The Characters of the Metro Blue Line through Compton

As my time living in Long Beach comes to a close I am beginning to get a bit nostalgic about all the memories I have had during the past 5 months. Besides the many adventures to city fairs and beachside eateries to explore the culinary delights that I have yet to write about, some of my most interesting and memorable moments have occurred during my daily commutes to and from work on the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line. Now if you live in LA, you will have heard of the blue line and probably said something along the lines of “oh my god he takes the blue line to work?” as the majority of my co-workers do. For those of you that don’t live in LA I will explain; the blue line goes through some of the more avoided parts of LA including (but not limited to) both Compton and Artesia. While I do see my fair share of cop cars blocking roads and while I have experienced a few delays to what they call “police related activity”, the Metro Blue line is really NOT THAT BAD. In fact, I have rather enjoyed taking the blue line to work. Coming from one of the least diverse places in the nation (thank you Boulder, Colorado) I have enjoyed my cultural immersion in what really represents the majority of the American population.

But I digress. I will write my sentimental farwell to the blue line at a future date, for now I want to introduce you to some of the most interesting characters in which I have had the priveledge, nay, the HONOR of meeting, watching and subsequently being entertained by in my entire, albeit semi-abridged, life. Due to the number of characters I have kept the descriptions short and entertaining. I have also used pseudonyms to protect the identities of those in question, not that I really know any of their names anways…

Queen Stank- sells pens for a dollar. Obviously homeless and drugged out. Extremely overweight and most likely sleeps in a pile of giraffe manure. People have exited trains in hopes of catching a later one just to avoid the stench. I was cornered once and can still smell it. *SHUDDERS*

The caption of this was "Stinky bus riders may be fined." Fitting.

Lights Out- sells flashing and non flashing lights. Fo fo a dolla! “Four quarters, ten dimes, twenty nickles, one hundred pennies” is his catch phrase. Enters the train saying “slide on it just like that”. Jerrod (yes the Las Vegas Jerrod) bought nearly $10 worth of lights from him on New Year’s Eve. Regrets? Not with those flashing 2011 glasses on.

The glasses were like these but made you look even more uncool. Not for epileptics.

Jesus (the latin-american name not the son of god) con una Guitarra- most well mannered of the bunch. Gives a quick spiel about how much he loves his family and is going through a tough spot, then plays one of two religious songs in Spanish. Imagine a less qualified Ricky Martin with a two song repitoir… aka imagine Ricky Martin. Has made more money off me than any other character. Bastard.

He got a star for that?

Chef Flamo- pretended he was talking to me while not so subtly hitting on my uncle in front of my uncle’s wife. Claimed to have been on Hell’s Kitchen or something involving Gordon Ramsay. Thorough research performed, one possible match, one definitely gay guy.

The look on his face is in response of me asking if he knows this guy

Light Scribe- obviously homeless and never speaks. Constantly writes on one ginormous scroll looking piece of paper that never ends. Unable to sit close enough to read writing assuming it even makes sense.

Okay maybe not THIS long

Agent Coke- is apparently a modeling agent in H-wood. Claims to have walked in on Stallone doing coke in a dual sex bathroom on the first floor cafe of his building. Yea and I just had sex with Paris Hilton in an LAX bathroom. Oh wait…

No one's doubting that he does coke...

Qui gon ghetto and Obi-shot- a duo of gangster and former gangster mentor. Learned from them that the requirement to be an OG is to be a retired gangster of older age (cutoff date unknown but 40 and above definitely does the trick). Also learned that gangsters ride longboards. Looks like gas prices have forced some to move to skate-by shootings.

If only they were wearing these. "Ghetto Wars".

Loudy- named after volume of phone conversations and pronunciation of “lord” (oh loudy no he di’int!). Yes I did. Multiple characters play this part on a weekly basis. Job requirement of saying “axe” instead of “ask” and repeating it multiple times in a sentence. Sounds like a terrible murderer. “Yo hold on let me axe you this, no let me axe you, let me axe you” uhhh….

