Freudian Slips: Easy Rider

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 10, 2005

Easy Rider

A one arm Easy Rider?

While boarding an elevator at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, my cell phone rang to the X-Files theme song. Fumbling for my bantam phone, I caught an elderly man giving me a cantankerous look. The musical interlude of X-Files did not improve the man's disposition. If looks could kill, I was a corpse. He moved to the back corner of the elevator and rested his weight against the wall. I began to talk on the cell. The trapped acoustics spoon fed an unwanted listener my entire phone conversation. The phone conversation was short-lived much like his biting silence.
The man made a strong first impression on me when he uttered, "You young punks think you got the world at your fingertips. Your time is coming."
The elevator continued its bumpy descent like a slow ride to hell. Was he a doomsayer touting Armegeddon or run-of-the-mill negativity on two arthritic legs? I did not know what his problem was but I had ample time to ask. So I did.
"Whatever are you talking about?"
"While driving to this stinking hospital, I saw a man riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle with one arm. He was talking on his cell phone just like you."
Call if self-fulfilling lunacy, but I often portray the punk I am falsely accused of. "The motorcyclist had only one arm?"
"What are you an imbecile?" The man fired back. "He had two arms. The idiot only chose to drive with one."
I stared at him before answering. The elevator was doing a pretty steady job sending me to hell in a hand basket with this basket case. I played along for the ride.
"Let me get this straight." I surmised. "You witnessed a man riding a chopper one-handed while talking on the phone, and he was heading in this direction to the hospital?"
He grimaced, "That's what I fricking said. Do you have a problem with that?"
I wasn't the one with the problem. I knew it and he failed to realize it. He went looking for America but couldn't find it anywhere. Like Easy Rider, the man who stood before me wanted an America that no longer applied. He was transistor radio old in an age of Ipods. He was a hostage and he perceived me to be taking a free ride. Things couldn't be further from the truth. I rarely take life for granted and I never do it in the confines of a hospital. The elevator binged and the doors slapped open.
I advised, "Easy Rider sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Sooner or later, Easy Rider will be joining us here at the hospital. You'll have both of us to kick around. I would hate to have you all to myself."
When you find yourself near alone in an elevator, it is easy to distinguish the easy rider from the person giving you the shaft.



Blogger justrose said...

ah, sanctimonious old people. what would we do without their pointless pontification?

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, if you give me a complete description of this dud, I'll find him and whop his butt. How dare he insult you like that! Post by one of the old folks. ET

6:43 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Once again, you summed it up better than me, pointless pontification is a beauty. It gives liver spots a wrinkle.

My verbal slinging took care of him. Besides, he will be beating on Easy Rider in the wheelchair and neck brace.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad. Here and there I meet people just like him. Working in a hospital myself we sometimes get verbally beat up and find out afterwards there was a really sick loved one and they took their frustration, anger and worry out on us. Then again he could be just plain mean. I am sorry he took it out on such an Up guy. Emily

4:11 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

A wise person once told me, "never go down with an old man"...on second thought I think it was "never go down ON an old man..." ah, skip it. ;)

4:41 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

You may be right but it was more comical than anything.

I'm going to plead ignorance on that one.

5:23 PM  

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