Tag Archives: bus

An Old Man and his Hose

I took the bus to work yesterday and there was an old man by the bus stop washing the sidewalk with a hose and a bucket of soapy water. As I walked up, I saw the notification that my bus was one minute away so I posted up near where one of the bus doors would open. I was standing there looking at my phone when I heard someone say, “You need to move! Hey, you need to move!”

I turned around to see what was going on. It was the old man washing the sidewalk, staring directly at me with his hose in his hand. He said I needed to move again. I looked right at him and said, “I’m waiting for the bus and this is the bus stop.” He told me I needed to move again. I asked him if he was threatening me a hose. At this point the bus was pulling up and the seven other people waiting at the bus stop starting walking through his freshly washed sidewalk to get on the bus and that seemed to really set him off. He started yelling at me and the other people that he makes more money than us. He makes four hundred dollars a day! He makes more money than we will ever see in our lives!

A few other people joined me in my casual resistance of the sidewalk tyrant by laughing at his pathetic attempts to start a fight. He didn’t like that because then he glared at me and said, “Semper Fi! That’s right! I’m a Marine, bitch!” I told him that Memorial Day was yesterday (it really was), and I got on the bus while he was still yelling about how rich he was and how that makes him a better person. I rode off on the bus, leaving behind the old man and his hose but gaining a new story of how miserable some people are.

That old man ultimately did me a great favor. I had no idea how lucrative washing the sidewalk could be. I’m going to get me a water hose.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Muni Sucks

Muni sucks. I’m writing this as I wait at the bus stop for the 47 line. The app and the website both assure me that my bus is two minutes away, one minute away, and arriving. It’s been twenty-five, now, twenty-six minutes, and I’m still waiting for a phantom bus. It’s fucking ridiculous. I pay money for my Muni pass every month for a service that doesn’t deliver like it says it will. They should reimburse me the cost of a fare for every failed arrival. Netflix would reimburse me. Public transportation should too. Muni sucks.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Wearing Scrubs on Public Transportation 

 I rely on public transportation to get around the city. I try to be aware of my surroundings and I’ve noticed a lot of hospital workers wearing their scrubs on the bus or train. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Wikipedia defines scrubs as the sanitary clothing worn by surgeons, nurses, physicians, and other workers involved in patient care in hospitals. The key word is sanitary, and I don’t think wearing scrubs on public transportation is sanitary. The subway isn’t exactly renowned for its cleanly conditions. Scrubs are supposed to be sterile to keep germs and infections from spreading to vulnerable patients. Wearing them on the bus seems to violate that cardinal rule. You trust healthcare workers to be clean. Seeing them rub shoulders with homeless people on public transportation is pretty disheartening. It should be illegal. Write your congressman and voice your complaints if you feel the same way. Maybe someone can start a petition to outlaw the practice. I’m too lazy to take the initiative but I’ll gladly sign my name to the cause.
 Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young 

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Slowly Realizing That You’re Sitting Next to a Homeless Guy

I took the train to work the other day. It was in the middle of morning rush hour so the train was pretty crowded. I spotted an empty seat, sat down in it, and considered myself lucky. At least at first. It only took me a few minutes to acknowledge that there was a pungent smell creeping into my nostrils. Something wasn’t right. Something wasn’t right at all. I glanced at the dude next to me. I noticed his ragged jeans, his stained shirt, his overstuffed backpack, and his well-worn sleeping bag. I sat down right next to a homeless guy. I chose the wrong seat. I sat there and suffered for a few minutes until I was able to slink into another empty seat. I sat there and watched a few more people make the same mistake. I left my headphones at home; I had to entertain myself somehow. Slowly realizing that you’re sitting next to a homeless guy is not a good way to start your morning. You know that you’re groggy, but now you have proof that you’re unprepared for the world. You weren’t paying attention to your surroundings. Now you have to deal with it. Ahh, the joys of public transportation.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Seat Scurry

I was waiting for my train at a busy stop, jostling against the other commuters and vying for a position that would best ensure me a seat. The train pulled up slowly, the doors opened, a few people got off, and then the seat scurry began. A seat scurry is a frenzy of angry commuters looking for a spot to sit. You’ll mostly witness it during rush hour, but it could also happen whenever there are too many people waiting at one spot. Everyone feels like they are the ones who are most entitled to a seat and they will shove other people out of the way to get one. It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant, disabled, or old. If you can’t get to a seat, you aren’t getting one unless somebody takes pity on you. And people are assholes so nobody will take pity on you. Common courtesy is long gone. Chivalry is dead. Manners are extinct. Nowhere is that more apparent than during a seat scurry.

