WTF: Weirdness on Muni

Please don’t break Muni if the Giants win the World Series

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Please? Also: Please don’t break Muni if the Giants lose tonight. Or tomorrow. Photo by Mike Hendrickson

Above: Someone in 2012 got a little too happy about the Giants winning the World Series that year. That might happen again tonight. The Giants winning the World Series, that is.

If that happens, tonight or tomorrow, please don’t break Muni. Thank you.

Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits on Muni: Vinyl Record Edition

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Following a magical* World Series game, Tara and I magically* got to Second and Harrison just as the 12-Folsom was turning and about to pick up us and a half-dozen other elated baseball fans*.

I tend to board and head straight for the back row on empty or empty-ish buses like this one. Distracted by a bag of half-eaten fruit on the floor below my seat, I missed this Dean Martin record, just sitting there on that shelf in the back of the bus, chillin’.

That is all. A vinyl record on the bus. Perhaps someone can suggest at the next SFMTA budget meeting installing a turntable on Muni buses?

* The asterisks don’t mean anything, really, other than YAY, GIANTS!

I was riding the 14-Mission during Loma Prieta

loma prieta earthquake. by joe lewis
Photo by Joe Lewis

Of all the days you could get on the wrong bus, Karla Milosevich accidentally got on an express on Oct. 17, 1989, the day that the big one hit. Today is the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the website Earthquake Weather has been gathering stories about the quake. Here’s Karla’s:

I was working a temp job on the 12th floor of a downtown office on Spear Street, and had just gotten off work. I caught the 14 Mission bus to go to the café on Valencia Street where my sister worked, but accidentally boarded the express one, which was headed towards Daly City. I couldn’t get off before the freeway so I was standing in the crowded bus, holding the rail over my head, looking out the window and lamenting how much longer it was going to take me to get home.

We were stopped, waiting for a light, and then the bus kind of rolled and it sounded like metal on metal, I figured we were having an accident on the side I couldn’t see. It seemed like a car was scraping against the bus. But then I could also see a guy who had been asleep in his car– he woke up and was all startled. I was wondering about the connection because his car wasn’t touching the bus, then people started saying “Earthquake”, “That was an earthquake!”

We sat there for a few minutes, then got on the freeway anyway, business as usual. I got off as soon as I could, in the way outer Mission. Around then, all the buses stopped running, so there was no way to get back. This was before cell phones, so I started walking to the Mission. As it happened, this guy I know, Dave Cohen, happened to be driving by and gave me a ride home. That was pretty lucky! That’s when I started to hear about how much damage there was.

Were you on Muni during the ’89 earthquake? Tell your story to 1989Quake.com.

What We Talk About When We Talk About a Muni Rider Like Tim

muni stop by lynn friedland
Photo by Lynn Friedland

Muni rider Rory sent us this thoughtful letter about a fellow regular passenger named Tim. We have all known or met someone like Tim, and we’ve all probably looked away awkwardly when someone like Tim murmurs to himself on the bus. Rory describes one evening when looking away was not enough. What would you do?

Tim is one of those guys you meet on the bus without a filter between his thoughts and speech. It seems pretty common on Muni: thoughts just come out as psycho-babble and he could go on for a very long time. Our bus schedules are quite similar so I run into him on the 38-L a lot, but this particular ride last night made me question Muni practices and passenger reactions.

Nerves were brought to the breaking point last night when the driver insisted on over-crowding a bus that was already full. (more…)

Vodka and broken glass on the 49-Van Ness

49-Van Ness
Photo by lpcmidst0128

Expert Muni rider Beth knows what’s up (spoiler alert, it’s usually not good) when you hear a banging bottle near you on the bus.

My partner and I were riding the 49 north into the Mission recently when a handful of teenagers got on the bus. We were sitting near the very back, and one of the teens went to the window behind me and overhead and began banging on it. At first, I thought he was just trying to get the window open, but when I looked, I realized he was banging the top of a liquor bottle on the window frame. I cringed and ducked, just hoping he wouldn’t shower me with vodka and broken glass. Meanwhile, one of his friends was trying to convince him to stop, while another one was offering pointers, but the kid insisted he knew what he was doing. He must have been right, because eventually I smelled liquor and figured he’d gotten it open. They got off the bus at the next stop, taking their little party with them.

The 49 is full of surprises, be it Muni uberfan John Waters whenever he’s in town, a dispute over air quality (seriously), or literal pillow talk. What has the 49 gift horse sent you lately?