Poo-flinging at 16th St. Mission BART

celloI was heading home Friday afternoon from a very fruitful jaunt to Thrift Town. I entered the 16th St. Mission BART station, and was delighted to discover a good-looking guy playing some kind of rock music solo on his cello. I’m a sucker for rock cello, so I leaned against a wall near him to listen.

That, unfortunately, is when I spotted the guy who had wedged himself between the trashcan and the support column in the breezeway. He was dressed in jeans and a rain poncho, and his hands were deep in his jeans. I don’t mean in his jeans pocket; I mean in his jeans.

Next to me, one of the emergency doors opened and a janitor stepped through with a mop and bucket full of soapy water.

“I shit my pants!” shouted Poncho Guy. “GET ME A NAPKIN!” He was talking to Mop Dude. When Mop Dude didn’t respond right away, Poncho Guy came over to him and repeated the order. Not wanting to be near anyone who’d just lost control of his bodily functions, I opted to flee to the other side of the breezeway, still hoping to enjoy the music.

By the time I’d relocated, Mop Dude had disappeared back into the bowels (hee hee) of the station. And Poncho Guy was reaching into the mop bucket. He fished out a wet washrag and — with all seriousness — stuffed it down his pants to wipe himself.

Meanwhile, he continued to shout at passersby about his predicament.

Now, I completely sympathize with Poncho Guy. He was clearly homeless, and had just had a very public biological failure. He didn’t have too many options for cleanup, and was making do with what was on hand. But the vigor with which he was both announcing and rectifying the situation was impossible to ignore.

Eventually Mop Dude returned with napkins — by which time Poncho Guy had finished with the washrag and returned it to the bucket without reporting what he’d done. Poncho Guy went back to his space behind the trashcan and used the napkins to complete his cleanup mission, continuing his tirade the whole time.

Every time he finished with a napkin, he’d fling it in a random direction over his shoulder — narrowly missing several folks just leaving the fare gates.

And that, folks, was when I decided to give up on the cello and make a run for it.

— Beth W.

Ed note: You’ve possibly been reading more and more stories about BART from Beth and others here on Muni Diaries. As with Muni stories, we encourage you to send us your tales on the rails of BART.

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