Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Stand for Once

We'll call her Linda. Because Linda is a fat girl's name. She works in an office doing some type of administrative or clerical work, but she is NOT a secretary. Ohhh, nooooo. She's an executive administrative assistant or an Accounts Receivable Supervisor. Linda wears blouses and skirts that hang just below the knee. She does not wear them because they are feminine or sexy. Rather, she wears them because they belonged to her older sister and she is too cheap to update her wardrobe.

The icing on the outfit-cake is the leggings with white athletic socks and white Reeboks. The leggings are typically black--because everyone knows black leggings with white socks and sneakers peeking out from underneath an outfit from the first Bush administration is SUPER SEXY! I, for one, find nothing more erotic than seeing a woman dressed like a bloated Border Collie.

Sometimes, though, the leggings are tan. The packaging calls them "nude," but you and I both know there is NO way Linda's legs look like THAT when she is--uggh--naked. We all know her legs are long bulbous tubes of bleu cheese; a pale, pasty white streaked with bluish/purplish veins snaking their way up toward her blubbery gut.

Linda works from 8:30 to 5 everyday and takes an hour for lunch at EXACTLY noon because that is when the rest of the overweight Lindas go to lunch. Linda also commutes on BART. If she walks to the station, she takes the same route. If she drives, she parks in the same spot. To buffett herself from the chill of Bay Area mornings, she wears a long puffy coat (usually grey, brown, or pink) that looks like it came out of the wardrobe room off the set of the first season of Roseanne. She comes armed with a tote bag and an unwieldy purse that, without fail, she fights with every morning trying to find her ticket

The tote bag is Linda's magic satchel. Given to her at any one of many Secret Santa gift exchanges, the Tote Bag is a light beige in color and procured by the gift-giver free of charge with a purchase of $20 or more at a local Barnes & Noble. It replaces her old black tote bag that had the words "Tote" and "Bag" actually written in rainbow-lettering diagonally across both sides.

Linda's job is not important and she never brings work home, so there are only a few things she can put in the magic tote bag. First, of course, is her lunch. Lunch is leftovers from dinner the night before. It is crammed efficiently into Glad reusable food-storage containers--the poor man's Tupperware. Next is any combination of knitting, kids' fieldtrip permission slips, and Danielle Steele novels. The purse AND the tote bag are quite burdensome, the carrying of which exhausts Linda before the day has truly begun. Linda is trash.

The essence of Linda doesn't really shine through, though, until her commute home. Like Cinderalla at midnight or the Hulk when he gets angry, Linda turns into an unstoppable commuting manchine at the stroke of 5pm. If anyone ever bothered to timed her, I'm pretty confident she could set a world-record in power-walking for the trip from her secretarial carrel to the BART station platform two blocks from her office. She bobs, she weaves, she ignores traffic signals and oncoming traffic. She will not be deterred from catching the 5:09 Fremont train (authors note: all Lindas live in Fremont because that is where fat trash lives).

Once she gets to the BART station and has positioned herself in her usual spot at the very end of the platform, the Commute Game truly begins. She counts how many people are standing in front of her poised to board the same train--some are familiar faces who she can reliably count in or out. It is the random-face factor that concerns her most. How many of these assholes know the rules? she wonders to herself. Do they know that they should be lined up on the right-hand side of the black platform tiles? Do they know that they can't just sit down on a bench and hope to slide in wherever?

Linda comes up with a tentative number of passengers in front of her who will board the Fremont train. At 5:08:30, the train roars in, the last car easing to a stop at her spot on the platform. Linda quickly counts the number of empty seats in her car and makes a split-second calculation as to which way-left or right-she should turn once she enters the car. I've heard of military operations conducted with less precision and calculation.

If there are more than 4 people in line ahead of her, Linda turns into Ben Wallace once she enters the car. She's got her knees bent and her cumbersome bags hung at the elbow to help her box out. She's not above using a well-placed totebag-elbow to get past a less decisive commuter. I've even seen Linda cut the corner on a quadrapalegic and use the wheelchair as a screen. I was at once disgusted and impressed.

Why does Linda put so much effort into her commute home? you might ask. To get a seat. Pure and get a seat. Nevermind that she just SAT DOWN FOR EIGHT GODDAMN HOURS! Oh no, she's tired. It's been a long day in front of the computer watching her vericose veins spread and her IKEA shelf-shaped ass widen just a little further. She needs to take a load off. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that it wouldn't hurt Linda to, oh I don't know, STAND FOR ONCE IN HER GODDAMN LIFE!

Maybe I'm being unreasonable. And, to be honest, for a second I thought that might actually be the case. Then yesterday evening happened. Linda was sitting in the seats immediately to the left of the entrance to the train car. It is generally understood--thanks to the NUMEROUS signs stating as such--that these seats are to be surrendered to the elderly and the disabled if such a person were to board that car. Well, these are Linda's favorite seats because they are right next to the doors and allow her to exit before everyone else and beat them through the turnstyles down inside the station.

Yesterday evening, we pulled into 12th Street Station and a blind man entered our car. I didn't notice him until he boarded but Linda spotted him as soon as he came into view on the platform. This is all part of her Seat-Strategy. There are 8 seats by each door dedicated to elderly and disabled passengers. During commute hours, all these seats are typically filled. Linda's strategy is to identify as soon as possible if any such person is going to board her car and then quickly bury her head in her knitting or her Danielle Steele novel so as to feign that she didn't notice said person upon their entrance. Yesterday was no different. The only problem was that two of the eight seats were filled by people who were asleep, three others had elderly Asian women, and one seated a mother with a stroller. This left two seats filled by people who should have, without a second thought, surrendered their seats to the blind man who was, at this point, desperately groping his way toward a place to sit down. I stood to offer the blind man my seat at the rear of the car but another passenger closer to him came up and guided him by the elbow to his seat.

