How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?
Publication Date: March 29, 2011
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Memoir
If you liked When Harry Met Sally, you'll fall in love with Robb and Gertrude from Strangers on a Bus...
Robb is crushed by a failed relationship with the love of his life and finds himself unexpectedly on a long bus trip from his adopted home in the U.S. back to his native Canada.
At the first stop in NYC, a girl gets on and so begins a contemplation of life, love, and strange events that will bring tears of laughter and heartache streaming down your face.
Is this girl Robb's real true love or just a rebound? How far can they get on a bus ride anyway?
This is a true story.
Chapter 4 (part 2)For the past half hour or so I’ve been casually working the name Gertrude three or four times into every sentence I possibly can. I want Gertrude to get used to her name. I’d be a little embarrassed calling out to Gertrude and having her ignore me. I’d hate to have to start hitting her on the nose with a rolled up newspaper every time she failed to answer to Gertrude. I’d do it, but I don’t want to.
A Rose by Any Other Name
Five minutes ago Gertrude stopped talking to me and now Gertrude is pretending to be fascinated by staring out the window.
Absolutely ridiculous. If UFO’s landed bearing Leprechaun pilots, that still wouldn’t be as interesting as talking to me.
But it’s a nice break, and allows me to catch up with you, dear readers. Gertrude’s arrival in my life has given me a lot to write about, but having so much fun with Gertrude has cut into writing about Gertrude.
Gertrude is a skilled liar, and within three minutes of meeting her she had already worked in a Star Wars reference. Add in what I’m sure is a surgically enhanced chest and I’m suitably impressed. Let’s move on…
The potential great before picture for Jenny Craig was waddling towards me with all the grace and poise of a chimpanzee in a donkey costume at a fancy black tie rabbit’s sweet sixteen party, and wheezing and panting to such an extent that if I recorded his mouth breathing symphony I could probably sell it for $2.99 a minute on an adult chat site.
With big cow eyes he looked at me. I nodded, and moving as slowly as a turtle quickie, I began stowing my carry on in the overhead compartment. I wanted the dyslexic anorexic to have every opportunity to find a more pleasant riding companion. He deserves better than having to endure dirty looks, eye rolling, and exasperated sighs from me for hours on end.
That’s when I heard the voice of redemption. My lying angel came to my rescue. Gertrude said, “Do you mind if I sit with my boyfriend?”
It took me a couple seconds to catch on, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more relieved. I felt like a drowning man who got that last minute call from the Governor. Instead of spending hours being sweated gravy on, maybe I’d get the chance to maybe do the sweating myself.
I automatically reminded myself I have a girlfriend I am in love with, and then I remembered I didn’t have a girlfriend anymore, then my heart hurt a bit.
I believe a relationship is like a credit card that you don’t know the limit on. Before I got on the bus I cried and cried and cried for all my girlfriend and I had shared, for all the things we would never share because I’d never hear her laugh again, because I’d never see her smile again.
I cried and cried and cried.
Then I stopped crying.
I hit the limit, the next transaction was declined, and I couldn’t purchase even one more tear.
There’s a big hole where she was repossessed because I couldn’t make the minimum monthly payment anymore, and a big place in my heart where the good times we had before the card was cut up live, but emotionally that card just got maxed out.
But I’ll never forget the fun we had with that Amex Platinum, and I never thought at the time there was a limit. I’ll always love her.
Robert Manary is an international playboy and man of mystery, with the charm and sophistication of James Bond shaken not stirred with a couple ounces of Cyrano de Bergerac, a dash of Rasputin, and garnished with the rapier wit of Thurston Howell the Third.
That’s how he sees himself, anyway.
The truth is Robert Manary is a construct created to protect the dubious reputation of his Clark Kent like mild mannered writer/puppeteer/the man pulling the levers and breathing life into the Great and Powerful Oz (don’t look too closely behind the curtain).
Manary is an award winning blogger, an erotic romance novel writer, the author of a pretty decent romantic comedy, and for a brief period in the early nineties served as dictator of a small South American country.
Most of that is true.
Manary is also an experimental artist who has no clue how to write an Author’s Bio, and definitely no idea how to end one.
P.S. He is also a shameless plunderer of pop culture.