Wednesday, February 01, 2006

pulling the cord

as much as i like to bitch and moan about how muni is ruining my life* - my daily bus rides do offer one small pleasure: watching people freak out when things don't go their way.

have you seen this? of course you have - the unknowing rider who gets uber-irate when the door doesn't open - he/she screams "back door!" - the rest of the bus replies "STEP DOWN!" i always get a huge kick out of that because if you've been riding the bus long enough to (a) know "back door!" is transit-speak for "the back door is not opening, can you please open it?" and (b) feel confident enough in your familiarity with the bus route to go so far as to start yelling at the driver then shouldn't you, well, know to step down?

today i witnessed my favorite commuter freak out moment of all time.

every morning i'm faced with a choice: the 1... which is a long and tortured journey through one of san francisco's stinkiest neighborhoods or the 1bx... which is a somewhat shorter version of the 1 but requires standing in sardine formation while the driver experiments braking at high speeds.

whenever i opt for the 1bx i play a little game with myself called: 'see how long it takes for someone to pull the cord'. you see, on the express the first stop after the express portion of the route is very popular - well over half the bus gets off at that stop. the driver knows this of course so pulling the cord seems like a pointless exercise, which is mostly true. often times the cord is never pulled, no one hears "ding. ding. please exit through the rear doors." and things continue to go as normal. but every couple months you get a driver who just rolls on by - and people freak out. rapid cord pulling after the stop is to no avail - headphones are ripped out of ears - heads move to get a better view of the window - people start asking "WHAT? thats my stop! whats going on! where are we going?!?"

whats going on?? where have you been?? i'll tell you whats going on - this trick is P.O.'d that we weren't standing behind the yellow line so we're being taught a rude lesson about the rules that govern muni: you must pull the cord if you want to get off. no one is above the cord!!

of course i've had many the time i've "lost it" on the bus so maybe thats why its all so entertaining. and the real tragedy is obviously the part about how witnessing 50 commuters have a minor melt-down before 9 a.m. has been the best part of my day... but hey, like i said, muni is ruining my life.

*check out my new link on the right to Municide. its rad.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm crying right now.

Are you kidding me?!

This is freaking hilarious.


4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Know your pain, feel your pain. Love your story like way with your morning/evening experience.

Except different from the 1 I have the 41, otherwise known as the Marina Express, so you add the high maintence element to it. They are pushy, need to have a seat and insist on talking on their phone as loud as possible the whole bus ride.

Ahhh MUNI...


10:03 AM  
Blogger Whitney said...

I didn't know about the step thing. Obvi, didn't ride the bus enough when I was there. TG

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude.. love this. And what about the 10 that I used to take occasionally through the loin... man you just had freaks on the bus - smell freaks that like to sit next to you even when you are puttin out the vibe!!!!

love colorado --- no more busses!

muni + jen = fun times

3:22 PM  

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