Muni Half-Loony

Stemming off Suzanne’s post about the mildly crazy man who baits you with a banal statement, then dives straight into the wackiness, I had a similar experience on the 38-Geary last week.

As usual, the 38 is filled to the brim by the time I pick it up at Geary and Franklin. There is a man with a large guitar case blocking one of the seats, so I politely (kind of) ask him if I could take the seat. He obliges, even adds a, “Oh, please have a seat,” and I’m ready to zone out until I get to my dinner spot. Guitar Man, a short, thin, 50-something punk type sporting David Byrne (recent, not Talking Heads era) hair, started chatting. As Suzanne said, morning commute is no time to be chatty, but I’d like to add that evening commute certainly isn’t either. Guitar Man makes a series of obvious observations, which include the fact that the bus goes faster once it gets to the Avenues, and that the 38 always seems to be crowded, doesn’t it? Harmless comments, and I quietly agreed that both those things were indeed true.

Perhaps at this point, because he started to become slightly annoying, I noticed his smell. And, if you remember my Pee-Pee Shed post, you’ll know how I have a knack for finding the stinky in Muni. Anyway, this person smelled like incense and whiskey. I don’t actually mind either of those things, but when you’re starving and tired, it’s a rather unpleasant way to spend a 30-minute bus ride.

After I identified what he smelled like, he became slightly crazy, as if on cue. Not the screaming, angry Muni Loonies we all know and pretend not to see. The kind who quietly talks to himself with a series of non sequiturs, including, “Aw, Dave. What happened?” and, several minutes later, “It’s a lot easier in London.”

Aside from the obvious WTF factor such statements, clearly not meant for me or anyone else, would create, it prompts a whole host of questions I really shouldn’t have cared to ask myself. Who is Dave?? Is he Dave? What was easier in London? For the love of god, someone tell me what was easier in London.


He got off the bus a few stops before I did, leaving me with these annoying set of questions I still haven’t answered. “David Byrne” owes me an explanation, or at least a song.

– Tara

Tara Ramroop loves David Byrne, but that love may be tainted by this experience on the 38. The world was moving and she was right there with it, and she was!


  • What was easier in London? Jumping onto a moving bus, I guess, until they got rid of the open-platform Routemasters. Or maybe he meant getting his hands on a meal of fish and chips with salt and vinegar wrapped in yesterday’s tabloids. I hope his next album holds the answer.

  • Maybe you heard one half of the conversation between him and his other personality? Let’s say he was hitting on you at the start of the ride, but you stopped talking later.

    Dave 1: I’m so bummed out.
    Dave 2: Aw, Dave. What happened?
    Dave 1: I was talking to this girl, but she doesn’t seem interested. I hate talking to San Francisco girls.
    Dave 2: It’s a lot easier in London,
    Dave 1: Why did I ever leave?
    Dave 3: Pass the whiskey.

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