The Scarfer

It’s taken me eight long months to finally come up with the right name for The Scarfer. When I first started to notice her on the bus each afternoon, I quickly dubbed her Stubs, short for Stubble, in reference to the patch of hair she missed on the backs of her thighs when she shaved each morning. Stubs is one of those odd people who wears shorts every day, even when it’s cold outside. And it was, for some reason, extremely disconcerting for me that she so carefully shaved every day (you could tell — pristine gams on this gal) and yet never ever thought to shave the backs of her thighs. For me, seeing that patch of dark, straggly hair each afternoon threw me into an absolute etiquette tizzy — it’s like when you are talking to someone and notice they have something in their teeth. Like, say, THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. What do you say? Do you say anything at all? It’s impossible not to notice that THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING is hanging off of one tooth and you know — know without a doubt — that the person would want to know about it. Would be mortified to know, and would want to correct it posthaste. But — ack! I’m always at such a loss in these moments, so I usually just end up trying to pretend it isn’t really happening. To them OR to me.

And so, Stubs it was. For about two months. Then I started to notice something else about Stubs — the fact she was perpetually cranky. Like, ALL THE TIME. Without fail. Tired of having to think about the stubble on the backs of Stubs’s legs every time I saw her, I quickly redubbed her Permascowl (not to be confused with Permasmirk, which is what I call Wentworth Miller from Prison Break). And Permascowl as a name lasted for about six months, until The Incident last Thursday that changed it all.

The Incident took place on the afternoon bus home. Permascowl had taken a seat directly across from me at the back of the bus, and I was intrigued to see that she had two books in her hands. One was about puppies and the other was about knee injuries. Now, the knee injury book explained the scowl — I know what that can be like. But puppies? How can you be so cranky AND be reading a book about puppies? Does. Not. Compute.

Anyway, about five minutes into the bus ride, Permascowl did something that absolutely horrified me. She opened up her backpack and took out her lunch bag. Inside the lunch bag there was a package of string cheese and a chocolate energy bar of some sort. Hmmm. Interesting, I thought. Knee injuries, energy bars, does Permascowl wear shorts all the time because she is some sort of athlete? She pulled the string cheese out, opened the package, and then. . .

Quickly bit the top half of it off, chewed, and swallowed. Then popped the rest in her mouth, chewed and swallowed again.

I could not believe my eyes. Had she eaten an Oreo in one bite without first unscrewing it and scraping the filling out with her bottom teeth, I could not have been more astonished. You can’t eat string cheese like that (or Oreos, for that matter)! What the. . . ?! I mean, honestly, people, what is the POINT of eating STRING CHEESE if you aren’t going to EAT IT IN STRINGS?

Oh, the humanity!

And thus, The Scarfer was born.

To sum up:

1. Don’t forget to shave the backs of your thighs if you are going to wear shorts. Do a mirror check before leaving the house. Or else make sure you go up the steps to board the bus behind me instead of in front of me. For my sake. I beg you.

2. Eat string cheese in strings.

3. The Scarfer is not so dubbed because she knits a lot.

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