SwitchSwitch to white text on black.Switch to black text on white.
Draplin Design Co., North America
June 30, 2003
Posted at 01:42 AM

We put Hobo Kris on a Greyhound about an hour ago. The handoff was relatively uneventful. Suddenly, her decision to “save about 200 bucks” didn’t look so good. She could’ve got a plane ticket for a little over 300 clams. Three hours by jet, 44 hours by Greyhound. Hmmm. Hard to say. Depends on how much time one has, and how much thinkin’ they want to do. Maybe she was feeling messed up and needed some miles to sort stuff out in her thinker, maybe not.

I’ve done a couple stretches on the Greyhound, and I gotta say, it ain’t pretty nor is it fun. You quickly denounce the so-called “value.” They were little runs too, no more than 300 miles. Imagine staring down a whole continent’s worth. Phew.

- - - -

Which brings a memorable journey to mind. Going a couple years back now. The north end of Bend, Oregon…waiting for Ryno’s arrival.

Man, he looked like 2000 miles of bad road. Haggard, worn, weathered, pale, slit-eyed, jaundiced, McDonalded…but nevertheless, able to crack a rotted tooth smile and thankful to be on solid ground. If I remember correctly, there was some sort of encounter with a little lady. Maybe not. Ryno, please refresh my memory in the comments section.

- - - -

Good luck, Kris. Word-to-the-wise: Sit towards the front of the bus. It’s summertime, and traditionally, that shitter on the “back o’ the bus” gets pretty ripe.

There Are 5 Comments

You called Ryno’s teeth “rotted”. Dude.

Posted by: Kurthound on 06/30/03 at 8:40 AM

Aaaaah. I’m glad you remembered my Greyhound Odyssey. Well, its like this: St. Paul to Bend, OR. 2 days, 1 full layover/exchange in Billings. By the time I got to Fargo, I had this creepy 17 year old rave girl with stuffed animals on her backpack trying to squeeze her way into my seat and bore me with babble about her meaningless little orthodontic life. Made me shut off my headphones to blather at me. Ditched her at a stop in the Near Dakotas. Soon, our bus was filled with other scum and misc. derelects traveling to Lord Knows Where, and every seat was quickly taken. The kind fellow who snatched the seat next to me was a hobo of some sort and smelled of many back alleys and blackouts. He was crusty and had a funny look in his good eye. I awoke from a nap hours later to find him peeling a potato in his seat, and eating it like an apple. He didn’t offer to share.
Soon we had a stop in some god forsaken village in Dakota. Devil’s Appendix or something. I’m as I’m standing around waiting for the Death Can (bus) to be refuelled, this little angel that had been on the bus since St. Paul sneaks up by me to get friendly. We start talking about how creepy folks are on the bus, and how she keeps being approached, spoken to, coughed on by dirty men. I, having that “nice guy charm” and “face your mother will love” provided her salvation from several hundred more miles of scumbag. When we re-boarded the bus, she took over as Co. Pilot on the S.S. Ryno. We shared a blanket and shot the shit all night, talking about all the “life story” goods. She was a dance student from Edmonton, who was in St. Paul by herself to see “Rent,” a big fan. She told me all about this hit broadway musical and why she was obsessed with it. I still don’t get it, but I’ve never met a woman who understands Jay Farrar. Anyway, we had ourselves a nice little time, and I bought her breakfast at a truck stop before she had to jump ship to head back to the Frosty North. (We maintained e-lectronicmail contact for several months after that. She was constantly trying to get me to fly off to some place on the other side of the country to see Rent with her. I would have if’n I wasn’t a broke ass art student)
So back on the road and minus one little blonde-headed canadian sweetheart, it was back to the road, and many cat-calls and hi-fives from all the other shit-heap dudes that took some shots at her while she was riding. All was well until Spokane, where some creepy-ass Stevie Nicks like Mom decided I looked like a fun guy to sit with and talk to about being reborn in Christ. I learned all about her family, and her drug habit, and her awakening in the arms of Jesus, and a whole bunch of other crap I didn’t care about. I’ve never wanted so much in my life to just look someone in the eye and tell them to shut the fuck up. Sometime later, she either jumped off or went to bother someone else. The terrrain had changed drastically over the hundreds of miles (the only benefit of Gayhound travel), and we were now in the midst of Mountainous terrain. When I could see the signs instructing Runaway Trucks how to exit the highway, I knew we were getting close.
Bend was a godsend. Never before has a one-syllable word sounded in my mind like the ringing of a thousand bells and a choir of angels. I deboarded that four-wheeled nighmare as quickly as I could, rejoicing at the sight of Draplin standing there practicing his lines for the Official DDC guided tour, which you all know he was more than happy to deliver.

Part II available from Random House Books, Christmas ‘03.

Kris: If you’re out there: Don’t eat the potatoes!

Posted by: Ryno on 06/30/03 at 10:32 AM

Sumbitch, Ryno: I’ve never heard a finer summary of the Greyhound experience. I think the airlines should pay you a royalty to reprint that in a persuasive “Why Fly?” brochure. Thoughtful and wonderfully-crafted, the kind of prose that would make a good piece in Voice of God Issue 2. (For the unfamiliar, VoG was Ryno’s summer foray into the ‘Zine world after our freshman year at MCAD. Excellent stuff if you can get one of the rare copies).

Posted by: "Wouldn't even throw you to the Posse" Chmiel on 06/30/03 at 10:57 AM

Hoss. You take that copy of that silly little piece of 18 year old nonsense and you bury it deep. You hear me? I’ve got goods on you, too, pal.

Posted by: Ryno on 06/30/03 at 11:44 AM

“…she took over as Co-Pilot on the S.S. Ryno”

Oh man, you have raised the bar on this one.

It’s a wonder of evolution that one can spit out such wordmanship. Fuckin’ amazing.

Real good. Four stars.

Posted by: Draplin on 06/30/03 at 11:52 AM