Muni Mind Reader: Haight-Bus Punker and ‘Service Dog’
Photo by Flickr user Mat Honan
It’s summer. It’s hot. Muni Mind Reader took the week off last week. But never you fear â€” she’s back and in fine form this warm August Friday. For this installment, Tiffany (aka, Muni Mind Reader) checks in with that colorful character you sometimes see on the 6, 7, or 71. Any of the Haight Street lines, really. He or she is known by many names and aromas, but enough of this intro. Take it away, Mind Reader!
Hey, what are you all looking at? Youâ€™re all just a bunch of society-lovers, arenâ€™t you? Oh Iâ€™ve seen this before. You look at my duct-taped pants, weather-beaten trench, and standard-issued Doc Martens, and think, “If only heâ€™d shop at The Gap or Banana Republic, heâ€™d be such a nice boy!”
Well, listen up SOCIETY, I refuse to conform to your capitalistic, material-obsessed, world. Lucky for you, Iâ€™m not going to try to sit next to any of yâ€™all. Instead, Iâ€™ll just sit up front where I can spread out a little bit, have more space for this radio, trash bag filled with other trash bags, sleeping bag, tarp, and duffel bag. The last three items I just picked up from the army surplus store on Haight Street. Incidentally, itâ€™s where I do all my shopping. These pants are really just second-hand army ACU pants. I added the duct tape myself to enhance durability, cred, and had absolutely nothing to do one Wednesday afternoon. If youâ€™re going to be a middle-class, early-20s, homeless-by-choice punk in this city, freakinâ€™ army surplus stores are the bomb.
This is my dog, Warrior. Come here War! Weâ€™ve been together a long time. I got her at the SPCA. Now, anyone who has tried to adopt a pet from an animal shelter can sympathize with me over the long-ass process. Originally, I lied and said I had a job, thinking the key to having a pet in this city is to prove you have daily responsibilities and income to provide for the health and well-being of my furry friend. But then they worried Iâ€™d be out of the house all the time. So then I fessed up. Hell no man, I donâ€™t live in your conformist world. My job is to let passers-by know they are the enemy and my decision to live under a few bushes in Golden Gate Park is a passionate statement on whatâ€™s wrong with the world. Thatâ€™s when everyone realized Iâ€™d be â€œhomeâ€ all the time. Sheâ€™s been really instrumental in helping me carry around all my belongings. Thatâ€™s why she always gets free passage on Muni. Cuz sheâ€™s a SERVICE DOG! Haaa! Stupid society.
Nah, he ain’t got no muzzle. What the hell do you want me to do? Conform some of the time?
So I know youâ€™re wondering why it is I donâ€™t smell quite as bad as I usually do. Usually you can smell the potent blend of my urine, my dogâ€™s urine, weed, BO, and compost before I even get on the bus. I saw you all look up horrified when you heard all the plastic I was carrying rustle. But then you thought, Well thatâ€™s weird, I donâ€™t want to throw up in my mouth. FOOLED YOU! I had my monthly visit with the folks. STUPID PARENTS. Nah, Iâ€™m just kidding. I love â€˜em, and even though it can be pretty embarrassing to be picked up by your parents in the Panhandle (especially when they show up in their vintage Mercedes-Benz) I think theyâ€™re proud of me. Yeah, we headed up to Sonoma for the weekend. I got to take a shower, wash my clothes. I gave Warrior a bath too. Itâ€™s real pretty up in Sonoma, have you ever been? YEAH YOU HAVE BECAUSE YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM MY FRIEND!
All right, Iâ€™m ready to blow this joint. I promised my parents Iâ€™d at least fill out one college application today, though really, Iâ€™m just doing a 40 run for the kids at camp. Smell me later!