So I learned some important things today.
As I've mentioned, I started back to school this fall in an attempt to finish my bachelor's, go to grad school, and finally get off my ass and decide what I want to be when I grow up. (For the record - - I want to teach English Lit and writing at a college somewhere).
Anyway, because it was in the sixties today and it looks like winter will be here soon, I decided to wear my Utilikilt one last time before I put it away until St. Patty's Day. Besides, I'm already the old weird guy in a sophomore level English class with a bunch of bright, but life experience deficient, nineteen year olds. If they can't handle me in a kilt, whilst discussing James Joyce's Dubliners, screw 'em! They can use a little Irish culture from an angry, unrepentant, undead, Fenian bastard such as myself!
The problem arose when I got downtown. If you've never been to Cleveland, let me preface it by saying that we've been recently named the #1 poorest city in America (Take that Detroit! We're number one! We're number one!). So, the area that Cleveland State University is in is right on the edge of a blighted, urban wasteland. And this is the area I need to traverse in order to get to school.
This strange and post-apocalyptic landscape is full of decaying warehouses, ghetto housing, and remnants of a once thriving early twentieth century industrial giant. Now, it looks like the Saturday after a limited nuclear exchange, complete with shambling, bleary eyed survivors in the form of the economically disadvantaged who scratch out a living amidst the squallor. And they all end up on the bus that runs back and forth down Euclid Avenue, bouncing and jostling in potholes and cracks in the road made worse by a city that has neither the money nor the desire to repair them. It's funny really, Euclid Avenue was once called the "The Most Beautiful Street in the World" But now it is an infected, dying, cancerous shell.
And that bus I mentioned? Yeah. I ride it every other day...
You see, on my own poor front, Mrs. Zombie and I are pinching pennies to pay for my decision to go back to school. Soooo, rather than pay eight dollars a day parking at the University two days a week, what I've started doing is parking at Mrs. Zombie's work at East 105th and Euclid and taking the bus down to East 19th. This works well because it's free and secure parking at Mrs. Zombie's work, and I'm already paying $25 a semester as part of my tuition for a free bus pass.
Which brings me to my adventure in Celtic wear...
Things I learned today:
- When you're the only white guy on a bus - in a kilt - it helps to have a shaved head, earings, and a goatee like Scott Ian's from Anthrax.
- Cultural wear or not, older people will still stare at you like you're a sexual deviant.
- When worst comes to worst, and an angry looking gang-banger sidles up to you to ask why you're wearing a skirt, look him right in the eye and say, "I'm a mixed martial arts cage fighter and I'm on my way down to the gym to train for a fight." Can you believe he actually bought it?!?
- Nineteen year old college girls are fascinated by kilts and will pester you endlessly about whether or not you've got anything on underneath. I opted to plead the fifth. Is it sad that any interest by nineteen year old college girls warms the undead doctor's heart? Not that I'd do anything, it's just nice - ya know?
- When you're waiting for the bus, other people on other buses and cars will point at you and laugh. They can laugh now; but I promise they'll all be sorry when I take over the world and use them to feed my undead zombie minions! We'll see who's laughing then.
- I don't care what anybody says; sitting in an empty room on a plastic college desk, in a kilt, and farting, has to be the funniest...sound...ever.
- Not having to unzip anything to pee rocks. Just flip the kilt up and go. It's good to be Irish.
- Mrs. Zombie gets mad when you come into her work in a kilt. I'm not sure why.
- When Mrs. Zombie tells you to close her office door so her coworkers and clients can't see her kilt clad dork of a husband, it is not good for the marriage to show her the cool farting trick mentioned earlier. Especially after having had chicken wings and a couple beers the night before.
Cead Ma Failte!!!