At the Intersection of Unintentionally Creepy and Racially Sensitive  

I met a guy on the bus last week that looked just like a Mexican Johnny Depp. We chatted for several minutes before I asked if I he'd let me take his picture for my blog. "Is it about fashion or something?" "No," I shot back at him, "It's more a combination of personal debauchery, humorous anecdotes, and public transportation-based celebrity pareidolia." We shared an uncomfortable pause courtesy of his confusion at my comment, which I broke by saying "You look like Johnny Depp. I think people will get a kick out of that." Cue blank stare from SeƱor Depp. No doubt at this point he's imagining me at home with his picture taped to my life-size Captain Jack Sparrow doll, performing a perverted line-by-line reenactment of the Pirates trilogy. Which is really silly because I've always been more of a 21 Jump Street fan.

Needless to say I didn't get the picture. I was, however, immediately exonerated of any creepiness when the girl behind me leaned forward to offer her two cents after he got off the bus. "Oh my God, that guy totally did look like Johnny Depp. I took a picture of him with my cell phone but it didn't turn out." She then proceeded to show me a picture on her phone that was so blurry it could have just as easily been Manuel Uribe. Not that I didn't ask her to email it to me anyway, but a week has passed with no sign of the picture. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have told her she looked like an Asian Courtney Love.

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18 Reasons to Live

  • shine  
    August 4, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    So basically, you're a Johnny Depp stalker?

    That makeover really got to you, eh?

  • Amala Poleanskiii  
    August 4, 2009 at 2:47 PM

    Oh MAN. That has totally happened to me. It's people on the bus. They get weird if you try to have some sort of interaction with them. Like people on planes. What is it that Edward Norton says in Fight Club? "One serving friend" -- it's awkward. And besides...lord knows where that photo may have ended up....

  • mysterg  
    August 4, 2009 at 3:36 PM

    I once had a Japanese tourist ask if they could have their picture taken with me. I assumed it was because they mistook me for someone famous, but now I'm concerned it's been blown up and put on a life-size doll for reasons of debauchery. Cheers!

  • Jules  
    August 4, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    That's hysterical! You do know that you have to SECRETLY take these people's pictures though, right?

  • James  
    August 4, 2009 at 4:40 PM

    Based on the frequency of your photo worthy bus adventures, it's time to invest in a covert rig.

  • B  
    August 4, 2009 at 9:40 PM

    being the "uncultered" girl that i am, i really do not get this post...

  • The Grunt  
    August 4, 2009 at 10:26 PM

    I think it was Johnny Depp and he was just super pissed that you blew his cover.

  • Monkey Girl  
    August 4, 2009 at 11:46 PM

    Basically you told her she was a scary, skanky, fishy, parasitic whore (i.e. comparing her to C.L.) AND that's why she didn't e-mail you the blurry picture.

    You're truly lucky she didn't smack you upside the head with her purse.

    Maybe next month's blog torture should be daily forced bus interactions. Each morning a blogger comes up with a starter line, and you must work it into a conversation with a stranger on the bus.
    Holy shit, I've been up too long watching The Tudor's...I'm talking like a mad woman.

  • the projectivist  
    August 5, 2009 at 6:47 AM

    i'm furious that you let this mexican johnny depp get away!
    you fool, you don't tell the truth! when he asked you was it a fashion thing, you answer 'yes'! and say things like 'work it baby' as you snap away.

    try harder next time.

  • Danni  
    August 5, 2009 at 7:27 AM

    Interestingly of course, Mr Depp starred in Once upon a time in Mexico...perhaps he was just regressing to an earlier film role for this bus journey...

    Great post though, disappointed about lack of photographic evidence, but still shudderingly funny!

  • Jay Ferris  
    August 5, 2009 at 8:55 AM

    Shiny - If owning every movie he has ever made and having a full back tattoo of his face makes me a stalker, then so be it.

    AmPo - Ah yes, the single serving friend. I sometimes feel like I have far too many of those.

    mysterg - Being a tall guy, I've been approached by Japanese tourists more than once for a photo opp. I usually just tell them I'm Kobe Bryant.

    Jules - I was sitting right next to him! Besides, I wanted a picture of him looking straight at the camera.

    James - You are definitely right. I just wish I could convince my wife to let me have an iPhone.

    B - I'll do a special post for you someday comprised entirely of 3-4 letter words.

    Grunt - If that were the case, I'd have settled for no less than a lock of his hair.

    MonkeyLady - You do sound a bit like a syphilis-addled woman at times.

    Projectivist - I find it curious how surprised people are that I'm not more of a devious person.

    Danni - I promise to try harder next time!

  • Crystal  
    August 5, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    haha this made me laugh.

    i work with a guy who looks like dr. phil but i don't know if it would be offensive to tell him that or not. i am going to email you his picture. you can use it to do oprah role playing.

  • Winter  
    August 5, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    The key is not to ask. Oh and having boobs would also help..

  • Brooklyn  
    August 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM

    Jay, I think you would look creepy with boobs. Don't do it.

  • rawbean  
    August 5, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    This story is great.

    That guy was a poor sport. I often think about taking pictures of people downtown Vancouver. There is some craaaazy fashion out there.

  • Chris  
    August 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    Jay, remember its better to ask for forgiveness than permission. Besides I'm betting he was 5-6 and maybe a spin and a half and couldn't have wrestled the camera away from you on his best day.

  • Graygrrrl  
    August 6, 2009 at 10:07 AM

    Once on the train from D.C. to Boston I was convinced the conductor was a Vogon from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I kept giggling and trying to get a picture. Man, was he surly about it!
    I mean, it could be so much worse. He looked like Johnny Depp! He could have looked like Danny Devito!

  • Juice  
    August 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Oh I miss this blog! Some serious catching up to do.

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