Wednesday, August 25, 2010


* Nick/Saul is late and has to, as always, sprint across the highway to get the Van.

"Here comes Saul," Barbara says, despite the controversial past few days where we truly learned his name.

* Nick/Saul and Barbara talk about cruise ships. Nick/Saul's daughter just got back from a trip to Greece, a similar trip to one Barbara took several months ago.

Nick said that his daughter loved the seafood on the trip.

"So did she eat at the steakhouse or the seafood place," Barbara asks.

"The seafood place," Nick/Saul says.

"Because you can get seafood at both. So are you sure it was the seafood place and not the steakhouse," Barbara once again asks.

"Well, I know she got seafood," Nick/Saul says.

"I just wonder if it was the seafood place or the steakhouse."

* A new guy is on the Vanpool today and I'm pretty sure it was James Franco doing some method acting thing. It looked EXACTLY like James Franco.

* We stop at the corner near Port Authority to pick up the newspapers today. People behind us are NOT happy. I now know what it sounds like to have 25 cars honking their horns at you all at once.

(It sounds kind of like Earth Crisis.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Too Good to Be True

* Barbara is looking at an article in one of the New York tabloids. There is a story about The Situation from The Jersey Shore. He is exposing his stomach muscles.

"I don't get it with this guy," she says. "I don't think he has great abs."

"Yeah, that's not a six pack," Norm says.

"Who is that rapper/actor guy on one of those cop shows? LL Cool something," she says. "You know, the one with the cute smile? Now that's a great body."

* The Vanpool is quiet. John Krazinski's Uncle starts to talk.

"You know what I say on Park Avenue the other day? I was walking to lunch and I saw a guy in his car. He was driving with his left hand and playing a trumpet with his right," he says. "Now I've seen everything."

* We made it into Midtown by 8 am. At 40th Street, we ran into gridlock.

"I knew it was too good to be true," Charlie says.

* Right before she leaves, Barbara turns to me.

"I must be allergic to the material on the seat," she says. "I spend all morning scratching my head. You all must think I have psoriasis or lice or something. I swear, I don't do this in the office."

What Can I Say?

I get on the Vanpool before Nick does. It's the first time I've been on since his true identity was revealed.

As always, he has to sprint to catch the van.

"Here comes Nick," someone says up front.

"Oh, there's Saul," says Norm, whom I'm sitting next to.

I correct him and tell him that his name is Nick.

A few people are shocked to learn this.

He gets on and says hi to everyone.

People then dissect how this came to pass. "Oh, his last name must be Saulenstein or something like that." (It's nowhere near that.) Nick just sits there the entire time.

"I've been calling you Saul for two years," Jennifer says. "Why didn't you correct me?"

"Eh," Nick says, shrugging his shoulders. "What can I say?"

Friday, August 20, 2010

That *IS* His Name

* For months, I have wondered if the name of the man who gets on at the stop I do (aka the nicest person I've ever met in my life) is Nick or Saul. As such, I have called him Nick/Saul on here.

Today, I'm in the back so I don't get to hear the entirety of the conversation. But when Nick/Saul gets off (he's the first stop), I hear John Krazinski's Uncle say "Have a good day, Nick" to uproarious laughter.

I move forward when we get closer to my stop.

"Hey, did you guys call Nick 'Nick' today," I ask.

"Yes. It turns out that's his name," Charlie says.

I start to cackle with glee. They've been calling him 'Saul' because his last name sounds sort of like that and they thought that was his first name.

I ask how long they've been calling him that.

"Forever," John Krazinski's Uncle says.

* A man in his 40s who is an occasional rider usually watches Doubt, Oz or other brutal films/TV shows. Today, he's playing a video game on his rich person phone called "Ancient War."

* We pick up our newspapers at the usual spot. The man who called Charlie "Baby" earlier this week today says: "Here you are, my beautiful people."

* A new man rides this morning. He has to go uptown and doesn't know what subway line to take. After some debate, Barbara finally speaks up.

"Here. Just follow me. I'll take you where you need to go," very sternly. She then expounds on the benefits of the R train.

We drive past a woman near Bryant Park wearing very uncomfortable shoes.

"In all my years playing sports, I only broke my ankle once," John Krazinski's Uncle says. "I'd break my ankle in five minutes if I wore those."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Be My Baby

* Jennifer brings her 10-year-old on the Vanpool today. I'm tempted to ask him, "Is this your first time in a stranger's van?" I don't.

* We arrive at the corner where we pick up our newspapers. The girl who looks like Precious hands us a few copies. For some reason, someone else handing out newspapers walks up to the van. He points to us with double fingers, like Ted Lange in the beginning of The Love Boat. He then pounds his heart with his fist.

