Daily Archives: September 3, 2014

You meet a lot of interesting people on a downtown bus…

So – I expect you are all expecting me to yell at you some more about picking up NOT JUST ANY OLD GHOST STORY for FREE!!!

Well – I’m not.



I want to tell you folks a little story. I was heading home from work – having just managed to get out in time to catch my bus. The only problem was this bus was mondo-funky. The stiff ammoniatic reek of cat pee. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if a cat had actually peed on the bus or if there was some kind of crazy cat person who had recently been peed upon forty or fifty times or so.

Well – I did not see the point in making a fuss. I fished a tube of peppermint lip gloss and smeared a little on my nose and around my nostrils and that masked the funk nicely. I had a fifteen minute ride home and I figured I could put up with a little cat funk.

Too bad the next person on the bus was not so philosophical.

This short dumpy woman with a face like the business end of a Mack Truck and the figure of a stumpy lawn gnome stomped onto the bus at the next stop and began to loudly rant.

“Pheeeewwww!” she exclaimed. “That’s cat pee. I can’t sit up here!”

So she stomps to the back of the bus.

“Pheeeewwww!” she repeated. “I can smell it back here too. It’s all over the freaking bus.”

By now I could see the shoulders of the bus driver start to move quietly up and down as he chuckled to himself. I could see the old boy sitting sideways in front of me biting on his lip trying to hold back a grin. Everyone else was playing poker face – mostly unsuccessfully.

“That’s cat pee!” the woman shouted out. “I know it. I can smell it. I have the nose of a hawk!”


The nose of a hawk…

I’m still shaking my head at that.

Then the bus stopped again and a little old lady walked on and asked the bus driver a question in one of those quiet whispered little old lady voices.

They talked for a minute and then the little old lady got on and found a seat.

“What did you ask the bus driver?” asked the cat-pee lady. “Did you ask him about the smell of cat pee?”

I should mention that the cat-pee lady had one of those screechy nails-on-a-chalkboard tones of voice that generally make me want to cringe. I am a great believer in looking on the bright side and trying to see the good in everyone but my sympathies were being sorely tested.

“Was that it?” the cat-pee lady went on. “Were you asking him about cat-pee?”

All right. So you folks think I am exaggerating – but the truth of it is she said cat-pee so often that I swear she must have been getting paid a dollar for every time that she said cat-pee.

“No,” the little old lady replied. “I was just asking for directions.”

“Where are you going?” the cat-pee lady asked.

“Spryfield,” the old lady replied.

By now we were pulling up beside the St. Agnes Church – which is directly across from a bus stop where the Spryfield bus stops.

“Come on with me,” the cat-pee lady said. “I’m going to Spryfield too. We can go together.”

Well, that little old lady tried to protest but the cat-pee lady was driving a big old verbal steamroller and would NOT take no for an answer. I’ll swear she threw that little old lady over her shoulder and followed that sharp-as-a-hawk-nose of hers right out the front door – pausing only to loudly reprimand the bus driver – whose shoulders were STILL shaking up and down – either in fear or repressed hilarity.

“This whole bus smells of cat pee!” she loudly proclaimed, just in case he hadn’t heard her the first fifty-eight times or so. “You ought to wash it out.”

And then she was gone – dragging that little old lady across the street to the bus stop where she undoubtedly hold forth on the virtues of un-cat-peed-buslines.

I waited until the door was closed to finally speak.

You can call me chicken-shit if you like but I prefer to think of myself as a diplomat worthy of Henry Kissinger.

(you kids run off and Google him, would you?)

“Well I believe she is the foreman wherever she goes,” I said just loudly enough for everyone to hear.

It wasn’t THAT funny – but the old guy in front of me started chuckling and the woman beside him did a half a dozen spit takes and the two women in the bench across the aisle giggled like they were wearing a quartet of feather-duster-wielding-monkeys beneath their armpits.

I think the bus driver peed himself.

Although might just have been the cat-pee talking…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Happy Dance of Writing Joy

I married a professional dancer.

She doesn’t dance anymore. She retired this year after two decades of dancing and giving instruction to hundreds and hundreds of students. She went back to college and is now working in hospital administration.

I am so damn proud of her.


I’ve been always been a dancer as well – only more in the whirling-frog-in-a-blender style of freestyle drunken abandon. I figure as long as my feet are hitting the floor and my head is bumpingĀ  in the rafters then I am doing fine.


Cool thing is, my wife has never minded my lack of choreography. She is just happy to see me up there with her dancing. You take a note there – all you other dudes – if your lady wants to boogie get up off of your ass and shake it, man! Dancing is just another way of having fun.

She didn’t marry Fred Astaire.

She married YOU!


Writing has always been my dancing.

It’s fun for me.

The day it stops being fun I expect I’ll stop too – BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY!

I’d just like to say thank you to all of those folks out there who have picked up a free copy of NOT JUST ANY OLD GHOST STORY.

Today is the last day of the freebie offer and I have given away over 800 copies so far.

Allow me to give you a brief Snoopy happy dance of writing joy.

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

This is me, doing my Happy Dance!

In honor of this I have marked my SEA TALES collection of short and eerie maritime fiction down to $2.99 from it’s usual $4.99 price tag.


Thanks again.

Writing is fun, life is fun – now get out there and DANCE!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon