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Adventures in MUNI. 10.19.19

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posted by Michael Bolger alias Michael Bolger on Monday 21st of October 2019 04:19:14 PM

Adventures in MUNI. 10.19.19 Saturday afternoon, a little bit before 1PM, and I’m standing on an elevated curb/bus stop in the middle of the street waiting for the N Judah to take me over to the other side of San Francisco for this year’s Burning Man Decompression. I see an older lady crossing the street towards me at a very slow pace, she has a cane in one hand and a cone in the other hand that’s she’s using for support. Instantly scores BTx points with me. She makes her way off the street and onto the elevated curb / bus stop so I move out of the way and ask if I can give her a hand. She politely declines and explains that she slipped, broke some body parts recently, and that the cone is helpful for her getting onto curbs. I respond with an “Oh yeah, and it’s also a great reminder to drivers that may not see you” and then I launch into my “Actually, there are lots of uses for cones” speech. We start talking MUNI and the city. She only takes MUNI once a week to get groceries from Safeway and hates the new electric cars. “I prefer the older cars as well. The ones with the brown seats are like the Cadillacs of public transportation. You got so much more room. With these new Agenda 2030 Hunger Games trains you’re paying more for less. I feel like Kevin Smith flying Southwest Airlines on them. And whose brilliant idea was it to remove the butt guards on the benches so that everybody slams into each other at stops and it encourages homeless people to just stretch out and take up as many seats as possible?” And then I launch straight into my “San Francisco is being collapsed by design and 9/11 was an inside job” speech. The N Judah is approaching and we board. It’s not till we have departed that I notice that the cone is no longer with us. “Oh, so you leave the cone at the bus stop?” I ask. Because stating the obvious is my superpower. And she looks at me like I’m a crazy person. “I’m not going to bring a cone with me onto MUNI.” We travel on and she gets up ready to leave as we approach Church St. I ask if she needs a hand with her bags and she politely declines. As she steps down at a very slow & careful pace, I hold the doors open for her and I’m thinking this is pretty hardcore for a person in this situation to be shopping at the Janes Addiction Safeway right next to the feral junkie population. But it’s also kind of nice knowing that, chances are, that cone will still be waiting for you hours later when you return to the bus stop in The Outer Sunset. No way that would happen here or at many other bus stops in the city where if you were to leave a cone unattended somebody would molest it, steal it, marry it, divorce it, take legal action against it, damage it, and worse all before you had a chance to even buy your groceries. End Happy Feel Good MUNI story of the day. Adventures in MUNI. 10.20.19 Saturday Night. A little after midnight. Waiting for the T to take me from The Dogpatch to Downtown so I can get home. The outside sound systems have shut down so there’s a wave of people leaving Decompression. My 2-car train that was originally quoted as being there in 15 mins takes twice as long to show up and during that time a decent crowd has formed on the platform. Lots of sparkle ponies, glow sticks, hula hoops, face paint, ect. When we get on it’s one of those MUNI moments where you can instantly tell who is coming from the same party as you and who is not a party person. We’re just north of the Bayview / Hunter’s Point which is a pretty hardcore part of San Francisco where you very much need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. You especially want to have your guard up during moments like this when you are part of this party people exodus of hammered & half naked people on the train because you never know when a predator will swoop in and see you as easy prey. I’m sitting in the middle of the train by the doors, next to homeless guy with a shopping cart, and the majority of Burning Man party people are in the back of the train to my right, We’re puttering along fine for a while when this person who looks like Deebo and has the personality of Deebo (Ice Cube’s nemesis from the Friday movies) gets on with an open container in hand and a mouth that just won’t stop. He’s an Angry Drunk Talker and enters in the back with the Burning Man party people and starts to comment / pick a fight with every person on the train. When you’re in the Walking Dead and you see a Walker, the rules are simple. You Do Not Engage. You don’t say “Huh?” “What?” “Excuse me?” or ask them to clarify their position on same sex marriages. When you’re on a mission and you cross paths with a Walking Dead you Do Not Engage. If you are forced to engage then you shoot it in the head or kill it with fire and you get it right the first time. Same Walking Dead