The Wolfman At The Bus Stop
by James Seidler

 

Two men are waiting at a bus stop

Salesman: How’s it going there?

Student: I’m doing all right.

Salesman: (pause) Looks like some rough weather is heading in.

Student: Yeah, I suppose it does. I just hope the bus makes it before we get caught in the rain.

Salesman: I second that buddy. Ever since I lost my arm, I try my best to avoid getting caught in the rain.

Student: I’m sorry? Your arm?

Salesman: Oh yeah, I lost my arm on a day just like this, probably about eight, no, make that ten years ago.

Student: I’m sorry to hear that…but…if you don’t mind me mentioning it, it looks like you have two arms there.

Salesman: Oh sure, they were able to put it back on. Hell, with doctors these days it’s pretty much just like Legos—you lose an arm or a leg, they just pop it right back on. No, the real problem’s the lycanthropy.

Student: Lycanthropy?

Salesman: Yeah, lycanthropy. In laymen’s terms, bein’ a werewolf.

Student: A werewolf?

Salesman: Yup, but it’s really not as big a deal as they make it out to be—I get by pretty much just like everyone else, y’know, no tear stains on my pillow. Sure, the missus has to lock me in the shed every full moon, but that’s more an insurance thing than anything else, a compromise we came to to keep our homeowner’s rates low. The neighbor has some prize Lhasa Apsos—show dogs—and we just want to minimize the chance of me eating and/or impregnating any of them when “Uncle Harry” comes to visit.

Student: Yeah…I could see that being a problem.

Salesman: Well, shed nights aren’t that bad—we’ve put enough rawhide and squeaky toys in there to keep me busy enough. It’s the little things that get you. For instance, I used to love Italian food, but Eggplant Parmesan’s just not the same without some garlic on it.

Student: Yeah, what is it with garlic that sets monsters off anyway? I’ve always wondered…

Salesman: Excuse me?

Student: What?

Salesman: Did you say monsters? What the hell’s that supposed to mean?

Student: Umm, it’s not supposed to mean anything…

Salesman: Let me tell you buddy, I’m not a monster, I have a condition. Lycanthropy. I don’t go around telling you you’re a monster because you have male pattern baldness, do I?

Student: Male pattern...? Hey, that’s sort of personal.

Salesman: Oh, sorry, I guess that “us monsters” aren’t very considerate. Maybe you should get some of your buddies together and come hunt me down with some torches! You’d probably like that, huh?

Student: Hey, look, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you with the whole “monster” thing. I’m sorry I even said it.

Salesman: Well, you should really be more careful about how you say things—I mean, monsters eat people too.

Student: What was that?

Salesman: Uh, I said monsters are people too. Let me ask—did you know that 1 out of every 10,000 Americans suffers from lycanthropy? That means there are 100 werewolves in the Los Angeles area alone, most of whom are afraid to come out to their friends and family because of the prejudice bandied about by people like you. That statistic doesn’t even include other categories of supernaturally-abled people, vampires, zombies, Bigfoot, all of whom are just trying to get by without having to hear what monsters they are.

Student: Look, I’m very sorry, it wasn’t my intention to offend anyone. In the future I’ll try to be more aware of how my comments might affect the, uh, supernaturally-abled.

Salesman: Well…I believe you didn’t mean any harm by it, so your apology’s accepted.

Student: Good, I’m glad to hear it.

Salesman: Eh, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to get so riled up about these types of things, but it’s tough when everybody looks at you like they’re just waiting for you to start drooling on ‘em or something. Do you know that my HMO won’t even cover the herbal treatments I have to buy to keep my bloodlust down?

Student: Really?

Salesman: Yeah, it all comes out of pocket. And another thing—it’s technically not even illegal to willingly infect someone with lycanthropy in this state.

Student: You’re kidding, right?

Salesman: No, I could bite you right now, y’know, werewolf the hell out of you, and the most you could do is try to get me on an assault rap…I’m not planning to, of course.

Student: Thanks, I uh, I appreciate that.

Salesman: No problem. Anyway, the guy who took my arm off, they tried to send him up on an aggravated assault rap, but his lawyer got him off with counseling and probation on the old werebeast-killing-frenzy defense. I had to go after him in civil court but you know how that is, the lawyer gets most of the money while I’m the one left looking like Cousin It once a month.

Student: Well, at least you scored a moral victory. People agreed with you that the guy was in the wrong.

Salesman: Yeah, I can’t argue with that. Look, I’m sorry I’ve been growling to you—like I said earlier, there aren’t any tearstains on my pillow.

Student: Hey, don’t worry about it. (pause) Oh, it looks like the bus is coming.

Salesman: Oh yeah, that’s great…um, this is a little embarrassing, but you wouldn’t have a quarter I could use for the bus, would you?

Student: Oh, uh, I’m, I’m not sure—let me see.

Salesman: It’s not that I don’t have the money—it’s just that I don’t have exact change. They don’t take pennies, and I can’t carry silver, so it puts me in a bit of a bind.

Student: I don’t think any of the coins are silver anymore. I’m pretty sure they’re some kind of nonprecious alloy.

Salesman: Hey, I’m not going to argue semantics with you. All I know is, you put a nickel in my pocket, I have a picture of Thomas Jefferson burnt into my leg for the next month. Can you help me out or not?

Student: Actually, I’m sorry, I don’t seem to have any extra change on me.

Salesman: Oh. All right, I see how it is.

Student: No really, it’s nothing against, uh, the lycanthropized. I just don’t have any extra change on me—if I did, I’d give it to you. Look, the bus is here, I have to get on it. Don’t remember me or anything for this.

Salesman: I don’t know how you can sleep at night?

Student: Is that a threat? Do you have my scent?

Salesman: Yeah, I got your scent, but don’t worry about it. Unlike you, I’ve got some moral fiber!

The bus drives away. Another man walks up.

Pedestrian: How’s it going?

Salesman: Oh, all right. Looks like some rough weather is heading in.

 

 
   
© 2004 James Seidler, All Rights Reserved
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