Excuse Me

29th April 2004

From the back of the bus comes a belch that sends out sound waves you can feel against your skin. The volume and intensity of this belch are unrivaled. Everyone turns, ears ringing, to find the culprit slouched in his seat. He has pulled up the neck of his T-shirt to cover his mouth. “EX-cuuse me. EX-CU-se me,” he shouts. His tone is defiant, threatening. He belches again. This second belch reaches multiple climaxes. The other passengers recoil, and the belch stretches down the center aisle. It is deafening; it strains credulity. “EX-cuuse me. EX-CU-se me,” he shouts. “EXCUSE me, ladies and gentlemen!” The irritated man in front of him responds.

“You better say excuse me. You almost ripped my ear off, dog.”

“That’s why I’m covering my mouth with my shirt, man. Chill out, man.”

“You the one makin’ all the noise. Disgusting.

“I covered my mouth. It’s all good.”

“No, it ain’t.”

“It’s all good. We’re 93 million miles from the sun.”

(The man in front of him stiffens.)

Anyway, I’m gettin’ off right here. It’s all good anyway. I’m getting the hell away from you. Everything is war, and war is everywhere.