Yikes! This is #25 of the As I Sat On The Bus thing. Bumba thanks the brave bloggers who have contributed to this remarkable mass transportation series, and invites one and all to make a contribution to the AISOTB Compendium and to ride the bus every now and then. Bumbastories environmental engineers have made a rough estimate that if everyone in the developed industrialized nations reduced their energy use by 20% – and a 20% per capita reduction in energy use – that’s 20% less gasoline, electricity, gas per person (and that also includes not wasting water, plastic, paper, all that packaging, and then recycling whatever paper and plastic do have to use) – all of that reduction, this 20% to 22% reduction is indeed quite do-able and would not involve a significant sacrifice. Bumbastories environmental engineers figure the price of a gallon of gasoline would go down by 35 to 40%, with obvious savings in national health care expenses.
Ride the bus one day a week, find inspiration for an blog article.
In any case……
As I sat on the #20 bus rattling with the others up Wilshire Blvd, I thought: “What ever shall I write of next? This whole riding on the bus thing is getting a bit long in the tooth.”
No sooner had these exact words “don’t worry, you’ll think of something” run across my mind, that a unique occurrence, an epiphany of sorts played out before my very eyes. Or rather the epiphany played out behind me. From the rear seat of the bus a young man had taken out his guitar and launched into a perfect rendition – indeed it was almost an exact copy – of Marcel Marceau’s famous 1962 recording of the Hank Williams hit Lovesick Blues
At this point I noticed that Bumba was making a quick escape from this week’s AISOTB Invitational, as he hopped off at the next stop. I myself stayed on the bus and heard the song till the end. It was OK, but I thought Marcel Marceau sung it better.
Send in your stories, photos, poems, songs and other interesting thoughts that start with – or somewhere imply “As I Sat On The Bus”. Just get on the bus and you’ll start writing. Send it in via the Comments section
People ask about writer’s block: the difficulty in writing consistently, in producing words. It’s not easy to write! Some writers barricade themselves up in a garret, or lock themselves in their rooms, forcing themselves to write at least 50 thousand words a week. Something like that. Some crazy target.
Other writers write for these blogs. They write every day. They come up with something each and every day for the blog. 200 blog words a day. Something. Anything. For a while they’re really into it. But after a year or two they usually grow weary. They ask themselves why the heck they’re writing on this blog thing for anywaze. What for? All the same, the blogging often becomes a bit of an obsession for them. A daily obligation. Bumba, for instance, even began his blog with a plan of “every day another story”- or something stupid like that. I believe that’s what he titled his blog. You know, he just figured he’d have a new story every day. He also hoped that he could get contributions from other authors as well. Furthermore he hoped to present several of his own books that were already written. His intentions were noble. You have to grant him that. But then he winds up using various bloggers’ shortcuts. He posts every other day. Or he posts some songs that he recorded on the guitar the day before and calls that a post.
Such is Bumba’s answer to writer’s block. What the?
As I sat on the bus I waited for the inspiration to come. I knew that if I rode the bus I would soon find the muse. It would just come to me. The bus is my muse. I would overcome the current bout of writer’s block. The writer’s block thing would simply dissolve into the mumblings and rumblings of the #20 bus as it rattled its way down Wilshire Blvd.
After passing the LACMA Museum I noticed some new buildings going up at La Brea. Further down there was a shiny new car dealership. Then a series of strip malls. Places to eat. Crossing Highland, the bus entered into a more gentrified stretch of Wilshire. No more commercial stores. Some corporate offices. Some nicely landscaped condos. The drove by the fabled Fremont Estates.
The ride down Wilshire, arguably Los Angeles’ greatest boulevard, might make a swell idea for a story, a saga perhaps, a grand quasi-literary tour of L.A., I thought. Hmmmm.
……..Naah, better to just present a song
If you ever go to Houston
Tell them all I said hello.
This is #23 in the growing line (that’s right, the line’s gruesome) of As I Sat On The Bus Invitational stories.
