Live from the Megabus

megabusSo, let me tell you a story about a jackass hotel clerk who told me I couldn’t walk 0.7 miles this morning from the hotel to a MARTA station in Atlanta. Which resulted in me calling a cab. Which conveniently forgot to turn on its meter. Who charged me $10 to go three blocks, claiming “flat rate.” And whose dispatcher I called immediately following and (naturally) found the phone to just riiiiiiiiiing and riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing.

How much of a fuckwad do you have to be to steal from people? Yes, I know I could have called the cops and he would have been gone faster than a sitcom starring Jeff Foxworthy. But if he’s willing to steal from me under the guise of business, I have to assume he needs my $10 for cancer treatment. So I wish him well with the cancer treatment and will advise that you avoid Rapid Taxi in Atlanta, GA (most notably taxi #0604). I can’t wait unti their SEO service checks this backlink. Guess what? I KNOW SEO, TOO!

But let’s get back to me and this AWESOME FUCKING BUS I’M RIDING ON.

That picture? Yup. I took it on the Megabus. In fact, I am currently on the Megabus. I’m writing this post on a Megabus. I’m blogging from a bus. And on the bus, I cuss. Yes, I must. This, you can trust. </seuss sequence>

Apologies — I’m sleep deprived because I cursed myself yesterday afternoon by tweeting my hope that the couple in the room next door didn’t decide to have sex given the rice paper nature of the walls. Which turned out to be an aphrodisiac. At 2am. When I had to get up at 4am and my internal clock is already straight hosed from the vortex that is west-to-east travel. Speaking of vortexes, I ate at one last night.

Holy shit – can you say tater tots? My friend Kevin is my official guide every time I come to Atlanta and said — beyatch, we are goin’ IN for some tater tots! He scooped me up at the Hotel California and shuttled me off to The Vortex in Midtown. Check out the website (most notable, The Policies, which should be policies in every single business everywhere). The entire environment can only be described as a unexpected clash of Kat Von D learning to cook — with a side of ranch dressing (hell yes, ranch goes on everything in the South). And talk about a business that GETS the power of unpopular (shameless plug alert). I’ll be contacting them shortly to see if they’ll participate in an online case study for the book because the experience was epically badass, not to mention the tater tots came with a GIANT CUP OF CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE.

OMG my arteries are sooooo hard right now.

I’m all over the place. Sorry.

So, I’m going to Birmingham to speak today for the Alabama Social Media Association. My pal Stacey made it all happen, so a huge thanks to him in advance. Also of interest, Stacey and I have been connected through social media for nearly 3 years now, introduced by the force of nature that is Shelly Kramer. rumor has it that I might get to see Dave Griner while I’m in Bham, too. Which is also ossum. This is simply the best part of what I get to do for a living — putting faces to the Twitter avatars because this?

Folks, this is how business gets done.

It doesn’t matter where you are or who you know. What matters is what you do with the relationships in your life. If you’re going to handle things in a Tom Cruise/Demi Moore-clash-type fashion, something’s going to get missed*.

*I searched for 10 minutes for a movie clip of this scene. Seriously — 83 people can pirate you can’t handle the truth but no one can pirate one of the best lines in that movie? Humanity sucks.

Social media isn’t even remotely close to being social anymore. It’s turned into something most people and businesses will only witness. They’ll never jump. They’ll never know what it feels like to have invested the time and emotion into building digital relationships that can be concrete. It’s a shitty, way too slick world of broadcast, broadcast, broadcast when what you really need to do is it down and have some goddamned tater tots with someone you met via Twitter who happened to come through Denver on a business trip and you’ve been friends going on two years all on account of taking a chance on the human race. We think we’re plugging in, but what we’re really doing is doing everything we can to distance ourselves from the one thing that can make a real difference in how we live, breathe, and grow from day to day: people.

So that’s the other reason I’m on a bus. Aside from the fact that it was $187 for a rental car for 3 days versus $13 for a round-trip ticket on the Megabus (whaaaaaaaaaaat?!), I’m here with people. Also of note, I am the only cracker-like white girl on this bus, and that saddens me. Because the bus? Shit. I’m not too good for the bus. I wish the Megabus was in my neck of the woods out Denver way — I’d do a lot more traveling if it were for $13 round trip. Check out the bus. Leave the rental car at the airport. Let someone else drive (and not a Town Car). Because I’ve got free wifi, electrical outlets, and a front-of-bus double decker view of some Southern landscape and it’s balls-out awesome. Doesn’t matter what color your skin is. Get. On. The Bus.

pygmy hippopotamusAnd to wrap this up with a total non sequitur, here’s a little something I typed in an email last night. In retrospect, I’m amazed at how well it came together. The entire conversation stemmed from having sent someone a picture of a pygmy hippopotamus (see photo) and him calling bullshit on the image. He elevated the argument to the Supreme Court (as one often does when it comes to issues surrounding pygmy breeds of wildlife). My response:

Vermillion practitioner does the Snoopy dance, tells Scalia to SUCK IT, and runs through the Halls of Justice yelling, “I AM BATMAN!” waving a gavel.

