Blame it on the Rain


Although there are a lot of crazy people in this city, I have yet to see Rosie ODonnell

Although there are a lot of crazy people in this city, I have yet to see Rosie O'Donnell

Riding the bus in San Francisco is like stepping into that movie Riding the Bus With My Sister — you know, the one where Rosie O’Donnell plays a mentally retarded lady who rides around on buses yelling at people?


The day started out normally enough. After making myself an awesome breakfast, I set off for an interview for a job that I’m vastly under-qualified for.  The company website politely lists the organization as being located in SoMa (or, South of Market Street); however, I can actually  tell you that this particular company is really located in the Tenderloin – aka, arguably the most dangerous section of the city.  I know you’re assuming that the interview went smashingly well, and that I could barely hear the on-the-spot job offer my interviewer made over the thunderous applause from the other staff members; or perhaps you’re thinking the interview went so badly that I was chased out of the office by a chorus of “boo”s and “kill the witch!”  Well, you’d be wrong in both cases.  The interview happened without a hitch, and there’s really no story there.  But,  when I left the building, I discovered, much to my chagrin, that it was raining.  Don’t worry — I came prepared though.  I pulled a baseball cap out of my bag, popped out my umbrella, and I was good to go.  As I passed by a random homeless man with nothing better to do than sit on a milk crate in front of a check cashing center, heckling people as they walked past, I lowered my baseball hat to prevent unwanted eye-contact.  But, Heckles the Homelessman was two steps ahead of me, and he craned his neck to look under my baseball cap.

“Hey cutie.” He lisped as I hurried past.

Well, now it was mid-day, what could I do? I guess I could have just gone back home, but Roomie Madoff was there, and besides, you can’t make me! So, I decided I’d finally see Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D.  Why? We’ve already been over this: 3 fucking D! THREE D’s!  

Unfortunately the Metreon only had post-3pm shows, and I did NOT want to be the creepy grown-up sitting in a kid movie surrounded by kids.  And the Powell st. theater wasn’t even showing Aliens vs. Monsters anymore.  Instead, they were showing Wolverine on like, 22 screens, and The Soloist on the remaining 3.  Like, c’mon, seriously?!  I would have stomped out of the movie theater in a huff, except my shoes were killing me.  So instead, I hobbled out in a huff.  But, at least there was a huff.  Oh man, was there a huff.

My huff deflated a bit as I stepped outside, and realized it was one of those days where it’s not only gray and rainy, but it’s also muggy, and kind of hot. The kind of day that leaves you soaked with both rain and sweat. The kind of day you don’t want to get trapped on a bus in.  So, logically, I decided to take the route home that required three different buses.  On the first bus (or, trolly, really) I got sandwiched in between a fat lady who smelled like baby powder and an old man who kept falling asleep.  Two young lesbians planted themselves at the pole in front of me; a nice change from the weirdos to the left and right of me.  Then, as the trolly clanged in to motion, they began aggressively making out — the kind of kissing you don’t see…well, anywhere… 

At my stop, I lurched out of my seat, knocking over the kissing couple, and stepping on the foot of the fat lady.  I didn’t even say sorry, I was just glad to get out of there.  Except now it was cold out, and the wind was whipping, and where the hell was the bus?  At one point, a car roared past the bus stop, spraying everyone with mottled brown water.  Who needed to go to the movies, when life was handing me a bunch of movie cliches, right here, in person?  

THEN the bus came.  Finally.  The lady in front of me tried to push her way onto the bus, nearly knocking the man in front of her over.

“Hey! Show a little respect! He’s BLIND!” The bus driver yelled after her.  The blind man picked up his cane, and groped his way down the aisle.

I finally found a seat next to a man who smelled like bacon and looked like a pedophile, but at least I had a seat.  There was no WAY I was going to stand up, clutching the sweaty bus pole for balance.  Swine flu anyone? Uh, uh, I wasn’t gonna go out like that!

“My father fought terrorists!  Terrorists! He fought ’em!” A loud voice boomed at the front of the bus.  A disheveled black man doing a really good impression of Jamie Foxx in The Soloist was yelling.”My father fought terrorists, and I will shoot a nigga! I will!”  He looked around crazy eyed. “I’ll shoot a nigga!”  

An old white lady in front of me diverted her eyes.

“My father fought terrorists, and you’s a terrorist!” He continued.  Then the bus driver yelled at people to keep moving back.  Apparently today was Pack as Many People onto a Public Bus As You Can Day.  A trail of soaking wet people ambled towards the back of the bus.

“Terrorists!” Jamie Foxx yelled as he stopped at the pole beside me.  I hoped he would keep moving, but he would not.  So, I just decided to ignore him.  just as I made this declaration to myself, I heard a thumping noise above my head.  It was Jamie Foxx.  He was banging a beat on the overhead pole.

“Cin-co de ma-yo! Cin-co de ma-yo!” He was muttering under his breath.

“Cin-co [thump, thump, thump] de ma-yo [thump, thump, thump]!”

I turned the volume on my ipod up all the way to drown him out.

Happy to have escaped that sweaty, crazy, second bus, I climbed aboard my third and final bus — only to totally Elmer Fudd on a banana peel across the entire bus as it lurched into motion.  Luckily I caught myself on a pole and avoided a total wipe out, but a trio of teenage girls cackled at me.  Bitches.

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