Well, if Linda had orchestrated it to make the other person in the handicapped seats get up by feigning concentration on something else, why might you ask did the other person not get up? I wondered the same thing. When my stop came and I rose to leave, I realized why. IT WAS ANOTHER FUCKING LINDA! As I walked past them and toward the door I told them in my outside-voice that they were not very nice people. I believe the words pathetic, and slothful, and hideously-dressed might have been used. They looked up at me in horror like I had just told them I took a dump in their totebags. Whatever.

I hope they get hit by a bus.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care if I'm accused of ass kissing, your work is great. Well written, funny, inteligent, I love it.

August 4, 2004 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simply GOLD.

- SkiGuy

August 4, 2004 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger amy said...

Nice Author's note...technically anything south of Bayfair is game for the Lindas but I won't split hairs just because I grew up there.

August 4, 2004 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn, mighty fine writing! Loved every sentence

August 4, 2004 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its funny how you said Fremont is where all fat white trash live seeing is how i have a "step-aunt" who would score a 1600 on the Fat-White-Trash SAT. I only call her my "step-aunt" because I would have to throw myself infront of a cablecar if the orac actually had the same bloodline as me...

August 4, 2004 at 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fremont sucks. I am forced to return here for vacations during college. On a lighter note, I love this blog. Keep up the good work.

August 5, 2004 at 2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd say "let the bus hit them" as well, but that might not work out so well for the bus. You pretty much nailed the archtype of the morbidly obese, stretchpant-wearing, worthless female clerical worker though. They all go to lunch together, perhaps to revel in their collective fatness, perhaps to discuss the problems of the day (such as why Louis Vuitton doesn't make their bras in 46EE), perhaps to whine and wonder why they don't have a husband (or a hot, rich husband), or perhaps simply because their mutual gravitational pull clumps them together when they pass in the hallway.


August 5, 2004 at 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm surprised the Lindas haven't made their annual pilgrimmage given the time of year...


August 5, 2004 at 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great fucking stuff!


August 5, 2004 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These women also have pictures of freaking CATS everywhere. Cats dressed up, cuddling with them, a cat sleeping on the couch, a cat shitting, whatever. Obviously since no man in his right mind would go near the beached whales and give them offspring, Cats become their obsession.

August 5, 2004 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger NP said...

I wouldn't put Linda's in the Cat Category. Cat obsessions are for spinster librarians. Linda's do, however, have a favorite animal. They have calendars dedicated to this animal, figurines, needlepoint pictures hung on their walls, and desktop wallpaper all depicting their favorite animal.

The animal is usually something Linda thinks is super unique but is, in fact, ordinary because EVERY OTHER LINDA LIKES IT TOO! Why do you think you can get cards and figurines and Christmas ornaments with it at any Hallmark store. Lindas like baby pigs, or dolphins, or elephants, or lions. Shit like that.

August 5, 2004 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I stood to offer the blind man my seat at the rear of the car..."

I got all verklempt at this part. It totally makes up for bouncing coins off the head of the Islamic praying panhandler.

Do "Lindas" own cherub figurines??


August 5, 2004 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger NP said...

He wasn't Islamic, he was merely prostrated like one. I guarantee you that shithead was a wasp from the Berkeley hills who hates his parents for being rich and not spending enough time with him

OF COURSE they own Cherub figurines. They pock-mark the household during Valentine's week and the Christmas holiday season. They like them because they look all round and cute and fat--just like their fat little offspring.

August 5, 2004 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger BrianH said...

The resident "Linda" at my office almost exactly personifies the woman you describe.

For lunch, EVERY FUCKING DAY, she eats a salad from Wendys, topped with 4 chicken strips from KFC. That's right: she drives through Wendys, buys a salad, and then makes her way to Kentucky Fried Horse for the toppings. Are these two restaurants located in a similar locale? Of course not; they are 6 fucking miles apart.

While she easily weighs 200 lbs., please don't discuss anything related to fitness around her. Regardless of the fact that she has small bits of office waste orbiting her enormous ass, one of those asses that sloshes like a waterbed on the sides when she waddles, the moment anyone mentions "sports", "hiking", or "going to the gym" she invariably chimes in, fully expecting someone to care.

Where does this misplaced entitlement for athletic discussion come from? Her "days running track", of course. I have seen high school pictures of her, and she NEVER had a runner's body. After some brief investigation, I found that her "track experience" was one season, 20 years ago, throwing district-level shot put.

Luckily, she's within stapler put distance of my desk.

August 5, 2004 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that "Lindas" in the state of Missouri frequent the Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, MO to get their doe-eyed cherub figurine fix.

I once worked with a "Linda" who used the words "Precious Moments Chapel" and "pilgrimage" in the same sentence.
Though I'm not familiar with the "prostrate-man-coin-toss" story, I've got to say a definite Berkley type is the recently coverted WASP-to-mystical-Islam type who uses conversion to get back at his parents and establish a sense of quasi-cultural superiority. These types are usually Northern California based, and usually drive Saabs, but are nowhere near as prevalent or as obviously socially amusing as "Lindas" are.

August 5, 2004 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

--Last post from Nurgirl.

August 5, 2004 at 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The home shopping network owes its rise to fame as a result of these 'Lindas' sitting on their respective asses. Even walking in a store becomes a chore, hence sitting at home and ordering oddities of life turns into an obsession.

August 23, 2004 at 5:23 PM  

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