I don’t know if the words Scalia, “suck it” and Batman have ever been spoken in a single sentence before, but I’m going to stick a flag in that like it’s the goddamned moon.

I’m pretty sure the Halls of Justice are something out of a comic book (maybe that’s the League of Justice), but welcome to my mind.

41 comments
Lauryn Doll
Lauryn Doll

I've been to the Vortex and I forgot the burger I had but one of the things I have never forgotten is the service policies - such as the 18% nonnegotiable gratuity, and how there were no minors allowed. I forgot what burger I had but it was most spicy, and one of the things I really enjoyed was how "unpopular" the brand was - as it's 6 years later and the impression it left is still distinctive in my mind. Don't laugh; I was actually scared as to whether or not I would have been able to walk in upon my arrival... 

Gwen
Gwen

Never been on a Megabus, but I'm pretty good friends with Marta.  And Fried Peach Pies from The Varsity.  Holy, freakin' ossum-brains!  

Ralph Dopping
Ralph Dopping

I feel dirty now....trolling your site...... Kinda like reading your posts and generally laughing my ass off  when I do. Is Canada too far for a book tour? Sincerely, a person......from Canada. 

Donald Buley
Donald Buley

Megabus sounds amazeballs, is there a petition or anything for that in Colorado? I'd use the hell out of that. I have taken Greyhound once or twice in my life, and saw it as more an adventure than me being too cheap/broke to buy a plane ticket.  If I can be tangential for a moment, taking a bus is how I got to be where I am. On June 1st, 2008 I packed up my bare essentials in a Rockband Box (example pictured below) and boarded a Greyhound bus in Peoria, IL. The ride was long, the reading kept me occupied (pity this was before I was on Twitter, I could have documented this adventure) and I met a *boatload* of interesting characters at times unwittingly and others unwillingly. After over an entire day of riding I awoke to see mountains, mountains Gandalf! My first time seeing those majestic peaks as I rolled in to Downtown Denver Greyhound Station on 19th street. There I met up with my good high school friend Patrick and his fiance, who were to be my roommates for a time. It was here that I started my adult life, no longer pseudo-sponging off my parents in my hometown. Gone were the days my dead end job as janitor for my former high school would pay for my friends and mine junk food and video game fests. Also gone were the delicious home-cooked meals and the utter lack of concern when it came to paying the bills. Now I work in a not-so-dead end job that I am good at and can advance further  living  in Colorado Springs. Now I pay my own bills, live pretty much self-sufficient with a roommate. I have life experience, some world experience and am a fully functional adult in the 21st century and it all started with a bespectacled 20 year old nerd and a duct taped box of Star Wars novels, Xbox 360, and laughably crammed in clothes.  PS I did not mean to trek down memory lane, this just kind of got out of hand quickly. Love me some Megabus.  Thanks Red!

Fitfoodintransit
Fitfoodintransit

Where would you like me to start quoting! Galloway: But my feeling is that if this case is handled in the same fast-food, slick-ass Persian Bazaar manner with which you seem to handle everything else, something's gonna get missed. And I wouldn't be doing my job if I allowed Dawson and Downey to spend any more time in prison than absolutely necessary, because their attorney had pre-determined the path of least resistance. Kaffee:  Wow...I'm sexually aroused Commander Galloway:  Hi there Kaffee: Any luck in getting me replaced? Galloway:  Is there anyone that you don't drink beer or play softball with?.... Kaffee:  If you speak to another one of my clients again without authorization I'll get you disbared Galloway:  I had authorization Kaffee:  From who? Galloway:  Aunt Ginny Kaffee:  Aunt Ginny.  Does Aunt Ginny have a barn maybe we could hold the trial there Kaffee:  You and Dawson live in the same dream world.  It doesn't matter what I believe it only matters what I can prove.  So don't tell me what I know and don't know, I know the law! Galloway:  You know nothing about the law.  You are used cars salesmen.  You are and ambulance chaser with a rank, you're nothing.  Live with that. I could go on but I won't.  Hope your event went well this evening.

Cofader1
Cofader1

Some of actually follow this rambling shit that spews from your fingers, not only do we follow, we appreciate because it is us.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Y'all just nerd out. I'll be over here.

