!! love it!

Rachel said...

this morning on the bus I foolishly sat next to a woman who WREAKED like she'd just finished a cigarette. I literally couldn't breathe, and had to turn my body to the side to survive. Thought of you. :)

Andrea Marie Photography said...

You are so hilarious. Please write a book some day! The world deserves your writing.