Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bus Report #246

The week so far...

Afternoon commute with Ebony. We discussed the bizarre stuff going on in Oakland (Newspaper man murdered in broad daylight! Group of thuggish bakery owners/employees implicated! Other crimes related to the bakery!) and wondered why there weren't more people over by the ballpark yesterday (when Barry hit his record breaker. I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed, spelled s-t-e-r-o-i-d-s).

Drama on the 22… When is there NOT drama on the 22? I was sitting in the back in the rear-facing seats with a bunch of pre-teens and some Cor-O-Van guys.
One of the pre-teens was staring at a man standing in the aisle. As far as I could tell there was nothing unusual about the guy: he was your typical 30-something, bearded, future-farmer-looking guy.
So the girl was staring at the guy. As anyone would do, he stared back.
"Oh no you ain't staring at me," she said.
The guy replied, "you're staring at me."
"It's creepy for old men to be staring at kids," she snapped. "Don't fucking stare at me or I'll cut you, I'll fucking cut your ass."
The guy, another adult woman and I stared at the girl. What a mouth she had! Her friends cackled, the guy shifted a little, a mix between uncomfortable and annoyed. The woman and I exchanged eye rolls and smirks. I sucked my teeth.
The girl went on and on, getting louder and louder, repeating her completely uncalled for threat until the guy got out at Haight Street.
The kids got out a few blocks later and the woman and I just couldn’t stop shaking our heads.
And that is why the kids should take school buses instead of MUNI.

This morning's commute was okay, considering I was running a little late. That's the price you pay for eating hot oatmeal for breakfast.
I waited for the 38 with Nikolas. He stood in the street trying to see what buses were coming.
"First is a Limited," he said. "Then, an Express. In the back is the Regular."
I squinted down Geary. I saw the buses, but the signs were blurs and I couldn't tell what any of them said.
I shook my head. "Man, but my eyes are bad," I said.
He grinned. "Don't say that, Rachel. I am way, way older than you. You are too young to say that!"

On the bus, my smiley 38 driver said, "I missed you yesterday!"
I had been late yesterday, too, and missed the bus. I thanked her, and went to sit down.

Fast forward to the 22 Fillmore this morning, somewhere along 16th Street.
A man got on, mumbling to himself, dropping, picking up, and dropping again a ratty plastic bag. He did not have bus fare and the driver told him to get out.
Did he get out?
On the contrary.
He came and sat next to me.
The driver said, "We're not leaving until you get off the bus or pay your fare."
The man said, "I guess we're not going anywhere, then." and then he started mumbling about the cops.
We sat.
The man shook his plastic bag. "I got a bag full of brand new hats, I'll sell them for 12 cents each to pay the damn bus fare."
He pulled out a stack of cheap baseball caps. "Brand new, fresh hats," he went on. "they still got the tags on them. Brand spanking new."
Everyone was staring at him now, trying not to laugh. Smushed against the window, I couldn't help but smile too, even though I was annoyed.
The baseball caps were faded and stained, regardless of still being tagged. "I got all different colors, only 12 cents. 12 cents only."
No one was biting, no surprise.
A woman stood up and paid the driver. She brought a transfer over to the man. "Well bless your heart, ma'am," he said.
I was annoyed that she bought him a transfer, because really, if the rest of us have to pay our fare, he should, too.
The punch line?
He got off the bus two stops later.


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