The bus careened down the highway with the impatience of a gambler standing at a two-dollar window. Several of the regular passengers sat talking, as usual, not using their “indoor voices.” One-Eyed Jimmy was the loudest. Nobody knew where One-Eyed Jimmy picked up his name. He had both of his eyes. He sat next to Rudy, a paunchy middle-aged man who knew everything there is to know but never seemed to have correct change, and was missing one eye. Why he wasn’t named One-Eyed Rudy nobody knows. The driver, another paunchy middle-aged man named Carl, looked in the rear-view mirror while he carried on yet another conversation on world politics.
Rudy: So what’s the deal with this Mubarak guy? Why is everyone so upset over there?
Jimmy: I’m not sure. I heard he was being obstressive with the masses. That’s what I read, anyhow.
Carl: They don’t have masses over there. Where do you think they are, Brooklyn? And I think you mean “obtrusive.” That’s what all those world leaders are, obtrusive.
Jimmy: Yeah, that’s right, obtrusive. I heard he was caught in a pyramid scheme.
Carl: That makes sense. You know, a lot of world leaders throughout history have suffered from dementia. Just look at that German guy with the mustache.
Rudy: Do you mean Hitler?
Carl: I was trying to avoid saying his name, but since you already did, yes. I think he suffered from some sort of mania.
Rudy: Perhaps it was Germanic Depression.
Carl: That’s quite possible. Quite possible indeed.
Rudy: Say, do you happen to have change for a five dollar bill? I need 3 ones, 6 quarters, 3 dimes……
Jimmy: Oh for God’s sake Rudy!! Again with the change!!
The bus stops and a Latino Man named Carlos boards the bus. He puts his change in “the thing” and sits in front of One-Eyed Jimmy and Rudy.
Rudy: I have been having trouble sleeping.
Carlos: When I have trouble sleeping, I count sheeps.
Rudy: What kind of sheeps?
Carlos: Oh, you know. Rocket sheeps, space sheeps……
Carl: Hey you guys, do you think Jon Hamm and Kevin Bacon would have trouble ordering at a kosher deli?
Carlos: I don’t think they would be allowed in a kosher deli. Not with those names.
Carl: Those people take that pork thing literally, don’t they?
A man sitting quietly in the back of the bus sits up and looks angry:
Man: “What do you mean, ‘Those people?”
Carl: You know, delicatessen owners.
Man: I know what you meant! You should be more respectful. I used to be a scratch golfer!
Carl: And what are you now?
Man: A golf scratcher.
Jimmy: Did you know that I graduated at the top of my class? Of course, I was wearing stilts at the time.
Carlos: I graduated first in my class. But we lined up alphabetically, and my last name is Alvarez.
Jimmy: Did I ever tell you about my last job interview? I answered an ad for a warehouse manager, it turns out that it was a typo and the job was actually a whorehouse manager.
Carl: Those places have managers?
Jimmy: How should I know?
Man: You should all be ashamed of yourselves.
All, in unison: We are!
Jimmy: Anyway, I finally did get a job as an office helper. But on my first day there I hit on the secretary and got fired for it.
Carl: Tried to get laid, ended up getting laid off?
Rudy: I once knew a woman so skinny, even her bone marrow was narrow.
Jimmy: When this day finally ends, I think I am going to buy myself a bottle of rye whiskey.
Rudy: And then what are you going to do? Have a rye toast?
Jimmy: How did you know?
Rudy: I have been reading these “scripts” for a while now.
Carlos: Did I ever tell you about my old job? I used to drive a stretch limo.
Jimmy: What happened? Did you get fired?
Carlos: No, I had to resign because I was getting stretch marks.
Jimmy: My brother told me that his bride-to-be is hinting that she might not want to go through with the wedding.
Rudy: It sounds like a veiled threat.
Jimmy: No, I think she means it.
Carl: Did I ever tell you guys about the time I was in the state-wide spelling bee? I had an upset stomach for two weeks before the spelling bee and didn’t have time to study.
Jimmy: I take it you didn’t win?
Carl: No, I lost on the word “Diarrhea.”
Rudy: I lost on the word “Ophthalmologist.”
Carl: Are you sure that is how you spell it?
Rudy: I am now. Look it up. I couldn’t believe it either. Who puts an “h” between a “p” and a “t?”
Carl: Apparently, Ophthalmologists!
Jimmy: OK Carl, this is my stop.
Carl: Ring the bell. I can’t stop unless you ring the bell.
Jimmy: Are you serious?
Carl: Yes, I am serious.
Jimmy: You are psychotic. No, wait, you are pathetic. You are both – you are psychopathetic!
Jimmy rings the bell, the bus comes to a stop, and he makes his way to the exit.
Carl: See you tomorrow Jimmy.
Jim: OK Carl. See you tomorrow. I am going to go home and watch The Mentalist now. And don’t forget correct change tomorrow, Rudy.
Rudy: I won’t.
Carl: Yes, you will.
The bus takes off down the road, everyone looks out the window and wonders if “The Mentalist” will be any good that night.