Bus Stopped

Did you watch the premiere of George Lopez's new talk show last night? I didn't, and I had five people practically beg me to watch it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking away from Chicago's Navy Pier. The last time I visited this spot, it was mobbed with people, but as it was a cold, rainy day, I had the sidewalk to myself. Suddenly, a woman stepped off a bus and asked if I would be interested in coming on the bus. She promised snacks. If I were a kid, that'd sound like a recipe for molestation, but seeing as I was cold and wet, I figured why not.

Upon entering, I noticed that everything inside was decorated with pictures of George Lopez. I had walked onto some sort of promotional tool, but since I wasn't in a rush to be anywhere, I decided to hear out the pitch.

"Are you hungry? Can I interest you in some snacks?"
"Okay," I said. There was an array of choices: chips, pretzels, popcorn, candy, even Red Bull, and each package was labelled specially with George Lopez's face; I was encouraged to take whatever I liked. After I put several snacks in my backpack, the employees pounced on me. There were five employees on the bus and I was the only visitor, so I was bombarded by questions from all directions.

"Do you like TV?"
"Do you have cable?"
"Yes..." I neglected to mention that we technically steal the cable, but whatever.
"Do you know who George Lopez is?"
"Yes, he's... a comedian," I said. I almost said that "he's funny," but that was disingenuous, so I edited on the fly.

The questioning continued. Did I know that George Lopez was going to have a hilarious late night talk show on TBS that I should totally watch? That there would be celebrities and comedy and that I would love it? I wasn't aware, I said.

I stopped short of promising to watch the show, but I did indicate that my visit to the bus had heightened my interest. They were satisfied, so I began exiting the bus. "Tell your friends!" one employee shouted. In my head, I thought, of course I will, you've given me a water bottle with George Lopez's face on it, so I'm bound to make fun of it to them, but I only said "I will!" as a reply.

I had quite a stash of snacks, most of which I gave to panhandling homeless people I passed on my way to a train station. I would have directed them to the bus itself, but experience tells me that "non-TV viewers" would not be given complimentary food.

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