If you look at the As I Sat On The Bus invitational Archive in the Library section to your right, you’ll see contributions by other authors such as the wonderful Dawn (who has put together a terrific AISOTB series), Eric Alagon, Frizz of FlkrComments, Tornadoday (that’s Bobbie of course) and many others who have already hopped on the bus (both literally and figuratively) and who are contributors to this fine and noble mass transportation project. So try your hand too. Send in your As I Sat On The Bus (AISOTB) stories. Don’t be late or you’ll miss the bus.
Once again a writer’s thanks to the gods at the MTA who grant us so much time to compose epic poems and 500 page novels while we wait for the buses. Thank you, oh merciful gods of the MTA who so generously …….
“Not fair! Why are you always so rough on the MTA?” interrupts a squeaky voice from the wings (or is it from the back of my head?), “Because look! Here comes the bus! Stop complaining, Bumba”
Indeed. It was true. The #16 bus was coming. Life is good sometimes.
As I sat on the bus, as the bus rolled along, as passengers got off at their stops and the bus emptied, I enjoyed several long and sweet moments of calm lucidity. It was quiet in the bus. Yes the bus was chucking along making all of its regular noises, but otherwise, inexplicably, all was quiet. How rare these quiet moments! At least for me they’re rare. Most the time my mind is churning out more words or it’s busy considering some matter of world-shaking importance. The Indians call it monkey mind. Another apt word would be plain old worrying.
But, as a recorded voice announced the next stop over a loudspeaker, I knew where I was. I was reassured. And I knew that I had another couple of stops before my stop to enjoy perhaps another few moments of quiet and of peace. I had time. There was nothing to do or think about.
Yes it’s a Bumbastories singalong. And today’s song will be one of the greatest “songs-to-sing-along-with” that I know. I’ve posted it once before. It’s Alexander’s Rag Time Band!
Written by Irving Berlin in 1911 (Holy Moly Guacamole, that’s like one hundred and two years ago!)
Alexander’s Rag Time Band!
is one of the great American pop hits of all time. And one which I hope you know the words to. If not, the words are presented below. Because you have to sing. As a further incentive to make you sing, I myself have sung it. Which leaves you no choice. You must sing it too – if only to drown out my creaking. So C’mon and hear……..
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
Alexander’s Ragtime Band.
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
It’s the best band in the land!
They can play a bugle call like you never heard before.
So natural that you want to go to war.
That’s just the bestest band what am, honey lamb.
Come on along, come on along,
Let me take you by the hand.
Up to the man, up to the man,
Who’s the leader of the band!
And if you care to hear the Swanee River played in ragtime,
Come on and hear, come on and hear,
Alexander’s Ragtime Band!
I don’t know about you, but I myself, as well as the entire Bumbastories staff of intrepid reporters, generally have a hard time composing these posts. It’s hard work, and we’re a bit jealous of bloggers who simply present some a quote from somebody else and call it a post. Like that’s all they do? However I received an inspirational message in my horoscope today (OK, I confess it was last Friday’s horoscope) The horoscope (that’s to say the stars) told me:
“Once you do all you can do, the next step is to determine that it was enough. Do not forget that step”
What words of wisdom! Thus concludes today’s post from Bumbastories.
Thank you very much.
This week’s Friday Fictioneer’s photo prompt is this not very charming sculpture. It reminds me of belonging – or rather it reminds me of not belonging: the theme of my contribution to Friday Fictioneer’s – hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
Marcus looked up at the entranceway to the Athletic Club. He actually held in his hand a free pass to enter this exclusive white-men-only club. For years Marcus had walked past this building on his way to work. As a Black man the club was verbotten, off- limits. Now that he had a ticket in his hand, now that the club had officially integrated (by court order it was) Marcus no longer cared to enter. He crumpled the white entrance pass in his hand and squeezed it for a good while in his tightened fist before he walked on..