Monday, October 13, 2008

Bus Report #375

Three days worth of MUNI-related observations for you...

Saturday night I took the 38 downtown to go to the Julieta Venegas show at the Warfield.
The show was good, fun, and I like the new renovations at the Warfield. But I don't like or appreciate $7 beers after I've already bought a concert ticket with ticketing fees.
I was standing downstairs sort of to the right. A guy standing behind me tapped me on the shoulder and I turned around.
"Excuse me," he said, "But you ride the 22, don't you? I see you there sometimes."
I nodded. "Yeah, I do," I told him. I tried to remember who he was but I had no idea. I asked him where he gets on the bus in the morning, and he said he gets on at my stop! I swear I didn't recognize him, and I felt bad about it. I told him I'd see him on the bus and to enjoy the show.

Sunday J.M. and I caught a 33 Stanyan heading towards the Castro and Mission.
At Stanyan a family with a bunch of little kids got on, as well as a pleasant-looking woman who smelled awful (and sat right behind us, yuck!) and a guy with plastic bags from Amoeba and his friend/boyfriend.
The bus started to turn onto Ashbury but there was an SUV parked in the red zone and the bus couldn't turn.
The driver of the SUV got out and started to walk down Ashbury. This guy was big, bald, and looked like a typical tourist. He was wearing shorts, while J.M. and I were cozy in our coats and gloves.
The bus driver opened the door and said, "You've got to move your vehicle, or I can't get the bus by. You're in a red zone, anyway." The SUV guy stared at the bus driver blankly but made no move to get back in his car.
The bus driver repeated what he had just said. Still, the SUV guy pretended like he hadn't heard what the driver said.
"Fine, you'll see," said the bus driver. He started to turn and would have taken the SUV with him if he kept going.
The Amoeba-bag guy started yelling at the SUV guy, "Move your fucking car!"
The dad with the little kids yelled at the Amoeba-bag guy, "Hey, don't use that kind of language, there are kids on this bus."
People on the sidewalk laughed and watched the whole thing. A couple more bus riders yelled, too (I might have been one of them).
After a small crowd had gathered, the SUV guy got in his car and peeled away, heading up the street.
A fine MUNI moment, I thought.
The Amoeba-bag guy complained to his friend/boyfriend/seatmate about the dad having told him off.

It's Columbus Day, so a lot of people have the day off. Not me, though.
And it seems like maybe... like maybe all the weirdos in the City are out in full force today.
My 22 was pretty empty and we sped through the Fillmore. At Turk, a woman who was obviously off her rocker high or crazy or high and crazy got in the bus. She was laughing hysterically, and waved a scrap of a blue sheet around. She sat on one of the seats in the front. She lay down on it. She rolled around, kicked her legs into the air.
The driver ignored her. The few of us riders regarded her warily. She kept laughing and moving around, and finally at Church and Duboce she actually seemed to fly off the bus. She lurched across the street, waving her blanket scrap like a ribboned baton.

At Valencia and 16th, the woman from the Vietnamese restaurant was hosing off the sidewalk. Right outside of the range of her hose, a man was peeing into a trash can. Lovely.

I got out at my usual spot, skirted a couple of people rooting through trashcans.
A woman in skintight jeans, a cropped top and tall shoes walked by. She greeted everyone with an exuberant "Good morning to you!"

I crossed the parking lot. A man was standing in the middle of it, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He stared at Safeway but didn't move. The woman was right behind me and she came around in front and "Good Morning"-ed him, too.

I decided to walk the rest of the way to work without headphones on. It seemed like the kind of morning to have my full wits about me.


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