Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tales from the Bus

I love riding the bus.

IU's bus system makes it free for all students to ride the multitude of bus lines that go through town and campus. The bus I ride home drops me off less than five minutes from my apartment. So I ride the bus pretty often. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I ride home for lunch and then back for my office hour, AI class, and theory. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I ride it home for the day.

Most of the time, the bus is an incredibly pleasant experience. Most of the people on my bus are students, so it's not like riding a bus from downtown Cincinnati. Once, I did that and a woman who had lots of Princess Diana buttons on sat next to me and explained how Prince Charles killed Di. She was harmless, but it was still quite the experience.

However, today people seemed out of sorts. And the problem with people being out of sorts on the bus is that they are usually engaging in cell phone conversations. With inappropriate subjects. Loudly.

For example, tonight a young man was in a bit of a tiff with his mother, it appeared. She even hung up on him! This is after he yelled "Stay Calm!" several times. Not exactly something you want to share with 50 strangers.

But today's cell phone convo of the day was way more exciting than a fight with mom.

It appears that this sweet little undergrad's pet, Howard, was sick. The student, a girl, was talking to her mom on the phone telling her about how she needed to take Howard to the vet because it was getting bad. She said that if she couldn't afford it then she wouldn't be able to take him to the vet (presumably her mom asked how much it was going to cost and if she could afford it). I am horrified, thinking that this poor girl was going to lose her beloved pet because she couldn't take him to the vet.

So girl finally gets off the phone with mom and calls the vet. She needs to make an appointment for Howard, she tells them, and gives them her name (which I'm not repeating here because it's none of our businesses).

The problem with Howard, you see, is that he has a BIG BLOODY TUMOR on his leg. Ewwww. We get to hear about the BIG BLOODY TUMOR several times both on the phone to the vet and when she was talking to her mom. Other than that, Howard is doing well. He's eating normally.

And the best part?

Howard is not a dog or cat, as I feared.

Howard is a HAMSTER!

I didn't even know you could take a hamster to the vet. I know I tried to get mom to take my gerbil, Sugar, to the vet up the street, but apparently vets don't look at pets that have already died.

(Speaking of which, be not afraid, if Howard happened to kick the bucket before his appointment on Friday, his "mom" wouldn't have to pay for the appointment. Sweet relief.)

This is not to diminish Howard's life. I understand how attached people can get to even the smallest of pets. For example, my fish aquarium sophomore year got the disease Ick. Which was really awful, because it eats away at the fish until they don't have fins and just float around. It was terrible.

So this is, of course, not to make fun of Howard and his mom. I'm sure she was very concerned about Howard. I know I am, now.

But still, do you want to talk about BIG BLOODY TUMORS on the bus?

(P.S. -- I've had a spot of midterms, which is why I haven't been around. Hopefully I will be able to update here soon with good news about our house!)

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