"What's going on, baby?" He asks.

He then gives John Krazinski's Uncle a fist pound.

"I bet that's the first time anyone has called you baby," says one of the older guys up front, who spent most of the morning previously talking about municipal golf courses in the North Jersey area.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Llama Fur

A new guy is on the van today. He's very large and has a red, chinstrap beard. He's on his way into NYC for a job interview. His dad used to ride the Vanpool so he's carrying on a family tradition of sorts.

Conversation starts up about local area landmarks near his house.

"Yeah, my dad moved right by that llama farm in Boonton," he says.

"Oh, I used to live right by there," says the guy who sells parking garages for a living.

There's a pause.

"Hey, is llama fur anything like alpaca fur? Can you sell llama fur?"

"No, I don't think llama fur is worth anything."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

That's Not My Name

* I rode the bus home with Gus last night. Gus gets on the bus at my stop; however, he has never once taken the van.

As we were walking to our cars, he talks about how some maintenance work is planned for our bus stop, which may require us to park our cars elsewhere.

"I wonder if Saul knows," I said. "He's always running late as it is."

Gus looked at me.


"Yes," I said. "Or Nick."

"Yeah, Nick, that's his name," Gus said.

"Oh, everyone on the van calls him Saul."

"I only know him as Nick."

He will forever be known as Nick/Saul.


We're next to Port Authority. The guy who once complained to us about a new co-worker goes to hand us our morning papers. The girl who looks like Precious, however, blocks his path.

"I'm handing him his papers," she screams. "Park your fuckin' ass over there."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Candy Talking

* We're next to Port Authority awaiting to pick up our copy of the free morning papers. The lady who looks like Precious is busy, so Norm gives us the Metro.

"I didn't have to use my charms on her today," says John Krazinski's Uncle, who has been alleged to have a flirtatious relationship in the woman.

"Maybe you should get her some candy," Barbara says. "Some sweets for your sweet!"

John Krazinski's Uncle chuckles.

"Well, Valentine's Day is a little far away," he says.

"We should form a task force to figure out what the right gift to give her is," Barbara says.

* Discussion begins about that flight attendant who quit his job in stunning fashion. This then ends up with various Vanpool riders discussing -- and ranking -- the airports which do the best job at baggage return. Chicago's universally hailed as the best; Newark's the worst.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Orgasm Addict

* The guy who said earlier that he was attacked by albinos sits behind me this morning. He makes these strange moaning, grunting sounds which remind me of bedroom play.

After one of his grunts, Barbara asks him if he's okay.

"Yes," he says. "I was just thinking of someone I know."

* We drive past a billboard that advertises "tubeless toilet paper" which is some sort of enviro-friendly initiative.

"Now that's really going green," says the guy who sells parking garages.

* We drive to the corner where the girl who looks like Precious hands us our newspapers. Norm gets off at this stop. Charlie, doesn't see him, so we have to tell Charlie that Norm's getting out.

"Man, he was trying to kill you," Precious says. "You alright? You have whiplash or something?"

Norm insists that he's okay.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

Charlie can't make it this morning. I get on the bus instead. It's third-world level packed, which means there's only standing room. I have to stand on my tippie-toes to make sure I fit in behind the white line. If we stop short at all, I am going to die since dozens of people will fly into me and I'll crash through the windshield.

In order to quell this crowding, another bus from a different route is pulled over to the highway to pick us up.

There are a lot of Vanpoolers on this bus. Everyone -- even the people who just listen to headphones and watch creepy HBO prison serials -- waves and smiles.

Nick/Saul and I end sup sitting next to John Krazinski's Uncle. We chat the entire ride. Topics include: baseball, John Krazinski's Uncle's son's impending visit home, and Charlie. A few laughs are exchanged, especially when talking about other Vanpool riders.

Everyone else on the bus is absolutely miserable looking.

I have the best morning commute ever.


* Charlie informs us that he won't be picking us up tomorrow.

"On the days you don't come you should pick us up," says Nick/Saul.

Charlie doesn't hear him. The guy riding shotgun today explains what was just said.

"That doesn't sound fair to me," says Charlie.

* Barbara starts talking to the lady next to her out of nowhere.

"There's this girl at work. She's from some Caribbean island. She's smart and a really hard worker but she's slow," Barbara says. "So she stays late every night. This really rubs me wrong since I leave early. Why would you stay late to make sure you get your work done?"

* It's revealed that there is a vanpool which will take you TO New Jersey from New York and will drop you off at an IHOP in Parsippany. Also, there's also a rival vanpool which will take you in for the 8 am bus.

Don't worry -- there's only ONE Vanpool for me!