Stacey Hood
Stacey Hood

Let me tell y'all, picking up the Redhead from the station this AM was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life...as I pulled up, it was like seeing a red bobber on a fishing pole floating in the BP Gulf oil spill, telling me as I pulled up and got out to help her with her bags; "Hurry, give me a proper hug and let's get the hell out of here..." She kicked ass at the luncheon and plans later include margaritas and some local Mexican, which is strange, as we're both transplanted Texans and come from the land of Tex-Mex. The visit has been perfect. 

Carolyn Nicander Mohr
Carolyn Nicander Mohr

Free Wi-Fi and electrical outlets? I couldn't ride the Megabus. I'd be on all day, missing my stop each lap around the route. Between the views and the surfing I would be way too distracted to notice my stop. Hoping you come to Philly soon!

AmyS
AmyS

I've never heard of the Megabus.  I am now considering driving to KC just to try it out.  I will also be stealing "stick a flag in it like it's the goddamned moon" and using it as much as possible.  My boss already thinks I'm a looney, so I have nothing to lose.

Brian D. Meeks
Brian D. Meeks

As always, a brilliant rant with a perfect dose of snark.  I don't comment often, mostly because I fear I will tread off the path of reasonable remark and into the forest of giddy fan stalker, but your writing is one of my secret joys.  Thanks.

Maile Alau
Maile Alau

I love the ADHD, caffeine driven awesomeness that is this blog.  And I will share, oh yes, I will share.  And for the record, I think EVERY city should have a megabus!!!

Angi
Angi

Highly entertaining website, has the Vortex. Thanks for the giggle!

Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2
Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

I'm in love with awesome-isms; "Balls Out Awesome" "Ossum" and a combination of the two, "Bossum" - Doing it balls out AWESOME like a BOSS.  Another of my all time favorites I got from one of my favorite ladies on the interwebz - Helen Killer over at Regretsy - is "Butt-Fucking Awesome". 

Peter
Peter

How cool would it be if you could just pull a cord above your seat and a horn blew: let every mother fucker know you're coming...

@UnchainedFoodie
@UnchainedFoodie

You were (as always) a lovely dinner companion last night and JUST the person I knew would "get" The Vortex. Plus I discovered Tots are your kryptonite, so that's going in your dossier. Looking forward to you Wed. book signing back here in Atlanta (PLUG - 530-730pm at The Barrelhouse Midtown, 22 5th Street).  ADVENTURE!

Dick Carlson
Dick Carlson

I'm pretty annoyed you were going to be within a short four-hour drive of me and I didn't know it.  How do I get on the "advance appearance" notification list? Or is that only for law enforcement and pole dance enthusiasts?

John Heaney
John Heaney

Nothing says "douchebag" like an Ed Hardy shirt sporting sunglasses at night. Loved the Vortex's policies and would love to get the backstory of their owners. Sounds like a Redhead case study to me. Get on it.

Digital I
Digital I

Actually it's Hall of the Justice League, Red, but then I live to out-nerd you.  Wish they had something like the Megabus thing in TX. I'm not usually one to jump on the "green" bandwagon but low-cost, full-featured, and convenient is an actual value proposition. Too bad most public transport I encounter is usually the bad side business of a non-elected taxing entity. Thanks for shouting it out. 

thetravelchica
thetravelchica

Love that you're taking the Megabus!  Go to know they have wifi.  I would much rather sit back and enjoy a book or work on some projects while someone else does the driving.  That bus needs another cracker-like white girl.

PJ Mullen
PJ Mullen

Are you sure you didn't write those policies? Those are dripping with the Redhead's brand of snark all over them.  The next time I'm down in the ATL, sans children, of course, I'll have to check this place out.  I really can't stand the fucktards that generally ruin dining experiences.  Have fun in Bham.

Thomas Rector
Thomas Rector

Damn...i am in awe every time I read your blog (well, ALMOST every time).  THX for shouting out the MegaBus.  Its an undiscovered gem.  Everybody always does what everybody always does.  Nobody has the balls to seek out a new way, a new thing, an new experience.  Fuck them.  That leaves more for us.  When you come back, go to Ann's Cafe and have a Ghetto Burger.  It will give you enuf ammo for ten blogs.  Here's mine on Ann's: http://www.rectorsite.com/?p=392  Don't miss it.

Nicole Germond
Nicole Germond

Come to South Africa. We'll have you. Plus I'd love your opinion on the state of affairs. No seriously. If it's anything like " Vermillion practitioner does the Snoopy dance, tells Scalia to SUCK IT, and runs through the Halls of Justice yelling, “I AM BATMAN!” waving a gavel. " you could take up a position in politics.  I am laughing hysterically right now. Thank you.