It's almost as annoying as watcing this movie...

Somalian Pirates- sell pirated dvds two for five dollars. Bought one out of pure curiosity of quality. I must say that Inception is even more mind blowing when you watch it via video recorded in a Dutch movie theater. What do you think? “Zal het houden spinnend?”

You're actually better off downloading illegally than buying illegally

Candy Mountain Unicorns- sell candy bars for one dollar. Haven’t bought one due to constant supply of three and a half pound bags of peanut m&ms provided by uncle. These sweet-bearing unicorns come in all ages at all times of the day, as if people want a giant snickers bar for breakfast. Maybe if it was fried…

Buy some Candy Chaaaaarlie

Beggards- multiple types. Silent man seems too young to be begging and never speaks just holds a sign. Squeaky speaks in the highest voice I’ve ever heard. Unable and unwilling to verify if female or male due to lack of hair and all other humanoid features. Heartbreaker is a five-ish year old child that walks silently with a cup and no parents in sight. I’ve only seen her once and almost died of pity.

I'd give this guy money

Washington- named after the stop she gets off the train in the morning. Gorgeous, perfect, my age, way out of my league. Haven’t seen her in months. If I ever see her again I am going to profess my undying love to her, woo her into loving me back, date her for a bit, get bored of her and then break her heart. Isn’t that what relationships are?

Artist's rendition

Mumblin’ man- obviously homeless and has the power of emptying seats around him due to constant muttering interrupted by random bouts of loud profanity. Thoroughly entertaining and semi-frightening all at once. Kinda like the teletubbies.

He yells random stuff like this

Bracletier- I mistook this guy as a Native American dancer until I realized his crazy colored “staff” was actually just a pole he used to carry the braclets he was trying to sell. I would have given him a dollar if he did a rain dance…

If only he was as cool as this guy

Author’s Note: To those that I have omitted I apologize. I hope to add to this list in my future commuting adventures on another metro line. Until then, thank you all and keep doing what you do best. Unless you’re Queen Stank, please take a shower.

9 Responses to “The Characters of the Metro Blue Line through Compton”
  1. tsonoda148 says:

    Wow your people in LA remind me of my people in Vegas. Well, technically, they’re not MY people. But I live in Vegas and it’s my Vegas, so yes, they must be my people. (some shit about 6 degrees I believe). We’re all bat-shit crazy and just trying to get by.

    But at least I don’t stink. And I’m very happy to Not know Queen Stank, thank you very much.

    Wine glass empty. Headed for a refill. Have a super weekend, my friend! As usual. LOVE your post! And now I can advertise it on Twitter.

    • kluckmeister says:

      Haha you are all bat shit crazy! I’m last on replying but I’m loving the glass of wine idea on a friday night. Usually it doesn’t stop at one for me… and usually it isn’t wine…

  2. Bronan! says:

    Damn dude, that’s quite a list. I should write one about the weirdos on my bike commute. Chef Flamo was fucking hilarious.

  3. Leslie Madsen says:

    The 15 Colfax Express here in Denver’s got nothing on the Blue Line! Great descriptions…good thing you went to GW for a little diversification lesson prior to big-time L.A…

  4. Paul Kluck says:

    Ya never know what may happen while you are commuting on public transportation. Early in my career with AA&Co while riding the bus to downtown Denver, I overheard a woman talking about auditions for the Denver Concert Chorale. I got the date, time and location without interrupting. I actually rehearsed a song from the Eagles, Desperado, and sang it at the audition. Come to find out, the only criteria for the men was the desire to just show up. Male voices are hard to come by in a chorale group. I was accepted in the group and sang 2nd tenor. BFD, you say. But while singing in that choir i met my wife of 26 years, your mother. Ya never know what may happen while riding public transportation.

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  1. […] to locate the source of the commotion I realized that it was none other than the female version of the mumblin’ man. Though I can’t tell you exactly what she was ranting about, I can say that the main take away […]

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