Friday, May 20, 2005

Dapper Dan, the stank-ass bus man

Dude, Dapper Dan, I'm not saying this to be a dick. You are by far the best dressed man on this bus, there's no denying that. I can't believe the suits you wear, matching the trench coats, hats and shoes--it's really quite amazing. But you're taking too much care of them, and it's killing me and all the passengers around you.

The first time I saw you, one crisp winter night, heading east on the #10, do you remember? I looked up, shocked at your amazing (and old-school) fashion sense. I swear I should be so lucky to be as dapper when I reach my 60s or 70s. You must've been the equivalent of a metrosexual back in the 1950s.

But it seems that as we age we lose some of the faculties we once took for granted. Hell, I wear glasses now and I'm only 29... but that's beside the point.

The point is that I have a question. On that winter night several months ago I was shocked that someone as well dressed as you would be getting on the bus at such a late hour. And you sat in front of me and I was like, 'how cute' and 'you old devil you' and so forth... I was really impressed. But with you, like a brick wall of foul, came such an intense smell that I was caught off guard. If it were B.O. that'd be one thing... that's expected, and I've done my time on the 15--some of those people have brought tears to my eyes. You didn't have the signature pit-stink that can be found on buses, light rails and subways from coast to coast; what you had was a smell I remember from my childhood (and a couple fever dreams I'm sure). You, sir, reek of mothballs.

Now, I understand that it's probably a generational thing, and that you're just trying to protect the fine wool suits that you wear so well. But can you even smell it? I've seen you many times since that first night, mostly going west in the afternoon, bearing your signature awesome duds, and the foul, retched mothball musk. But when I see you now, I know better than to park my ass anywhere near you. I sat five rows behind you today and could still smell mothballs, though, admittedly, fainter than usual. Of course, it was hot and the vent window above you was open.

So, I must ask you, Dan, can you smell it? Or has your life rendered you so olifactorily challenged that you must torture your fellow passengers? Is there a chance you can tone the smell down a bit? I'm thinking that after all of these years the moths stay away from your house instinctively anyway.

C'mon Dapper Dan, I'm asking nicely here: throw this old dog a bone...