Category Archives: Irony

Larry From The South

Mulberry Street

November 28, 2008

Greyhound Corporate Headquarters

350 N Saint Paul St # 300

Dallas, TX 75201


Dear Sir or Madam,


If ever there was a time for a strongly worded letter to the management, it was not when the traffic on the turnpike crawled more like a sloth, or even like a well-trained poodle, than a racing dog.  For holiday congestion is reasonably beyond the control of the most respectable transportation institutions.

And the driver’s unscheduled stops by the side of the road, either for directions or a discreet moment of relief behind a tree, are surely understandable to the traveler from Manhattan, who has already braved sidewalk crowds and the spaghetti-bowl of a subway system and the labyrinthine Port Authority Bus Terminal, which is like the Metropolitan Opera House in some ways–not because of the gracefully aging architecture, the lofty arias, not even the red velvet and crystal, but because both can hold a goodly number of saintly souls whose virtue of patience is outshone only by their inner sanctum of tranquility.

And who could not slip into another’s shoes when the bus driver, a certain Larry Pendleton, driving bus 6200 and being “from the South,” announced he missed the exit and would have to circle back over the bridge–could we help him not miss the exit next time?

Indeed, it would be a thin-lipped crowd–a cranky coterie–which, being so close to Ben Franklin’s town–spitting distance some might say–would not relish the opportunity to take in the lights of Center City for a second time from high on the bridge.

And if a person can claim to have lived a full life without ever being lost on the streets of Camden at night, then please step forward.

For it was there, after asking his passengers for directions, that Larry From The South marched down the aisle to my very row and presented my seatmate with the kind invitation of being deposited on the dark sidewalk of Camden if she were to make one more remark that some consider less than polite.

And it was then that I learned, in such a short time, the sundry Spanish expressions that add a splash of color to circumstances such as these.

So I offer exuberant praise and thanks, dear Sir or Madam, for enriching my travels this Thanksgiving.  I continue to have nothing but the highest regard for the service your company provides.  And this journey remains lodged in my memory, as a bullet becomes lodged in the rib, as a reminder of the excellence one can expect on the Greyhound bus route from Manhattan to Philadelphia, for only twenty-four dollars, round-trip.


Thankfully yours,




Filed under Irony, Traveling

An open letter

General Manager

New York Yankees

Bronx, New York


Dear Sir or Madam,

I enjoyed my first outing to Yankee Stadium last night to see the home team beat the visiting Tampa Rays.  While the weather was hot and humid during the day, the temperature seemed to drop enough by early evening to be tolerable; the ambient air was not nearly as comfortable as the Metropolitan Opera’s perfectly conditioned red velvet interior, however.  In order to keep attendance up in comparison to rival city institutions, I suggest you factor this in.

I have to say, although my friend who accompanied me was surprised by my naivete when it comes to domestic beers, I also enjoyed my first Genuine Miller Draft, plastic bottle and all, a relative steal at $8.50 for 16oz.  It seemed to be a recyclable container, which comes with an added safety benefit: were I to inadvertently throw the bottle onto the field, fewer people would be hurt than by the bat that was nearly hurled into the seats close to third base.

I was also impressed by the accessibility to public transportation.  The B and the 4,5,6 line all stopped on the corner, adding to the feel of community as fans traveled to and from the stadium.

Speaking of the stadium, as this is the last season in the “House that Ruth Built”, I was a little disappointed by the renovations–apparently done in the 1970s–that effectively destroyed the structure’s character and charm.  The plastic seating, the electronic banners, the tacky refurbished ceiling made me wonder what, apart from spirits and legends, was worth seeing.  I am hopeful that the $1.3 billion of public and private money you are spending on the adjacent new stadium will provide a little more distinction.  And perhaps now is not the time to question why public funds are being used to build a stadium replete with luxury boxes and marble.

I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a $5 hot dog so much.  How nice, too, that the spicy mustard came free.

And how surprised I was when, after displaying my ticket at the entrance, I was directed to another security guard who told me that my compact shoulder bag was not allowed inside, even though it clearly contained only books and paperwork.  I suppose I was just confused because I saw women carrying in purses the size of my bag.  Your security guard seemed almost huffy when I asked if it were true that women could carry purses in, but I couldn’t carry my shoulder bag in.  “I don’t make up the rules,” with an aggressive posture really didn’t answer my question, so I rephrased it, “No, I’m asking you.  Is it true that women can carry in purses?”  Hearing the affirmative somehow made me feel better as I carried my bag across the street to the $5 bag check at the bowling alley.  In fact, I was thankful for this opportunity as I was able to appreciate actual examples of substantial architecture.

Still, it’s puzzling that an institution that accepts public funds can so flagrantly practice gender discrimination.  Maybe someday, when the old laminated stadium has been razed, we can talk this over in one of the calf-skin upholstered luxury boxes over a nice glass of pinot noir and some bruschetta, or perhaps jalapeno cheez-whiz nachos.

Very truly, a satisfied patron and fan,


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Filed under Around town, Irony

Getaway car

My friends Dennis and Susanna got married recently.  Here’s a cute picture of Susanna peeking out the window of the getaway taxi.

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Filed under Friends, Irony

She probably uses a landline too

While at at the library today, I was distracted by a librarian giving a tour to a group of younger people–possibly summer employess.  They stood near me while the librarian gestured admiringly at the card catalogue.  I nearly laughed out loud when I heard her say,

“We can find a needle in a haystack, and believe me, we’ve done it.  Seriously.”

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Filed under Around town, Irony

Colorful captions…

“Sunlight-propelled spacecraft launched, but its fate is cloudy,” from the Dallas Morning News, Jun 22, 2005

“Approaching Heart Failure from a Cardiovascular Point of View,” a talk to be given by Dr Inderjit Anand, Professor at University of Minnesota College of Medicine. This should be much better than that “Heart Failure from a Podiatric Perspective” talk I heard last week.


Filed under Irony