Critically at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Riders board through the back door of 38 Geary bus during afternoon rush hour. 05/08/12, Market and Post

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When Everybody Is Sick On Public Transportation

I can tell that it’s going to be a long winter when everybody is sick on public transportation. I live in San Francisco and it’s been raining and cold the last couple of days. That means whenever I get on the bus or train I hear a symphony of coughs, sniffles, and sneezes. There’s no such thing as silence, only sounds of sickness. There’s no escape from the germs and bacteria all around you. You know that it’s just a matter of time before you catch something and get sick too. Hopefully it’s just a cold and not Ebola. Or Swine Flu. Or SARS. Are we still scared of SARS? It’s hard to avoid getting sick when everybody else is, especially on public transportation. All you can do is use hand sanitizer every couple of minutes and try not to get sneezed on.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Smoking on the Bus

Last night I witnessed something so ballsy or dickish that it blew my mind and became the subject for this post. I was on the late bus going home and saw a guy get up right before his stop, bum a cigarette from another passenger, put it in his mouth, ask for a light, wait for the doors to open, spark the lighter and light his cig, and toss the lighter back as he got off the bus. He wasn’t exactly smoking on the bus, but he definitely lit a cigarette on public transportation like it was the goddamn 1950s. It was pretty badass. He looked cool as fuck. If I were an impressionable teenager, I’d probably start copying him and start a new high school trend. The smoke took a while to waft over, and I could hardly notice the scent when it did. No harm, no foul as far as I’m concerned.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Seat Hopper

A seat hopper is a person who can’t sit in one spot for more than a few minutes. They are usually creepy old guys on the bus. I saw one the other day. I was on the bus going to work and the bus was about half full so there were plenty of available seats to choose from. An old Asian guy came on, glanced at all of the open seats, and chose the seat right next to me. He saw there for a minute or two, but then he got up at the next stop, moved across the aisle, and sat down next to a young college chick. I wondered if I caused him to move by neglecting to put on deodorant or something, until he got up at the next stop, moved back across the aisle, and sat down to the guy sitting right in front of me. A few stops later he got up and went to a different spot. It was around that time that I realized that he was just a weirdo with a penchant for seat hopping. I watched him move to three more seats before he finally got off. I can only assume that he went to find another bus to sit in more seats. I think that he’s harmless, but he’ll be my top suspect if I ever sit in anything sticky on the bus.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Getting On the Wrong Bus

Nothing gets your blood pumping quite like realizing that you got on the wrong bus. It usually happens when you’re walking to an unfamiliar stop and you see a bus approaching. You’ll run over in a panic and jump on, pay the fare, and find a seat, relieved that you caught it in the nick of time. You start to relax and gather your breath. You settle in and bust out your phone to check your email and read the news. Then you glance out the window and notice that the scenery is unfamiliar. Then you see a street name and you know that you’re fucked. You got on the wrong bus. It all goes downhill from here. Now you’re going to be late to work and you’re going to be pissed off when you finally get there. All you can do is learn from your stupidity and make sure you don’t get on the wrong bus again. Now you just have to make sure that you’re going in the right direction.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bus Stop Fidgeter

You’re on the bus or train going home during rush hour and every seat is filled. All you can do is stand in the aisle and wait for somebody to get up, get off, and vacate their seat so that you can claim it. You’re aware of every movement that everyone makes. You notice that there’s one guy sitting down who grabs his suitcase and clasps his jacket shut at each stop. He looks like he’s about to get off but he never does. He’s a bus stop fidgeter, and he’s a terrible passenger because he doesn’t know that he sucks at riding the bus. When you’re on public transportation every movement you make has to have a purpose. You have to indicate to the other passengers what your intentions are. If you’re getting off soon, you should have overly spastic movements to let other passengers know that you’ll be getting off soon. You should be as still as possible if you’re going to be riding the bus for a while. It’s common sense. But some people just don’t have it. Stop twitching. Be deliberate. Don’t be a bus stop fidgeter.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Blasting Music On the Bus

I jumped on the bus yesterday hoping for a quick and quiet ride, but instead there was some jagoff blasting shitty rap music from his shitty boom box. Well, it wasn’t a shitty boom box because the music was loud as fuck and the bass was powerful enough to rattle the windows. All the other passengers on the bus were getting annoyed, one guy was pissed enough to tell the jagoff to turn off his music. The jagoff responded by turning his music up even louder. That didn’t sit well with the other passengers and people started yelling at him to turn it off. Things were escalating pretty quickly and it looked like things might start turning violent. Then the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road (not even at a bus stop), stopped the engine, and walked down the aisle towards the jagoff. The driver was a big intimidating black guy, and he put his finger right in the jagoff’s face and said, “Nobody wants to hear your shitty music. Turn it off now or get the fuck off my bus.” The jagoff instantly switched off his boom box and kept his head down in shame and embarrassment. He got off the bus two stops later. He knew that he was defeated. I can only assume that he jumped on the next bus so he could piss off another bunch of passengers. Blasting music on the bus is a great way to make enemies. You’ll never make a new friend by being an asshole. Unless they have the same taste in shitty music.

