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Bamboozled No More! Unsung Boston MBTA Hero


Hey, has anyone noticed the increased police presence on the MBTA Orange line stations this week? I am not saying the Transit Police and Orange Line workers look happy, but they do look busy. And it is nice to know they are around!

We owe this change to one very concerned MBTA Orange Line rider armed with cell phone camera. The photographer captured our tax dollars not at work for us. Where were the Transit Police and other MBTA workers?

The photo, which appeared on FB and then in the Metro newspaper on May 18, 2015, showed two individuals engaged in oral sex, on a State Street platform station!

I was sure the story and photo would immediately generate lots of media attention. I expected Governor Baker to mention it during his latest battle with T officials. Sadly, I didn’t see or hear much of anything. However, I understand the story and photo are now capturing some media coverage and public interest.

I know I was inspired. Inspired enough to write about it in this column. I applaud the concerned MBTA customer turned ‘news’ photographer. This person is a Boston hero, a person who cared enough to take a stand.

I tried to contact my hero about the story/photo and the Metro column via FB and my tribute via this column. I didn’t hear back, but given what is now in the public domain I have included the MBTA rider/photographer’s photo and comment.

Dear #MBTA,
I understand you are having financial problems and it is difficult to maintain a broken system however, my tax dollars should be going to pay your police force because I shouldn’t have to stand next to a man receiving oral sex, nor should I be ignored when I text and tweet the incident to the #MBTATransitPD. Get your ___ together.
Can’t unsee what I saw today

Thank you for loving the city enough to wake up the officials and politicians to the problems and dangers we face on the MBTA. I imagine some folks might laugh at my choice of the word “dangers.” But there is the potential for violence, and there are kids that travel on the T. We need the MBTA, City and State officials to address a variety of issues that continue to compromise our safety and quality of life.

Thank you
As-salaam aleykum (peace be with you)


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. JC prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers…a lot. Her column appears regularly in Oddball Magazine.


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Stone Soup Servings Presents: Chad Parenteau


Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry now meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery’s new location at 541 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square Cambridge, Massachusetts. The open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.

On May, 11, Stone Soup will feature its longtime host Chad Parenteau, who will be reading a selection from his “Jesus Poems” series. Below is a new piece based on a recent online exchange with a past Stone Soup feature.


Red Line Jesus

“Red Line Jesus doesn’t walk on water. In fact, sometimes he barely moves at all.”
          Karen Locasio

Red Line Jesus
turns water into urine
between Harvard and Park Street.

Red Line Jesus
feeds a multitude
of hungry commuters
with their money.

Red Line Jesus
has his sermons
in the middle section
of Park Street.

Red Line Jesus says
a dollar thrown from
a musician’s bucket
can be caught to old
into his heavenly host.

Red Line Jesus
doesn’t want you
making holy hosts
without a proper permit.

Red Line Jesus did
his best Moses impression
splitting the outbound

making Dorchester
and upscale Quincy
seem almost uncrossable
even by bus.

Red Line Jesus
wants his last supper
to be at a hot dog stand
in Ruggles Station
before he is crucified
for blasphemy.