Yes this one is in fact a true story (despite my previous fictional bus story). I’m not clever enough to make this up.
So I’m taking the bus home to my car yesterday. The bus stops where I get off and I’m the only one to exit. As I’m walking toward the rear of the bus I notice a man crouching at the bumper of the momentarily stopped bus. He sees me and quickly gets up and starts walking towards me with a strange grin on his face.
“That’s the second bus I’ve tagged today,” he says.
I do not understand him. The guy looks to be in his forties and seems to be dressed as one of the many homeless people around Chapel Hill. Also his front teeth are rotting.
“Yep,” he continues “I got 2 cop cars and an ambulance earlier today. But it’s always funniest on a cop car.”
Still not understanding I give him a quizzical look. He nods his head toward the bus, which is now moving away. I look back and there emblazoned on the bus’ bumper lies a bumper sticker reading “I Heart Panties”. I of course start laughing near-maniacally. This makes the man’s smile widen from ear to ear exposing his brown and broken incisors.
We cross the road between traffic just as a cop car is pulling up to a stop sign at the small intersection across from us. I cannot believe the luck. “Watch this” he says nonchalantly. He makes to cross the street behind the cop car and “stumbles” part way to the ground with perfect timing as he swipes a sticker out of his pocket onto the cop’s bumper just as the copper begins to pull away. I just watch amazed at the site of the police car pulling away proclaiming that “I Heart Panties” to every person behind him.
“Wow, man!” says I. “You were totally right. It is much funnier on a cop car.” He just smiles and nods and we part ways.
So somewhere around Chapel Hill there is an aging man bringing a small bit of humor to our streets with such a simple, even silly, little sticker. What drives him to do this? Based on his response to my laughter I think it’s simply imagining people’s reaction when they see his sticker that makes this man do what he does. Therefore, I salute you Panties Man. With so much bullshit in the world, it’s nice to know that there is at least one man who works all day just to bring a few momentary smiles to our roadways.