The 19-Polk is your stage

I couldn't Decide...
Photo by Allio

Rider JC said that one of the unspoken rules of Muni is that the bus is your stage, and the riders, a captive audience. Read on.

Once, a few months ago, I was on the 19 pretty late on a weeknight and there was a group of folks congregating on the back. They had a microphone stand and were doing a stand-up comedy show while facing the back. I don’t really remember anyone’s routine as being particularly memorable, but the whole event was definitely out of the ordinary. I even captured the tail end of one guy’s routine on video, seen in the YouTube video above.

A week or so ago I was again riding the 19 through Civic Center and sitting in the back row of five seats. (Probably my least favorite seat location.) It was mid-day and was one of those days where few of us were working, so the bus was really light on office types and heavy on everyone else. One woman was in front of me and willing to engage anyone who wanted to listen on any topic whatsoever. Most riders picked up on this and kept the discussions to a minimum. One goth type guy, however, was all too happy to be engaged for reasons which (to me) quickly became clear.

After he commented that he was considering asking a butcher friend for some blood he could use to spread on the bus floor to “make people scatter and free up some seats” (all together: “ewwwww”) he engaged talkative lady. The two of them quickly worked up a conversation about Anton LeVey and the church of Satan. (Apparently Sammy Davis Jr. and Ann Margaret were big fans and the stupid public who appreciated their art would never have appreciated their fandom of LaVey. Also, LaVey was just trying to “push the envelope in the name of art to see what people would do.”)

Which is all well and good. Who can’t use some really loud colloquy on the 19 about the church of Satan? And, hey, this is what the iPod was made for. But what really got me was an aside from the goth guy, something about how “the singer in my band agrees with me” about something. Not “a buddy of mine” or “a friend of mine” but the “singer in my band.” Yes, this guy was dying to be asked about his band. And once talkative lady picked up on the band and asked, well, we were off to the races.

We were all treated to the details of “the band” even though they apparently haven’t recorded anything or ever performed publicly. They do know the bouncer at some club though (I forget which). Because otherwise the talkative lady was prepared to make an introduction.

Maybe we can get them a gig on the 19.

One comment

  • Heather

    I travel the 14 often and any one who has can say they have seen some shit.

    For a while i worked at a job where I would some times ride the 19.

    The 19 is the shit. Last time I was on there there was a convo btween a transgender, a older gay man and a younger man who may have been gay. The older ones were telling the younger one some awesome jokes. They were dirty and soo funny. I wish i wrote them down cause i forgot. anyway this convo was joined by the other riders with some laughs, snickers, and agreements.

    It was awesome.

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