Hello CTB Family,
It’s your friendly, neighborhood, self-appointed Bishop here. Growing up I loved the book “And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street.” It’s a Dr. Seuss story about a little boy who makes up a fantastic tale on his way home from school, but when he arrives home he decides instead to tell his father the truth. All he saw was a mule pulling a cart.
I imagine this habit of making up crazy stories while on your way home is a common occurrence. It must be done (in *other* cities) to keep oneself entertained. But not here in Baltimore. We don’t need to make shit up. We just have to step out our front door and fantasy worthy of the Mulberry Street book is in full bloom.
For example on Monday night I discovered we were running low on bread and milk, so I made a trip to the grocery store. It was late, around eleven o’clock. During my journey I saw three wild and confounding sights.
THE ANGRY MAN IN BLACK
I was driving down Harford Road, minding my own business, when suddenly there appeared a Man in Black. Now this was not a cool, alien battling, suit wearing, shades sporting, Will Smith Man in Black; although my Man in Black was African American. This Man in Black wore a black stocking cap, a black long sleeve shirt, black boots, and black pants. Even his long, unkempt beard was black.
To say I “saw” the Man in Black would be a lie. I didn’t see him…at first.
What I saw was the car coming toward me, on the opposite side of the street, slam on its brakes and come to a screeching, skidding halt. It was only then that I noticed the Man in Black. He began angrily pounding on the hood of the car, screaming profanities, and waving his arms like a bird hoping to take flight.
I didn’t know what to do, so I stopped as well. The Man in Black evidently appreciated my stop. To show his gratitude, he stepped in front of my car, crossed his feet, put his left arm behind his back and his right arm across his stomach, and then proceeded to give me a bow worthy of a Tony winning Broadway play. It was the most fantastically elegant bow I had ever seen. It made me want to respond with a standing ovation. Upon rising from his wonderful bow, he mouthed to me “Thank You Kind Sir.”
For a finale, he turned the other car, which had moments before not hit him, flipped the car the bird, and began once again to scream profanity as he disappeared into the night.
(evan edit: was is @baltospectator?)
THE FAT MAN ON A BIKE
I proceeded from the Man in Black on Harford Road to make a pit stop at a gas station. There, waiting for me at a pump, was a rather strange looking fellow. By my estimation, he was near three-hundred pounds. His large, white belly hung over the top of his blue jean shorts. His mustache was brown and bushy. He wore a tightly stretched small, white t-shirt and road a child sized bike. He waited patiently for me to pull up to the gas pump and exit my vehicle before launching into his story. He told me a tale of deep woe. He need a few bucks for just one more beer.
“What?” I asked. “No kids need food? No car broken down? No bus fair? You are just going to come out and ask me for beer money?”
“At least its not drugs,” he replied.
“True,” I said. “You sir, are very refreshing.” But then, sadly, I was forced to apologize, as I had no cash on me. He huffed, lumbered up onto the seat of the bike, and road over to the next car. The sight of that large man in a tiny shirt on a child’s bike, his knees hitting the bottom of the handle bars, his belly crammed into the small space, is a sight I will never be able to erase from my soul.
THE NOT PROSTITUTE
After filling my car, I left the gas station and continued up Harford road to a red light next to a bus stop. At the bus stop sat a young woman, I would guess in her late twenties, wearing an extremely tight, hot pink workout bra and black spandex. Her make up was heavy, her blond hair was matted, and her eyes were exhausted. She grasped a steaming cup of McDonalds coffee in her hands.
Based on her appearance (I assume) the driver of the beat-up, blue Camry in front of me made a terrible assumption. He rolled down his passenger side window, leaned across the card, and held out a wad of cash.
The woman at the bus stop transformed into a seething, rage filled, beast whose furry is that of myth and lore. Suddenly full of fire, she lept from her bench, hurled her coffee through his window, pounded on the roof of his car, and screamed, “I’m not a whore, you bitch!” She got five good roof smacks in before the light turned green and the car peeled away.
No my friends, in Baltimore there is never a need to make up stories. We do not need to pretend or fantasize. All we need do is take a late night trip to the store for milk and bread.
The Bishop of the CTB