Friday, November 24, 2006
Five Gross Things-- Part 2-- Meat on the Greyhound
My best friend in high school, Cindy (not to be confused with my ex-wife Cynthia) went to college at the University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the summer of 1981, I went out to visit her.
I decided to go the least expensive way-- by Greyhound bus.
I recommend that everybody take at least one long-distance trip on a Greyhound bus in their lifetime-- especially if you want to be a novelist or screenwriter. You meet every sad sack weirdo in the world. Beyond that, the trip itself is surreal, stopping at isolated stops in rural Nebraska or downtown Des Moines at weird hours.
During this trip, we stopped in the middle of the night at a tiny bus depot in the middle of Nebraska. Most of the people on the bus were sound asleep, but as we pulled up to the depot, nearly everyone was awakened by something-- an overpowering stench. It dawned on us that the smell was coming from a set of "Greyhound Express" shipping containers that were at least 300 feet from the bus. The driver explained that someone had tried to ship hundreds of pounds of raw meat by Greyhound Express shipping. They had had to pull it off of a previous bus, and left it sitting there in the July heat until someone could come to take care of it in the morning. Twenty-Five years later, I nearly gag remembering it.