Friday, May 18, 2007

Anatomy of a MUNI Ride

5:50 p.m.
: 4th and Townsend St.
MUNI Line: 45 (Union/Stockton)
On the iPod: "Up Against the Wall", Peter, Bjorn & John

For reasons unexplained, our MUNI driver, a middle aged black gentleman with a bushy mustache who wears his hat at a jaunty angle, grants rider amnesty. Backdoor boarding, usually frowned upon, is encouraged. This Friday Freebie, while nice, doesn't affect me since I have a FastPass, but who am I to look down on this charitable deed? I take a corner seat on the last row and select some light reading from my bag. All is well.

5:51 p.m. A homeless man, taking advantage of the generous free ride, selects a spot right by the last row. While fully clothed, he smells of slightly warm garbage and b.o. Riders in the back row suddenly become mouth breathers.

5:58 p.m.
Location: 3rd and Harrison
On the iPod: "Down South", Tom Petty

The homeless man, who desperately seemed to want off at the previous stop, gives some woman a full whiff of his armpit while reaching for the stop wire. He disembarks and the back quarter of the bus commences nasal breathing.

6:01 p.m.
3rd and Market
On the iPod: "Read My Mind", The Killers

Standard day after Thanksgiving shopping style test of wills between riders attempting to get off and people attempting to get on through the back door of the bus. It looks like a rugby scrum, only with chicks in 3 inch heels and fake fingernails. One day a riot will ensue. But (thankfully) not today. Should it ever come to blows, I've got my money on the short Asian ladies.

6:07 p.m.
: Post and Kearny
On the iPod: "Supersonic", Oasis

The man sitting directly in front of me, speaking slightly accented English, launches into a conversation on his cell phone at a cringe inducing level.

6:12 p.m.
On the iPod
: "Slide Away", Oasis

I am deliberately deafening myself to avoid hearing the details of the ongoing conversation in front of me but I can still hear virtually EVERY WORD. The old woman in the raspberry colored sweater next to the man looks panicked. I think she wants to climb out the fire escape hatch.

6:19 p.m.
: Stockton and Broadway
On the iPod: "Cherchez LaGhost", Ghostface Killa

Loud Talking Guy finally shuts the hell up.

6:20 p.m. I get a call. Nine times out of ten, I would have let it go to voice mail, but it was about a ticket hook up, so I take it. I keep it quick and make sure my voice is low (I'd look like a hypocrite if I was broadcasting my conservation like the jackass in front of me).

6:22 p.m. I hang up and Loud Talking Guy begins another blaring conversation with God knows who. I think I hate him.

6:24 p.m.
: Stockton and Columbus
On the iPod: "The Start of Something", Voxtrot

Loud Talking Guys exits bus. There's no applause. I should have started it. A couple of Chinese tourists almost fall over when the bus screams out across the intersection.

6:27 p.m.
: Union and Columbus
On the iPod: "One More Time", The French Kicks

The rest of the ride is shockingly uneventful.

6:31 p.m.
: Union and Jones
On the iPod: Nothing

Home again, home again.


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