A short, angry discussion of taxes on the 30-Stockton

Photo by Flickr user happy bachelor

This delightful tale came to our inbox from Muni rider Andrew …

It wasn’t so fun at the time, now that I think of it, but it’s funny in retrospect.

My girlfriend and I are regular 30-Stockton riders, from North Point & Hyde to Sutter & Stockton. As you may know, the 30-Stockton is a risk-life-and-limb kind of line (especially around 8:30am) but we were lucky enough after work last week to find ourselves on a relatively empty outbound 30 where we could safely sit in the far-back facing-inward seats without worrying about cans shuffling or random bowel movements.

Boarding with us were two young gentlemen, one of fifteen years (or so he later said) and one in his mid-twenties. The younger sat in the set of facing-inward seats across the aisle, while the other sat close to the back door.  And no sooner had we cleared the tunnel when the fifteen-year-old pulls a quarter out of his pocket and begins scrawling Heaven-knows-what into his plastic seat back.

My girlfriend, not one to take vandalism figuratively sitting down, shouts, “Hey, kid, cut that out!”

No response.

“Hey! STOP.”

Now he looks up. “Hey, I can do what I want.” (yes, this is the most stereotypical teenager phrase ever. I wanted to say, “really? So I can rip your ass a second hole because I WANT to?” But he was a minor, and should a police report get filed, I wanted to keep my mentions of his ass to a minimum.)

My girlfriend, taking the utterly wrong tack for a teenager, retorts, “Hey, my fuckin’ TAX DOLLARS paid for that seat!”

As he says back, “Mine did too, fifteen years of them…” his older partner near the door turns and stares me down. “Leave him ALONE,” he said in an I’m-accustomed-to-folks-doing-as-I-say tone. And all the while the young one’s quarter turned white his brown seatback.

Sensing that a skinny kid (me) and a 5’0″ young lady shouldn’t lead this charge, a deep-voiced, particularly creepy-looking white guy in the very final bus seat said softly, “Kid, don’t draw on the bus,” which only further incensed the older fellow.

And no sooner did the he stand from his door seat to confront the growing anti-vandalism mob in the back did my girlfriend employ the strangely magical sentence: “If you don’t get off RIGHT NOW, I’m going to tell the bus driver.” (why does this seem to work every time someone says it?)

At that second, we arrived at Stockton and Columbus, and the two young men scampered away. And as they stood on the corner, inviting me to “come talk to them about it!”, I felt great San Francisco Pride flashing them a highly derogatory hand gesture.

(final note: if you want to include it on the site, it was the ‘salad tosser’: the OK sign with one’s tongue flicking in and out of the ‘O’.)



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