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Bus Story: Punch My Card and Call Me Geek

August 25, 2010

The sun beats down on my head and I squint against the glare to read the numbers on the buses as they trundle by on the rapidly heating asphalt. Finally, the 54 arrives and I step aboard right as my iPod starts playing a haunting and richly orchestrated Gaelic-esque number by Loreena McKennit. Suddenly, my heated brain launches me and my fellow riders deep into the woods of Robert Jordan, Ursula LeGuin, Terry Brooks, and even Tolkein. And with the change, that slightly frumpy, scowling woman with a desparately unhappy daughter in tow becomes a dark magic wielding sorceress dragging her unwilling offspring to some ritual. That chain-smoking, too-cool-for-school dude who walks on the balls of his feet becomes a thief with a bigger imagination than his skills warrant. And the big, smiling guy with a briefcase that looks like it’s made from titanium shifts to become a quest-driven paladin, zealously guarding some holy artifact. The illusion shatters when a cell phone blares and Shrieking Tween launches into a series of “Oh my gods” and “I know, totallys”. It seems the Great Geek Escape of fantasy fiction can’t withstand the twin assaults of modern technology and pre-teen angst. Next time, the paladin will have to bring a sword and there will some targeted smiting.

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From → Bus Stories

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