Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Slippery Slope in Crag-laden Northwest Argentina pt. 3 of 3

Because even highbrow humour needs a poop joke every once in a while:

As the night grew increasingly longer I became more entrenched in my hopelessness. I was stuck on an overnight bus journey from Jujuy, Argentina back to Buenos Aires. All would have been grand had it not been for the fact that nothing was grand. The first three hours of the trip had become excruciating. If my bowels could speak, they'd echo in angst; "SHIT!"

Enrique, my seatmate, wouldn't shut up, couldn't shut up. He was so jacked on maté that he couldn't sit still. Meanwhile, hands clenched to the armrests, I sat near vertically, at an angle of even less than 90 degrees with my insides writhing. The light above flickered at a rate mere fractions of seconds off consistent. This was just enough to further drive me berserk. The cosmos were surely playing an evil trick on me.

The chances that I would last like this much longer weren't slim to none. No, they were none. I thought it best to count, to take my mind off of every single little thing around me. It had gotten to the point where I felt that even the fabric on my seat was too rough on my skin and that I thought I could smell my feet; or someone's feet. Every sensation I experienced turned painful, and the counting did no good. It became a systematic countdown towards my breaking point.

Sixty-six, sixty-seven...Enrique was yapping.
One-oh-eight, one-oh-nine...I was sweating.
One-forty-two, one-forty-three...the lights were flickering.
Crap! What number was I on?...The bus was rocking.
One-twenty-two, one-twenty-three...I was sure that the driver has gone tangent on a goat-path.
One-ninety-nine, two-hundred....

I jumped up amid Enrique's rant about Whatever, I said no words and I RAN down to the driver below.

Now, it's rare that I'll ever ask someone to bend to my wishes. I am a firm believer in the utilitarian approach to moving commerce. A long line of cars should not wait for one person disobeying a crossing-signal to stroll lazily across the intersection, and certainly a bus-full of content passengers shouldn't be forced to pull off into a small town so that one guilty American can use the bathroom. (Although functions of utilitarianism would have ensured that the bus's toilet worked). It is, however, also true that I am of the firmest belief in some sort of consequentialism. This choice, to stop, would be much better for all on the bus than if I hadn't the opportunity. I promise.

"Excuse me, sir," I hesitantly gained the driver's attention, "I need to use the bathroom."

"We'll be stopping shortly," he retorted.

"Uh... we need to stop very soon, shortly won't suffice." ( I don't know how I managed to get this all across in Spanish). We then began to stare each other down. I really wished he would watch the road, but I also needed him to understand the gravity of my situation. One would assume that my gravity was the standard 9.8 m/s², however, the weight of all the burdens on my back pushed me towards the floor*. Hunched over, I engaged the driver in a very monumental staring contest, and I was so intent on winning that I didn't move to wipe the sweat dripping from my brow. We both stared as if it would never end. Then, from either my determination or the driver's necessity to return his attention back to the road, I emerged victor! I contently turned around after his nod and headed back to my seat when I suddenly flew backward. The bus came to a screeching halt.

"Here." the driver said concisely.

"Here?" I asked. I looked outside. The moonlit night shone only upon an empty field for as far as I could see. There were no lights, no signs of civilization and, sure as death, no toilets.

"Here?" I asked again. Maybe I wasn't victorious, after all.

[[Please hang tight for part four of this engaging three part series! This is certainly not the end.]]
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*Note: Yes, I am fully aware of the differences between force and gravitational pull. This device used purely literarily.

1 comment:

cooties mctoodles said...

i feel duped. i expected this to be a three part series, and instead you pull a star wars. you sonuvab