Man throws bleach on Muni passengers

Photo by Brett L.

The other day, Kelsey tweeted @munidiaries looking for some answers:

My roommates got bleach thrown on them the other night on the 14. Anyone see anything?

Um, what? To that query, she provided the sordid details below:

She was on her way home with some friends on the 14 on Friday night after the bars closed in the Mission, and back on her way to downtown where we live. I guess there was a man (unsure if it was a transient or not) sitting in the front of the bus, staring oddly at my roommate and her friends. She is not one to just brush it off, and is definitely one to speak her mind. So she did, and called him out, asking why he was staring and told him to stop. He proceeded to throw a Ritz cracker at them (oooh! scary!), and then they lashed back at him some more.

He then held up a water bottle with a clear liquid in it and said, “Do you know what’s in this bottle, girl? Do you know?” or something along those lines, and then after guessing it was rubbing alcohol, he proceeded to splash all three girls with the contents, which they immediately discovered was bleach as soon as it started dying their jackets and leggings/pants that it got on. According to her, just as this happened, the bus came to a stop and the man ran off of the bus. Around 8th and Mission, the driver made everyone get off and had to report the incident, but my roommate and friends went home instead of sticking around.


So, as always, be careful out there. As a lady who’s been in uncomfortable transit situations time and time again: I say Kelsey’s roommate had every right to be left alone on the bus. I’ve gotten angry more times than I could count over similar issues, and I’ve had my long-suffering husband advise repeatedly to hold my tongue and be the bigger person…because it could mean being the bigger, alive person. So, do we all just stay quiet and assume everyone is carrying bleach (or worse)? What do you do when you feel threatened or angry on the bus? Sound off in the comments.

Isolated Toddler Rapture on Muni?

100 Muni StoriesSteve sent us this urgent dispatch from the 14-Mission. Behold: stuffed dog: Pochacco, to be exact. And…

…per Steve, “unattended plastic yellow candy bucket, tot clothes, and mini-Keds.”

WTF, you say? Us, too.

This Only Happens to Muni-Riding Book Lovers

Photo by Steve Rhodes

While stumbling on Tumblr I found this great anecdote of connection from one book lover to the other, from It’s More Than Pillowtalk.

I was engulfed in Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eyes” when an older gentleman sat down next to me. From the corner of my eyes, I could see him glancing in my direction. At some point, he takes off his headphones to read past my shoulder. Somewhat afraid, I turn my book in the opposite direction. Being on the 14 Mission, you never know who’s crazy enough to act out.

When I close my book to gaze out the window, he takes off his headphones again and points at the cover. With a sweet spanish accent, he asks me what year did the book receive a Nobel Prize. Unsure, I open the book to find out. As I do so, he admiringly starts pouring out some of the greatest writers of all time. Shakespeare, Emily Bronte, Don Quixote, along with Spanish writers and stories that I wish I could ask him more about.

When I ask him if he’s read Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist,” he sadly shakes his head to tell me no. This older gentleman experienced a stroke 4 years ago that has created problems for him when he reads.

Read the rest of the story on It’s More Than Pillowtalk.

Books, public transit, stories…everything we love here at Muni Diaries. If you’re a local book geek, you should check out People Reading in Public Places and Between the Lines.

Got your own Muni story to share? Tell me.

Mission Buses Rerouted for Upcoming Street Renovation

The 14, 14L, and 49 buses will be moved from Mission Street to South Van Ness for six months beginning early next month. MissionLocal reports that the reroute will span 14th to 26th streets to make way for roadwork in that area on Mission Street. Above, you’ll find a handy map of the affected area, via Mission Local.

So far, reaction ranges from “Oh, is this what that flier was about?” to “Really? We have to walk to Van Ness, practically the East Bay, to get on and off a bus?”

Thanks, MissionMission!

‘Handicapped’ rider etiquette

Image: davitydave

From Muni rider and Giftly Marketing Director Nish:

My experience on the 14-Mission bus this morning: I hobble on with my crutches and it’s a super-crowded squalor of a ride. No seats for me until some punk kid goes, ‘Dawgs better get your asses up, this dude is handicapped.’ Yes, I am finally someone!

Sometimes, the unlikeliest of seat angels (on a 14-Mission, no less), will back you up when no one else will.

A reminder to be kind to your “handicapped” rider pals, dawgs.

Kirk Read on Muni: Humanity and Criminality

You probably have heard of Mr. Kirk Read, cohost the open mics Smack Dab and Kvetsh, and an amazing storyteller himself. Here Kirk tells a story that happened on the 14-Mission at Muni Diaries Live 5.

I missed my preferred mode of Muni transportation, which I think it’s the only dignified way to ride Muni: the underground. Riding above ground you’re just open to all manners of humanity and criminality and indecency, really. I missed that, so I was left with a double bus on Mission — the 14. Exactly. So I step into my carriage…I went to the back of the bus because that’s where the most interesting people are. So that’s where I sit, in solidarity with the interesting people.

On this night there was nobody in the back of the bus, so I sit down. Then I hear this rustling and I look down, and there is this little pile of fabric squirming on the floor. What is going on?! It took a minute and I realize it’s this little woman who was rubbing against everything, all up on the windows. It’s like when you’re on ecstasy and you really let yourself go. She’s not touching me because she has some manners. But she’s like touching the air, and I’m fascinated, and I’m just like, YES! I’m just gonna sit here and behold.

Watch the video to find out what happened in the rest of Kirk’s story.

Got a story of humanity, criminality, or indecency on the bus? You know where to send it.