So last night offered up two classic examples of a) how and why Atlanta, esp. Downtown and MARTA, can sometimes suck and b) how much fun I can have with Daniel and Caleb.
First, the suck part:
Caleb called around 9:10 asking if I'd like to take the 10 bus out for ice cream in Midtown. It was scheduled to come by at 9:30. I said fine and he said to come over and we've go to Five Points. I asked why, since we were taking the bus, and he said whoops, OK, let's take the bus, it'll be quicker.
So we meet up at our customary meeting spot and wait for the bus. And not only does it not come along, but the warm weather and brought out the "elements," i.e. at least a hundred homeless men sleeping and whatever in the park; Saturday-night Peachtree St. "crusing" involving SUVs, rims, pimped-out rides, stereo systems blasting; and hordes of (white) Braves fans who don't know how to walk down a sidewalk. Plus there was all this garbage, like newspapers and fast food refuse, all over the place, swirling around. It was just so unclean and loud and stinky.
Then to ADD to this fun, there's this guy, immediately identifiable as homeless or mental or both, waiting there at the stop with us, asking something about the bus. A lot of homeless take the 10 up to the shelter at Peachtree & Pine, so that made sense, but the rest of what he said... made no sense. He was mumbling and it sounded rather mental, and we couldn't get closer to him to hear better because he stank to high heaven! Not all homeless people smell, but a lot of them do, just by virtue of wearing the same clothes all the time and not getting to shower. Some smell realllly bad, like a combo of mulch, pee, poo, dogfood, b.o., and dirt. (And please don't anybody go off on me for saying this... it's just a fact.)
Anyway, by 9:45, we were like, "To hell with this bus," especially when Mr. Stinky mumbled and wanted to shake my hand. We were OUTTA there, going to the train station. So we walk up there, with all the pimped-up cars & SUVs going by, the garbage swirling, and hoochies all over the place. The only GOOD thing we passed was this group of Brazilians doing that dancing-martial arts street sport thing. That was cool, but we had to keep going to get the train.
Finally, we're in the station, and ARGH! it's packed with hordes of Braves (baseball) fans. Who are clueless, being from the suburbs, and sort of milling around, whining, not moving the way crowds should, etc. The topper is, we get to the platform and the train display says the next northbound trains aren't coming for 10-15 minutes. At that point we decide, "Screw it, it's not even worth going... just to get ice cream!"
We go upstairs and, Daniel's suggestion, check and see if the Haagan-Dasz @ Underground is open. It is! (Turns out they're open 'til 10:30-11 every night!) We go in and order and hey, get ice cream, but of course crazy stuff happens there, too. Like this white guy, who was definitely let out of a mental facility and has a serial killer look, comes in and gets a Coke... or tries to, before leaving. Then this young black bag lady type woman comes in with a baby carriage full of crap, like boxes, blankets, bags, etc. and stands there at the counter next to us mumbling, cursing, and being pissed off about the "trash" and the price of ice cream. She never did ask for any ice cream or anything, and the staff wasn't sure what to do.
So after all that, we had our treats and walked back to my place. At that point things became "normal" and I started to lose my urge to go postal. I just felt SO pissed off about all these people messing up my neighborhood and being so ghetto and/or crazy!
Now at my building, we said hi to a bunch of neighbors who had come by Fleurs de Lis for dinner, then went up to my place. There we ate ice cream, watched bits of Children of Dune (the bits with whats-his-name running around with his shirt off), and then, for a finale, I read the boys STORIES. Pulling out books from my own childhood, I read: The Easter Bunny Who Overslept, The Troll Music and The House on East 88th Street (Lyle the Crocodile!) These are all kids' books from the 60s and I don't think the boys had heard any of them. I read it to them in my Mommy voice and answered the boys' questions. I kept having to threaten to stop reading because they were being naughty and interrupting me. He he.