I was sitting in the bus terminal in South Station desperately trying to stay awake. My chief allies in this crucial endeavor were a bottle of flat luke-warm Coke and the colossal thunderclap snores of the large man sitting across from me. His expanse spanned two normal humans worth of electric-blue bench. It was one of those benches that look like they're designed by an obsessive compulsive with a drill press, the ones with a regular grid of one inch diameter holes so that if you sit too long little one inch circles of your butt lose circulation and you start to itch like crazy.

This guy was a snorer for the ages. We're talking raise the dead, abandon all hope ye who enter here, Ragnarok snoring. As I said, he was a large guy, but he wasn't fat per se, more like I can bench press three of you without blinking football player large, than I participate in marine biology experiments as a hobby large. Nonetheless, he had phenomenal word class jowls, great heaping folds of skin, that I swear could've hidden a lesser man. Best of all he was snoring at their resonant frequency so whenever he let out one of those ear drum shattering snores, a fleshy harmonic would twang back and forth on his titanic cheeks in a perfect jowl sine-wave.

You have to believe me when I say I didn't want to do what I did next. I'm not some malevolent teenage punk who gets off on torturing overlarge heavily jowled forces of nature. Sometimes though, an idea is just too perfect, it captures the spirit of an age. Sometimes you have a course of action where if you don't follow it, well you might as well have just not lived. Some people spend their whole lives regretting missed opportunities, but I've always been a seize the day, dance like no one's watching kind of guy, so when the idea come forth into my cranium I sprang into action.

One of the reasons I travel by bus is that I like to carry certain things with me at all times. There's none of that check your luggage so it can be lost or forget to pack your pocket knife and have to dump it in the amnesty bin. In particular, I always have my leatherman, a roll of duct tape, and a pack of balloons. Now, the last of these might sound a little out of place, not being something for holding the universe together or prying it apart, but the thing about balloons is that they come in handy surprisingly often. Balloons are for holding people together. Picture a downtrodden face, an old friend, a cute girl, someone you'd like to cheer. Now picture that person with a balloon. Is that person some sort of moping monster of sorrow? No, that person is going teehee knocking the balloon back and forth, has a face full of joy, and remembers you as a source for brightness in the world.

There was this girl on the other end of my bench, our bench I guess you could say. She was maybe nineteen, twenty, and rocking out into her headphones which must've been completely stellar if she could hear anything over King Jowl of the Snore People. She had light brown shoulder length hair with red tips, that went with the warm color of her cheeks. Definitely pretty hot. When I started blowing up balloons, she gave me one of those, I'm not watching you because that would be creepy but the second you turn away I'm gonna turn back because what on earth are you doing, looks. About half way puffing up my third balloon I noticed her staring out of the corner of my eye and after I finished inflating the balloon, I turned right to her, breaking the cardinal rule of society, acknowledging the existence of someone I didn't know, even though it wasn't necessary, and held my index finger up as if to indicate I needed a few minutes, then winked at her, while I clicked the side of my mouth with my tongue. I thought it was classy. I got the impression that she couldn't decide whether to snicker or studiously ignore me so she sort of did both and screwed her face up awful, before going back to rocking out, but I knew she was watching. I was the only thing going.

I blew up five balloons before I pulled out the duct tape. Roll in hand, I pulled off about eight inches, then tore it off with my teeth. What can I say, I like to put on a show. I took the piece of tape and rolled it into a ring, sticky side out. Then I took one of the balloons and smushed the tape ring onto the side. Calmly, carefully, doing a little two-step, I walked over to Snoraluffagus and stuck one of the balloons to his mammoth left shoulder. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Your image of the day: A large man, known to history as the snoring leviathan, bedecked in gray sweatshirt, jeans, and blue, yellow, red and balloons that rock back and forth in harmony with the sine waves bouncing through his thick-jowled cheeks, stops snoring and begins to cough. A mighty baseball of phlegm escapes his throat, fleeing mudville, and flies a good twenty feet onto the reddish-gray ceramic floor. He still sleeps, but snores no more, the balloons are at rest. All is quiet in the bus terminal, but for the quiet hum of life. My coke is still flat and luke-warm. The cute girl cracks up. Victory.

First Previous Next Last