Archive for SFMTA

Blame it on the Rain

Posted in are you joking me?, inapropriately long posts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2009 by thedith

 

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.

You Get What You Pay For

Posted in inapropriately long posts with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2009 by thedith

Okay, so, I know I shouldn’t complain, when I’m able to sneak onto the bus without paying because so many people are getting on/off the side-exit that no one notices me wiggle my way through, but people are ANIMALS. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, the difference between humans and animals is that we’re civilized; although we have primal instincts, we at least have the capacity of compassion, and empathy. we treat our fellow humans with respect, even when it’s easier to only look out for oneself. You’d be wrong — and also, why do you have so much time on your hands to think a thought like that? Weirdo… Also, I’d have to guess that you’ve never taken public transportation in a city before. And you’ve sure as hell never ridden a bus in San Francisco. SAVAGES.

SO, not only did I get pushed by a businessman who thought he could make his way out of the bus by shimmying his way between me, the pole that I was holding on to, and the tangle of people on the seat opposite me, but I was also yoga mat whipped by some Yuppy 20-something woman who clearly lacked spatial reasoning skills.

Then, THEN. The icing on the cake happened. This obese black woman — the kind you only see in like, Dairy Queen or KFC commercials, gets onto the bus. She starts scooting her way towards me, so I lean a little closer to the pole so she can wedge herself through the aisle (although I have doubts that this is possible). But you know what? You know WHAT? She doesn’t try to wedge herself through the aisle. oh no. she stops right behind me. Like, c’mon could you not see that I made room for you to pass not stay?!?! But then I’m like, “fuck it, I’m not gonna hug this pole for 5 blocks.”

So I lean back into my normal, pre-obeese-lady-settling-into-my-space-stance. Only, her butt sticks out like  a full foot from her back. No joke. So we ride like this, for half a mile at least. Me, wedged in between an old chinese man, clutching a wicker box filled with who knows what, and the biggest butt I have ever seen, jutting into my back. And San Francisco is a hilly city, where they teach their bus drivers to lurch and swerve whenever possible (gotta keep ’em on their toes) so imagine how fun that was, to have that enormous butt smacking itself into my back as we staggered across the city. I was wearing sunglasses, so no one could see my irate eyes, but I made it a point to purse my lips, and shake my head at everyone else around me. as if to say, “can you believe this?!” I imagined their impassive stares were politely empathizing with me.

“I know, and look at the size of that butt!” They’d answer.