August 5, 2006

Just Plain Nuts

I've noticed an inordinate number of crazy people around these days. Maybe Liz and I keep wandering into the wrong places at the wrong times, but it seems like we almost attract people who don't quite have it together.

For example, we were on the train the other day on our way home from somewhere and Liz decides to snuggle up next to me in the seat. Nothing out of the ordinary, we see far worse (you wouldn't believe the PDA from some of the high schoolers) on a regular basis. Just as I reach over and kiss her forehead, this lady with a very worried expression on her face smacks Liz in the shoulder (not taps, not politely shakes, smacks) and says "stop that, you're disturbing me!" Liz asked what we were doing to disturb her. "You're doing all that kissing and cuddling, stop it! It makes me unhappy!" Liz mumbled something to the effect of "sorry" and took her head off my shoulder as I grabbed her hand.

I've never had that happen before. I'm quite sure in my high school days that I engaged in far worse acts of affection in public than simply kissing my wife's forehead, but for some reason the lady couldn't take even that.

Another example, Liz and I are again on a train on our way home when a lady, face covered in paint, asks us in a slightly agitated voice, "how old is your dog?" We always have Wisdom with us, with little exception, and so naturally she attracts a lot of attention. But the lady has eyes that are a bit wild, and she's holding a plastic bag. I'm thinking "ok, weird, maybe she's just got back from painting ... at 9pm in the evening ..." as Liz politely explains what it is she's doing with Wisdom and launches into her now-memorized little blurb about SEDA. The lady takes one more look, mumbles something unintelligable, and shuffles over a bit. Then, she sticks an aerosol bottle into the bag, squeezes, and then inhales from the top, just as the train is stopping at our station. I almost said, "wait, you know that's going to make you dizzy," when suddenly a few things started snapping into place in my mind and, as quietly as I could, said "oh. I get it." Liz smirked and pushes the button to open the door, and we got off, putting as much distance behind us as quickly as we could.

Another time, Liz told me she was on the train and a man started yelling at his sandwich and then threw it at her, knocking her in the head. He stopped, pulled out another one, yelled at it a bit, then threw it at the lady sitting across from him, startling her out of her wits. I'm not sure quite what the sandwiches had done, but apparently they warranted such treatment. Later, he retreived the two sandwiches and resumed somewhere in another compartment.

We've seen more than that, but those are the examples that stick out in my mind. I heard somebody say that some politician has been closing mental institutions around Melbourne to save money. I wouldn't be too surprised if that was the case. But it's weird, it seems almost like as they let them go, they point them towards Coburg. "There's two Americans there, stay on the trains and make them feel welcome."

3 comments:

Priscilla said...

Thanks for the entertaining read. You gotta wonder.....

al said...

weird.

tart noir said...

Chris, your experiences make the weirdos of the East End seem like innocent kittens. Good luck living amongst them...

-Adrienne