rules apply on MUNI. Or, to look at it another way, if you want to put out a fire then cut off the oxygen supply. The fire will collapse upon itself. Adding oxygen just adds fuel to the fire. Same thing with Angry Talkers and words. Words are their cocaine. Deebo has moved past the Burning Man part of the MUNI and is now locking horns with the other young black guy who looks like he was just minding his own business in the corner seat (Not a party person coming from Decompression). Things start to escalate when the young man’s girlfriend is brought up. The tone is escalating. Eyes are bugging out. Threats are being made. All of a sudden, the older black guy with gray hairs sitting across from me (Also not a party person coming from Decompression) jumps up, inserts himself between Deebo and young man & his girl, with his back to Deebo and both arms outstretched and holding onto poles and screaming “No!” over and over again. A literal human shield. Everybody is yelling now. I’m standing up directly behind Deebo yelling “There is no honor in this!” Then girlfriend whips out a taser and starts firing it up and you can hear the electricity crackle in the air. Less than an hour ago if was to hear the crackle of electricity in the air I would have thought Tesla Coils, Science & Outdoor Burning Man Fun. Now an hour later and the crackle of electricity on a MUNI means that some Bro is about to be tased. You would think the female discharging her taser would defuse the situation, but instead Deebo puts his beer down and starts to take off his jacket. That is the universal sign that a physical assault is imminent. Atari: Prepare To Be Attacked The trains stops, the doors open, and the homeless guy with the shopping cart uses his cart as a battering ram to shove Deebo out of the train. Way to go, Spartacus! It’s then that I realize that Deebo has only been on MUNI for 1 stop. We went from zero to threats being made and weapons being discharged in less than 1 stop. Anger is a virus and I’m seeing more and more people possessed by an Argument Demon in the streets of San Francisco these days. That Argument Demon virus is contagious. The train eventually gets moving again minus Deebo. Moments ago I was in a Martin Scorsese film and now I’m in an episode of Seinfeld where we are all just sitting around talking about nothing. It’s amazing how the vibe on MUNI can channel surf like that in a heartbeat. I’m talking with the older black guy with gray hairs and saying “That was really admirable of you. You just jumped in there and were a literal human shield. That was pretty brave.” and we talk MUNI and the city for a bit before he gets off a few stops later. He kind of reminds me of Ice Cube’s Dad in the Friday movies in that endearing honest Dad kind of way. Nice guy. We make it as far as the Folsom St Station before the bus driver announces that the police have been called and the train now has to stop and wait till SFPD shows up to file a police report. The entire 2-car train empties out and we all spread out into the night. It’s around 1AM now and it’s in the beautiful downtown waterfront part of San Francisco that’s being lit up by the Bay Bridge lights, which is a Burning Man art project. It’s funny how Burning Man art projects are following me home tonight. Funny and very much appreciated. This is a beautiful but also deserted part of the city where you could be assaulted by a crazy person with issues at any moment because San Francisco 2019 is the Stanford Prison Industrial Complex. I trek up a few blocks to the Embarcadero Station, only to see that the station is closed. I then go up and catch the N Night Owl on the first stop on Market St and when I get on, I see that the bus is filled with equal parts homeless people and part sparkle ponies, glow sticks, hula hoops, face paint, ect. Burning Man is following me home again. Takes me an extra hour, but I’m able to make it home in one piece. Just another adventure in MUNI. UPDATE # 1 Another intense 10.20.19 Escape from SF story www.facebook.com/groups/SFbayareastreetphotograpy/permali... There was something in the air that night that was bringing out the demons. UPDATE # 2 San Francisco Safeway making national news for all the wrong reasons again. Man caught pooping in aisle of San Francisco Safeway www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/man-caught-pooping-in-aisle-o... This was at the nice upscale Marina Safeway. When I first moved to SF this Safeway was consistently voted the #1 pick up spot in all of San Francisco several times over. It was always filled with young attractive Buffy’s & Lucy Liu’s like you were in the club, but you didn’t have to shout over a sound system like you were in the club. When I first moved here in 1994 this Safeway was already famous as a spot to go look good and see good looking people. 2019 and now it’s famous as a place where dudes with man buns go to take a shit in the aisles. San Francisco is being collapsed by design.



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