Cheese Munch Bag

{excerpt from UBER NIGHTS}


If there are any bored anthropologists out there, they may wish to consider hiding in the bushes at the Greyhound Bus Station on the outskirts of Columbia. Most nights, it’s an ethnographer’s wet dream. An alphabet soup of the human condition.


Tonight, I pick up a woman taking the midnight bus to Atlanta.


I joke, “I asked Gladys Knight. She said it’s not quite the same thing as the train, but it’ll take you there.”


No laugh. Sigh.


Several miles into the crosstown ride, my passenger loses it. “Oh no oh no oh no! My snack bag!”


I gotta give it to this lady. She didn’t ask me to backpedal to her home. She realizes time is money.


She reaches for her cellphone. “Kinyata? It’s Monique.”




“I left my snack pack in my room.”




“Cuz, don’t you even. Don’t. You. Even. Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t. When I get back, if you—”




“No. Shut the fuck up. If you eat my cheese munch bag, I will punch your eyes. Then I’ll kill you.”


I make a mental note: Google ‘what the hell is a cheese munch bag?’


Monique: “Fine. Yes, you can eat the Chik-fil-A sandwich. But if you touch my candy, girl. You so much as eat a single Dorito—I will cut you cut you cut you cut you!”


My eyeballs hit the windshield. Don’t fuck with Monique’s snacks.


“Same for all my candy. Girl, you will not fuck with my candy.”




“I said, go ahead. Eat the Chik-fil-A. But don’t touch the munch bag, the Doritos, or the candy. And if you eat the Cheetos, I’m gonna stab you with a pair of scissors.”


Hmm. And here I thought a cheese munch bag might include Cheetos. Clearly, these are separate things. I so want clarification!


“Girl, don’t fuck with me. Read my lips: Do not fuck with me. I mean it. If you fuck with me, I will tear you up. Rip you. Cuz, that’s my motherfucking candy.”


Can you imagine this home at Halloween?


We pull up to the bus station. “Have a safe trip.”


I do not exist to Monique. “Least I have my fucking neck pillow. I mean it now. Better not eat my goddamn cheese munch bag. Okay, gotta go. Love you, cuz.”


All aboard, a midnight bus to ride.




Excerpt from UBER NIGHTS, Arik Bjorn’s ninth book, published August 15, 2022. UBER NIGHTS, is about Arik’s late-night rideshare misadventures in the Deep South. In South Carolina, you never know if your next passenger will be a naked lady with a toothbrush, a banana spider, or a punch-drunk redneck.


UBER NIGHTS is available at Amazon.


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