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July 17th, 2002

11:15 am

There's this woman who rides the bus occasionally who all the drivers refer to as the "Dog Lady." She's probably in her fifties and has long, shaggy hair that's very dirty looking. The reason everyone calls her "Dog Lady" is that she always smells like wet dog with a hint of urine mixed in. It's a very strong, unpleasant odor. It can fill the bus in mere minutes and every time I've been on a bus that picks her up, I always hear at least one groan from either the driver or a passenger before she even gets on. In fact, I have been told that there are some drivers in the fleet who won't pick her up, although I have never seen that happen and I think that it would be inappropriate to leave her on the curb just because she smells. In addition to the odor, she is also just plain weird. She'll talk to anyone and what she has to say is always a bit strange. So yesterday, I was working the crossword puzzle and not really paying attention when we slowed for a stop. I heard a groan from the guy sitting across from me, and I looked up just in time to see the Dog Lady getting on. Then an instant later, the smell hit me. Fortunately for me, the front of the bus where I was sitting was pretty full so she had to go to the back. She usually tries to sit up front and talk to the driver, but lucky for him, I was in the prime driver talking seat. Anyway, she went by and everyone was making faces and groaning. Then I looked up at the bus driver who was glaring at her. Then he reached into his bag and whipped out a can of air freshener. He didn't spray it right away. He was waiting for her to get off the bus so he could go disinfect her seat. It was really quite funny. I was struggling not to crack up. I can't believe the guy carries around a can of air freshener specifically because of this woman. Seriously, if I ever smell bad enough that you need to carry air freshener to be around me, please, let me know.

I talked to Larry last night. He's still in the hospital, but if all goes well, he'll be going home today. I'm very excited about that. He sounded great on the phone. He's looking forward to getting home so he can get some sleep without some nurse coming to bother him once an hour. Now I'm hoping that Larry recovers quick enough to make it to the TU football games this season. (No pressure, Larry. If you can't make it, I'll survive but the games are more fun when you're there, so hurry up.)

And speaking of TU football, I am starting to get very excited about the upcoming season. Unfortunately, as bad as TU is, the anticipation and delusions of finally having a winning season usually end up being more satisfying than football season itself. My delusions lately have been just spectacular. I keep daydreaming about TU's season opener against OU. It's a packed house on a beautiful clear evening and no one is giving TU a chance. But then TU, inspired by the home crowd and being on ESPN, stuns the over-confident Sooners. TU has won the game so many times in my head that I almost have myself convinced that it will happen. I know in reality we're going to get killed - there's the national T.V. exposure we need to turn things around - but at least TU will make some good money off of the game. Without my delusional fantasies I could never maintain my enthusiasm for TU football. It's the delusions that keep me going. And one of these days, TU will turn things around and have a winning season and get to a bowl game and all of my suffering will have been worthwhile.

I guess I'll call it a day. Later.