Sunday, May 1, 2016

Chop and Screw

First, updates.

Bubbe is still hanging in there.  She has gotten accustomed to having a Personal Support Worker (PSW) staying with her during the day, and has stopped referring to the arrangement as "over-supervision".  It's certainly easier on her family to know that she is being well looked-after by a series of cheerful young ladies in red shirts (the agency uniform).  Good thing we're not living in Star Trek reality.*

*"Redshirt is a term used by fans of Star Trek to refer partially to the characters who wear red uniforms, and mainly to refer to those characters who are expendable, and quite often killed, sometimes in great numbers."

I'm getting along well with my new boss. He's intelligent, reasonable, decisive, and self-possessed.  He also seems to think highly of me, which is a relief.  I'm doing everything I can to make the best possible first impression.  There is still some working-at-cross-purposes among the company directors, which creates problems, on one hand, but on the other hand makes me more indispensable as a go-between and communications facilitator.  I am not longer feeling quite so insecure about my job.

Next, an anecdote.

I was on the subway train yesterday, on my way to meet friends.  I noticed a young man wearing a cowrie shell necklace draped over his black parka; a rather odd sartorial choice, I thought.  He got the attention of another young man and they proceeded to have a conversation. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but I got the impression that the two had been strangers before this interaction.

When the second young man had left the train, cowrie-shell guy turned to me.  He had a grill on his teeth and his eyebrows were shaved into stripes. He asked me, in a Carribean island accent, about something that I was wearing, and then launched into a speech about his music career that was clearly worded to make him sound like a big shot.  He asked me if I went to university or college, because he wanted to perform on campus in Toronto.  "Yeah, twenty years ago!" I told him.  No use getting his hopes up.  But I don't think he heard me.  He was probably high.

He asked me if I had heard of "chop and screw" music.  I had not.  I thought it was something that he made up, but apparently it's A Thing.  He pulled out a CD that had CHOP + SCREW scrawled on it  in black marker, and asked me if I had a CD player on me.  I did not.  (Aren't portable CD players a total anachronism from the 90s?  I feel you might as well ask someone if they're packing an 8-track player, at this stage.)  I told him "It looks good!"  Because clearly he was proud of his CD and I didn't want to harsh his mellow.

Since we couldn't listen to the CD, he told me that he would perform for me.  He proceeded to lean in very close and rap, something along the lines of "Canada, Canada, yeah, yeah."  And so forth.  There were more words, but it was kind of hard to hear what with the subway being so loud, and also I was paying most of my attention to how weird the situation was.  At least I liked the Canada part.  "That's cool." I told him.

Encouraged, he told me that he hoped I wouldn't mind if he did the strong language version.  I said okay, I'm sure I've heard all those words before.  So he leaned in again and did "Canada, Canada, F#@! the *bleep*, yeah, yeah."  At that point the train rolled into my stop, so I bade him a quick goodbye, and prayed he wouldn't follow me off the train.  He did not.  He just said that it was nice to meet me, so I said it was nice talking to him, and then went off chuckling to myself and thanking the TTC for yet another funny, harmless crazy-person story.


DarcKnyt said...

I won't say any more than this: Chop and Screw sounds like a bordello with a butcher shop adjunct.

And thank the Lord these crazies you bump into are harmless. I would be soooo uncomfortable with this situation. :)

We're still praying for Bubbe, and you, too. :)

Sparkling Red said...

LOL at your Chop and Screw comment. Yes, I did think of American Psycho when I figured out that the guy really was saying what I thought I heard him say. And since we were in a relatively full subway car in the middle of the afternoon, I did feel quite safe.

Thank you for your prayers!

Abby said...

I've never heard of the term "chop and screw", and was wondering if this post would be a summary of your weekend? You were a good sport to give your attention to that guy, but I'm glad he and his shaved eyebrows didn't follow you off the subway.

Sounds like things are going well in both the Bubbe and work areas. Thanks for the updates.

Lynn said...

The word "chop" would have been very concerning to me. :) I used to have experiences like that on transit, too. You were nice to be nice to him.

wigsf3 said...

Chopped and screwed. Yup. Heard of it. It's rap. It's a bit more psychedelic than regular hip-hop. Psychedelic, that's a word you remember, right?

To DarcKnyt, where is this bordello/butcher shop of which you speak. I'm sick and tired of having to make two stops.

Sparkling Red said...

Yes, I'm old enough to know what psychedelic is; too old to have heard of chopped and screwed (until now, I guess).

G. B. Miller said...

You certainly do have a knack of meeting interesting peoples.

Father Nature's Corner

Ginny said...

Oh my God there was a "strong language" version? That made me laugh.

Jenski said...

Nutty people in Canada sound great! Hugs you Bubbe, you, and the fam.

Granny Annie said...

I hope everything is still going well for Bubbe. Quite often my children think I could use the red shirts :-) you were very kind to the musician on the train. I think I might have been afraid.

Snowbrush said...

And to think that—from the post title—I had anticipated you telling us about your sado-masochistic love life. I’m actually relieved that this wasn’t the case, because it sounded like the kind of love-life that would result in a lot of dead people lying about and me having to refer you to the cops as the perpetrator of dozens of unsolved murders. I’m quite sure that all of my readers would immediately accuse me of having betrayed you and drop from my followers list. This would no doubt drive me insane causing Peggy and the cats to leave me, after which I would end up sleeping under a bridge, never taking a shower, and my teeth all rotting out making my breath smell like a grave. I would then turn to writing sad music about tooth decay, and share that music with unwilling strangers on the subway from a distance of three inches, that is if Eugene, Oregon, had a subway.

I’m SO glad you like your new boss. He sounds like everyone’s dream boss.

LL Cool Joe said...

Well I bet you kinda liked being chatted up by a guy who thought you were still at college? Better than saying "Hey give this CD to your daughter and see if she likes it". :D

I have heard of chop and screwed too, and vinyl and cds are making such a comeback that it doesn't surprise me he thought you may have a cd player with you.