Freaky Friday

Well, you’d never know I’d swept up in the laundry room (which doubles as the kittens’ salle de bain) this morning, thanks to the dashing litterbox stylings of the Beautiful June Bug. While June was doing that, the (now slightly less) Adorable Audrey Grey was knocking over one of the pair of conga drums in the livingroom, happily watching it loudly bounce while I struggled vainly to keep up my end of a phone conversation about venture capital with a guy in New York.

Guess who was having a better morning?

When I emerged from the bowels of the Montgomery BART station, I was greeted by the flawless blue sky and a guy carrying a sign that said, “PRISON IS SLAVERY/EMPLOYEES ARE KKK” on it. As I passed him, he said “I’m an American Muslim! We should all be fighting against terror!” I’m no expert, but given that around 40% of the prison population is African-American*, and that the budget for improving San Quentin’s Death Row(!) is projected to be more than $40 million over the original cost, there’s something seriously wrong. Oh, and after they spend all that money on Death Row, it may well be overpopulated within 3 years. And this in the only state without a budget as of July 1, and one with a $15 billion shortfall.

On my way home, there was a woman with a spectacularly loud and undisciplined pair of kids who cheerfully shared their ear-piercing displeasure with life in general and the train in particular. Although it was all in Spanish, we all got the general idea. They were so loud that the guy who had passed out on (or possibly in) his collection of overstuffed garbage bags actually woke up from his stupor and stared at them balefully. A guy who was lucky enough to exit the train at West Oakland, the first stop on the wrong side of the Bay, leaned in and said “They outta throw you off this train, you kids so loud” to wild applause.

Two stops later, I practically ran off the train. It was only three stops from the office, but if it was any further, I would have just gotten off and waited for the next one. On the bright side, it did make the bus ride with the Malt Liquor Guys (one on each side of me, accessorized with an open can discreetly robed in brown paper) and the Crazy Old Lady (rocking back and forth and repeating “I gotta go to the doctor – get my BRAIN checked out” over and over again) a positive joy.

*According to CNN, more than three times as many black people live in prison cells as in college dorms.