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Hiding Puke With Newspapers

I got on the bus the other night, found an empty seat, and sat down. It only took me a few moments to realize that something was wrong. For starters, the ground around my seat was covered with newspapers. It wasn’t just a newspaper that some asshole left on the bus that happened to fall off the seat. The papers were all jumbled and spread out, they covered the entire floor. And I noticed some chunky liquid seeping up through the papers… somebody threw up and used newspaper to cover it up. I got up and found another seat, one that was puke-free. And then I saw a lady sit down in the puke seat. I should have said something to her, I could have warned her, but something told me that she deserved to sit there. Something about her demeanor lead me to believe that it was karma. She didn’t seem like a very enjoyable person. So I let her sit with her feet in a pile of puke for the duration of the ride. I got to my stop, walked by her towards the exit, told her about the vomit, and jumped off the bus while she hurriedly moved to another seat. People throw up on public transportation all the time, and hiding puke with newspapers seems like the easiest way to deal with the problem. Just cover it up and pretend like nothing happened.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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School Bus

A school bus is a bus that takes students to and from school, as well as other school events like field trips and juvenile detention facilities. An American school bus is typically yellow. You don’t want to be on the short bus. The shorter your bus, the more problems you have. I think I’ve been on a school bus once or twice in my life. My mom was a teacher at my school so I always had a ride for elementary and middle school, I carpooled in high school, and I drove in college. I feel like I missed out on a part of my childhood by not taking the school bus. The school bus always seemed so amazing as depicted in movies and on TV shows like The Magic School Bus, The Simpsons, and Billy Madison. It’s a place for shenanigans and rowdiness. I like being rowdy, I like shenanigans, and the school bus seems like the best place for that. It’s a confined space, there’s an audience, there’s an angry driver, and there are no seatbelts. It’s paradise for the rambunctious.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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When the Bus Drives By

I got off work late the other night and all I wanted to do was catch the first bus home and call it a night. I got to the bus stop, checked by bus schedule app, and knew that there would be a bus coming along within the next two minutes. Sure enough, two minutes went by and I saw my bus approaching. It came closer and closer, it started to slow down and then it kept driving right past me without stopping. The driver was going just slow enough to show the few passengers and the many empty seats through the windows. The driver wanted me to know that he wasn’t going to stop. I imagine he was watching my crestfallen face in his rearview mirror as he laughed and laughed as he drove on down the road. I felt betrayed. I felt hurt. I felt invalid. Nothing makes you feel as unwanted as when the bus drives by. You feel invisible, like a ghost, like you don’t exist.  And then you get angry and flip off the bus driver and silently curse him because that’s all you can do. Then you wait for the next bus.

Critically Rated at 2/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Nodding at the Bus Driver

Nodding at the bus driver is a simple way of acknowledging his existence. And that’s a good thing to do, especially since you are putting your life in his hands. That simple act of recognition goes a long way. Your bus driver is not a machine. Your bus driver is a person and a person deserves to be treated with a little respect. You can even go a step further and say hello. You might even ask how they are doing. I was brought up thinking that saying thanks to the bus driver was normal. I don’t even think that’s being polite, it’s just automatic. Nodding at the bus driver should be a reflex. But that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore and that’s sad.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bus Transfer

A bus transfer is proof of payment that you paid for public transportation. It’s usually good for 90 minutes or for a couple of hours, so you can get on and off the bus and jump onto different routes to get to where you need to go. A bus transfer is also a memento. It’s a reminder that you went somewhere. You might not remember where you went or who you went with, but you know that you went somewhere and you know when you went there. If you ride the bus, you should always hold onto your transfers. You don’t want to get a ticket from the transit authority. They won’t believe you if you lost your transfer. They will assume that you’re just another cheap asshole trying to get a free ride across town. They hear lame excuses for why people don’t have transfers all day long. Your valid excuse will fall upon deaf ears. They don’t want to hear your sob story. They don’t care. It’s up to you to prove that you paid.

Critically Rated at 9/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Helping a Little Old Lady

I was waiting for the bus last week, and it finally pulled up, stopped, and opened the doors. Common courtesy requires that you wait for the other passengers to get off before you get on, and so I waited as a little old lady came scuffling up to the exit. She was going at a snail’s pace, seemingly in slow motion, and it was keeping the other passengers from boarding. So I stepped up onto the bus and the driver instantly snapped and started yelling at me, “LET THE PEOPLE OFF FIRST!” I gave him a dirty look, kept on climbing up, approached the little old lady, and offered her my arm. She gratefully took it and thanked me, and together we steadily made our way to the exit. Once she was safely off the bus, I paid for my fare and got my transfer from the driver, and I could tell he felt like an asshole for assuming that I was just a punk trying to shove my way onto the bus. There were a dozen people around that were perfectly content with watching a little old lady struggle because it’s not their problem. I can’t do that. If I see a problem, if I’m aware of it, it becomes my problem. I can’t change the world, but helping a little old lady is a start.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

 

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