Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Bus Ride: Episode I Part 1

The introduction of Adam Snoppen and other characters certain to make a reappearance. We learn about the man, his habits and background. Some clues about the bus and its ultimate fate are shared as well...

Adam Snoppen was sitting with his back to the window, looking over his newspaper at a young lady, quite beautiful and in trendy, feminine business attire—a woman that could pass for a gorgeous high level executive or a decent looking high priced prostitute, depending more upon the eyes that perceived her than any signals she transmitted through apparel or composure—standing with an arm coiled around one of the several poles going from the floor to the roof of the bus. Standing in this manner she was working a BlackBerry quickly with both hands just below the low cut of her blouse. When finished, she tucked it away in her designer purse, ignored Adam Snoppen and looked a wealthy looking old man up-and-down sitting across from Adam. Mr. Snoppen, whom shall only be called that once for he was no gentleman, used the opportunity to slide off his wedding ring. He had removed his suit coat due to it being a warm morning and so dropped the ring into the chest pocket of his shirt, nicely ironed and starched by his fourth wife. As nonchalantly as possible, he rolled up his sleeves, undoing all the hard work his wife had done in removing any and all wrinkles, in order to show off what he thought were a nice set of forearms for a forty-something man in nice dress, not to mention the five thousand dollar watch that adorned his wrist. That caught the eye of the woman who was betraying a curious familiarity with the pole in the center of the bus aisle. While the two exchange glances and smiles, let us learn a bit more about Adam.

Adam was a successful marketing senior executive, responsible for some of the most financially rewarding ad campaigns the country had seen, eight of which were popular Super Bowl ads. If your author didn’t think it would give Snoppen a certain pleasure by listing some of his more memorable campaigns, the ones he himself never missed the chance to mention at parties full of fawning yuppies, then they would be listed here.

He has been married four times, each wife approximately the same age as the former at the time of the ceremony, the groom now quite capable of going through the motions while sleeping if needed. He had a weakness for beauty and once it started to fade he found some way in which to be off with the current wife. Why he remarried so many times instead of choosing a life of bachelorhood is beyond even him, thinking that by spending large amounts of money and inevitably bringing advocates into it, it somehow gave a certain gravity to the farce that was his love life.

What else is of importance about this man? He was a ruthless boss, always eager to point out to junior executives at the agency how hard he had to work, how nothing was ever handed to him, how they all had it so easy in comparison and were lucky to have a boss like him, and even if they were fired during one of his ever more frequent tantrums, he assured them that they would eventually see the wisdom behind the action, and not just recognize it but positively thank him for it. He also listened to rightwing talk-radio incessantly, never once thinking of the unprofessional consequences of assuming all his coworkers were of similar political leanings. Not only did he enjoy the inane ranting of ill-informed and zealous morons, he would daily procure his own tirades about the left party whenever he had an audience, which is the same as saying always. Whenever this party wasn’t in power you might think his employees were spared these long harangues, and to some extent you’d be correct, but they wouldn’t end all together, just as talk-radio doesn’t end when their opponents are down. The only thing that never happened during these long diversions into politics was self-reflection or a criticism of his own party, though he often felt they were too soft, given his own stance was just to the right of Attila the Hun; nor was there ever any dissent from his audience, who were always below him in the corporate pecking order. Adam was too busy sucking up to the few and rarely seen superiors to ever get into politics with them, but should an opposing view be brought up by one of them he’d be the first to support it, carry it further and even give a good denunciation of his own party to boot. In short, Adam Snoppen was a prick, as his name hints—a dick, a bastard, a self-confident idiot.

That last trait shall be the final bit of information receiving elaboration in regards to the background of this pathetic, banal and ubiquitous man before his future is revealed. This mimbo, for it must be admitted he did exhibit the physical traits many of the opposite sex found irresistible—dimpled cheeks; a butt that fit well in any pair of pants; a nice set of arms; a persistent and healthy looking tan; well kept and always fashionable hair; and probably most important, an aura of wealth—this mimbo was extraordinarily stupid, just like the bimbos he adored and eventually made wives out of, a stupidity that cannot be overstated if the reader didn’t already come to this conclusion based solely on Adam’s career. He liked displaying erudition, though with a certainty few true intellectuals would ever feel comfortable exhibiting. And what did he read that allowed him this tendency? Reading may be a bit of a stretch for the manner in which he attained ‘knowledge’ about the world, even though that’s how he always referred to his method of attainment at those same parties already mentioned; but given what’s about to happen to him, a bit of leniency will be granted and we’ll say that he read, though we may have to pay for such a concession later. He read about conspiracy theories. Not just any conspiracy theories, not ones that no matter how improbable may still turn out to be true. No, he was most intrigued, and not just intrigued but convinced about the sort that were simply impossible, or at least improbable to the degree of certain dismissal. His favorite claim was that aliens built the Great Pyramids of Egypt and elsewhere. And don’t think that these interstellar travelers, these geometrically obsessed, long distance construction workers who saw the Egyptian stretches as their own personal sand box were limited to the past, like holy men and miracle workers of times long gone; they were common even in the present, abducting people at will and in cahoots with the various governments of the world. These were no fantasies upon which he liked to ponder or thoughts that he entertained during open-minded moods—he was dead certain about the veracity of these claims. Snoppen could speak for hours on these topics, and he was rather convincing given his mastery of the art of peddling bullshit. But the reader will be spared the lengthy orations he was apt to give, much to the embarrassment of his pretty but dumb wives, smart enough to realize that even if they had no clue how the pyramids were built it wasn’t something a successful business person should admit to believing in the company of kind yuppies, if there exist such creatures, no matter how sycophantic they may prove to be.

At last, it is time to go through the series of events, for the first time, which shall eventually become a bore but will hopefully give the reader a complete account of what happened to that bus and those it affected.

Adam had stood up and made small, flattering talk with the young miss standing in the aisle. He had just offered her his seat when a loud thump and several, quick and condensed crunching sounds came from the front of the bus, followed by a wheeze, as if some old accordion, long since having produced the sort of noise it was designed to make, let out its air in a hesitant sigh, reticent of making any noise at all. Before Adam was thrown about the bus, his limbs mixing and tangling with those of the other passengers, he had caught a glimpse of an elbow and an ass, bared with a solid red line running parallel to the crack. If curiosity demands to know the cause of Adam Snoppen’s death, it was severe head trauma, though had that not killed him the internal bleeding and punctured lungs most certainly would have.