Ranter: Fortyish white dude with Eastern European accent, wearing Verizon cap, Air Jordans and pleated blue jeans

Location: 200 bus headed south on Alvarado

Time: Tuesday, 8:30 p.m.

Topics Covered: Friendliness, the chance of encountering pure beauty on a bus, the value of compliments, what women want, what women purport to appreciate, how suitors should behave when faced with a woman's refusal, spoiled food.

The Rant:

[Verizon Guy boards bus at Wilshire, pushes through a knot of passengers, and stops to address a redheaded white woman of about 25.]

Verizon Guy: Excuse me. I am friendly, and you are beautiful. Are you friendly? Would you like to make friends?

[Verizon Guy digs a scrap of notebook paper from his pocket. It has been written on already.]

This is my number.

Redhead: I don't . . . need that.

Verizon Guy: It's just a phone number. I just like to make new friends.

[Redhead taps at her earbuds and looks away.]

Verizon Guy: It's just that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Someone like you, here, on this bus. You're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. You look like Sophia Loren. Here, take it –

Redhead: I want you to stop.

Verizon Guy: That was a compliment I gave you. A nice compliment. Don't you like to be compli–

Teenaged African-American Male, Sitting One Seat Back: Lady said no, man.

[Redhead punches buttons on her phone.]

Verizon Guy: What's wrong with complimenting the most beautiful woman in the world? I thought women liked to be told that.

Redhead: [Into her phone.] Javier, hey. I'm just a couple minutes away. You at the stop already? You going to be waiting?

[Bus stops at Pico. Stung, Verizon Guy edges toward door.]

Redhead: No reason. Just checking in.

Verizon Guy: I'm just being friendly, and you think I might actually —

[Verizon guy exits. Outside, he sets his bag down to wait for another bus. He still holds his phone number.]

Redhead: [still into phone]No, it's nothing. Just one of those things.

Teenaged African-American Male: He's got his number on paper. He still on a landline or something?

[Laughs from around the bus. Redhead does not participate.]

Redhead: [Into phone.] No, nothing's bugging me. Except — you know what I did? It's stupid. I think I left the humus out on the counter.

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