Thursday, July 10, 2008

Onward and Upward

The other day I get off work and wait for the 22 @ Union and Fillmore. First, I have to pose a question (and I wondered this during my 35 minute wait for the bus): Why, is there no "next bus" located at this stop? The reason I ask this is because the Union and Fillmore stop is a at the bottom of a huge fuckin' hill. I should have called 311, found out how long that wait would be so I could have just started climbing the hill, but I waited. I was lazy and tired and hungry, anyway so.... here it comes around the corner looking like all buses look when they're way late. My big, fat nemesis. It's never the driver or the passengers or the day or anything else. It's just me and the bus doing the squinty-eye stare-down. And he approaches, so anxious for me to board. And all I feel is pisssed-offness.

I get on.

So at least I wont need to climb the dreaded hill of hills, I thought. The bus starts up the hill and then 1/2 way we all hear a silent pumping of the pedal. The bus stops. pump, pump, pump, - - pause - - we hang there for a second or two and then proceed to roll backwards!! "oh shit!" we hear from the driver.

"You've got to be kidding me." I say.

Alright, we go again onward and upward... the cables click and we resume 1/2 way then the same pump, pump, pump - - pause - - hang - - roll back.

All passengers were looking at each other in silence. What do we do?

Three times. Up, down, up, down. On the fourth try the bus finally made it and all passengers gave a nice round of applause to the driver who must have been sweating a bucket by that time.

We just nearly made it without having to climb the hill. I felt so lucky. Then I turn my head and see that out the back window right behind us is another 22!!! We went through all that when we could have easily switched buses! ... I don't get it.


Smoking - - Jogging in Place

Hi Lauren, I have a bus story:

I was on the 20 going home and its pretty warm here. And we pull up to a stop and there's this big huge black dude - - smoking and - - jogging in place and he was about to get on the bus, but the driver told him to wait 'cause some guy in a rascal needed to get off. She had to lower the ramp n'stuff.

And he's jogging in place - - smoking - - and then he tries to get on the bus and she told him he couldn't get on until he put his cigarette out and so he just stood there - - smoking - - and she said, "I'm not going to wait for you."

He tries to get on again and she said, "you can't get on unless you put that out!" and so he said, "Go on then!" and he stayed and he lit a match all mean and lit up another cigarette as we drove away. It was awesome.

He was like, fuck you bus I don't need you. I'm gonna stand here and smoke!

Heather - PDX

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Bus From Hell

i came across your blog while doing research for a film treatment i'm writing for a class in documentary screenwriting, naturally i chose to write about muni, because as your blog so eloquently brings to life; crazy shit happens on the san francisco municipal railway. reading through the entries brought back some hilarious/bizzare and disgusting things that i have witnessed on muni. naturally i'm compelled to share....
so this happened about 6 or 7 years ago, we were late to a movie at 1000 van ness so we hopped on the (47? 48? i cant remember the number of the one that runs straight up van ness) anyways, the bus is PACKED, it was rush hour, and that particular line always seems to be kinda dirty because it runs through civic center area, lower market etc. so we are in line to get on and this old homeless lady kinda stumbles down the front stairs, she has a pink "thank you" bag in one hand and is kinda dragging a decrepit walker behind her, as she walks by us to get off we smell THE MOST DISGUSTING SMELL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD...words cannot even express the magnitude of horrible.
assumming it was just a bad smelling semi homeless old woman we ignore it and board the bus. once we step up inside it becomes clear that something is terribly wrong, everyone on the bus is holding their noses, and wincing in disgust. two drunk bums drinking out of paper bags seated in the handicapped seats at the front of the bus are laughing and yelling to whoever will listen: "dont wanna sit there" (pointing to the first row of seats across from them) "lady straight up SHIT HERSELF!" clearly, they are the only 2 people on the bus amused by this, meanwhile, i followed their pointing and my eyes landed on a pile of yellow, runny diarhea sliding around in the row of seats (i'm gagging as i type this.)
the bus driver was clearly distraught, but before there was time for us to get off and wait for the next one, we were pulling away from the curb past city hall and up van ness. to make matters worse we were packed in the bus like sardines, people were burying their faces into strangers shoulders to avoid the smell and sight of the "mess."
"THIS IS THE BUS FROM HELL, next stop freddy kreugars gettin' on!" screamed the homeless man with no teeth in the front of the bus, still eyeing the shit, which had clearly not ruined his appetite for the olde english 40 he was enthusiastically drowning in.
i dont remember how we made it all the way to the movie theater without getting off, and strangley enough most of the other people on the bus endured the ride and didnt get off to wait for the next one...
it wouldnt surprise me if the driver completed the route that day...but i'll always wonder whos job it was to hose that bus down back at the depot. gross.
-claire, san francisco