Friday before Memorial Day and I was a few minutes later than usual to catch the bus home after a long day.
Which of course meant that when the 22 Fillmore eventually arrived it was already packed and the only available seat was in the back of the bus, a front facing seat, across from a couple of guys nodding off in their seats, and a woman having a loud cell phone conversation.
The bus grew more and more crowded.
The nodding off guys tumbled out of the bus at Mission and 16th, were replaced by a tourist couple armed with camera and map. The wife studied the map, then closed it, then opened it again at each stop along 16th Street.
Later, by the Market Street Safeway, a couple of shaky, sunburned guys got on and made their way to the back of the bus. One of them was skinny and silent and he slumped into a window seat.
His friend, stockier, redder, twitchy, carried a large white bucket - the kind catering mustard or peanut butter comes in. The bucket was full of packs of ribs and a few cans of Coke - and I was almost certain everything had just been stolen from Safeway.
As soon as he was sitting down, the red man held up a packet of ribs and tried to sell it to the kid sitting across from him. The kid, like the rest of us, had no use for ribs of unknown provenance.
The man's voice did not match his appearance at all; it was as high pitched as the cartoon characters Alvin and the Chipmunks. The same effect you get from nitrous, right? But no sign of spent balloons or nitrous cartridges in sight.
He spent the rest of the ride trying to sell the ribs, the Cokes.
The tourist couple kept looking over at him, then looking away as soon as he offered them his products.
I got out at Geary and transferred to a 38R - and was soon on my way to a long weekend away from work, away from itinerant rib sellers.