Bring Extra Seating On Muni

Rider John C. saw a passenger with a curious-looking cargo. Read on:

I was groggy and grumbling a little bit on Monday, not only because I had to work on President’s Day but also because Muni was likely running on a Saturday or Sunday schedule. I reluctantly hopped on a 30-Stockton for the longer ride into Chinatown, planning to walk down Clay Street to work.

Once we reached Stockton and Columbus, an older gentleman ambled onto the train carrying some sort of tall black metal or plastic apparatus, a pinwheel, and a few helium balloons on string. It was the balloons which first got my attention. President’s Day, a joyous holiday I’m sure for a few history buffs out there, isn’t a holiday I typically associate with party favors.

At the point when the gentleman paid his fare and shuffled back toward me, the bus was full in terms of seating capacity and probably about 20% full in terms of those of us who were standing. He had some difficulty keeping his whole package together, and I soon saw why – the black bulky thing he was holding was a tall stool.

He set his stool down next to the occupied second row of frontward-facing seats and hopped onto it, converting his row into a row of 3. (Perhaps he knew that this is the row with the most legroom…you can tell I had spent much of the prior day in United Economy cabins.) He then deployed his pinwheel and balloons and started an incoherent lecture on how people needed to stay out of his way because he had a bad back. This went on as we proceeded down Stockton until I took the blurry shot I’ve included here. Sorry for that, it was a moving bus after all.

Once we reached Clay Street, a bunch of us moved to exit. Our stool-sitter had to get up and move out of the way in order for all of us to get out and he was not happy about it. He harrumphed loudly until one of the last women to exit said, “you know, that’s about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen on a MUNI bus. That’s a great idea.” I wasn’t thinking anything close to that, but I think it made his day as he immediately stopped complaining and let us all leave. I pictured him getting off at Market St. and transferring to BART, lording over a train to Fremont. Or maybe he set up shop somewhere with his balloons and pinwheel. Did anyone else see this guy on President’s Day?

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