Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trolley Folies

First I need to set the stage for our comic operetta. Friend Kent and I had dinner in Mission Valley (Sammy's, terrible) and were boarding the trolley to San Diego State to see our beloved Aztecs play a basketball game against Ball St..

We sat across from each other on the single seats and I held onto the chrome handrail for support. Diagonally across from me was a large person mansplayed in his seat talking so loudly on his cell phone that the whole train soon knew all the minute details of his business and were all quite proud of him for all the young ladies he had signed up for one thing or another.

He looked like a good enough sort of chap but perhaps just a skoche oblivious as to how he fit into the greater social milieu. Maybe tired.

Enter stage left; a man with a beret wheeling in a bicycle.

Our new character seemed to have the mien of a mime or a comic, a dancer's physicality, he looked at the empty seat next to our play's protagonist and I thought that perhaps I sensed some faint gleam of recognition. I sought for the mime's eye and he gave me Moe Howard's cryptic two finger jab gesture to his eyeballs. Hmmm, maybe this was going to get interesting?

Cell phone man went on and on, and on, seemingly unaware of the world that existed around him. The bereted mime stared ahead with a rather bored look while holding his bicycle. But something was fishy. I felt a certain tension. I pulled my cell phone out and took a fairly surreptitious shot. I was taking a chance and I may have been way off but I still used eye contact with several other fellow riders to alert them that I thought something was maybe up and they should watch.

We finally arrived at our designated stop, ten minutes later and I think Marcel Marceau may have run a bike tire over oblivious man's foot. They looked at each other and what turned out to be two old friends started laughing. The loud guy said "I wondered who was pushing into my space." He had spent all this time pretty unconscious to the rest of the world. Once he pulled out of his bubble he seemed to be  a delightful enough guy. We all had a chuckle and the bike rider gave me his card and asked me to send him the picture.

I will write a postscript tomorrow. We even have a slight tangential connection.
Fellow trolley riders were still laughing about it on our return three hours later.

postscript - Looked at bike rider's card, a writer, comic artist and publisher, Batton Lash. Student of Eisner and Kurtzman, big CV, tacks to the dark side. Publisher, creator, writer, artist for Supernatural Law. I actually used to run around in a few of the same circles as his wife, Jackie Estrada, a titan in the comic world, a world I got my start selling and buying art in, way back when (0ver 40 years ago). They own Exhibit A Press in San Diego. Jackie has a new book out, for early denizens of the comic con like yours truly. Wonderful people. The red jacketed fellow has been identified, but I will refer to him only as D.

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