Muni Diaries Live: Missed Connections Kind of Good-Looking

haiku battle
Al photos by Right Angle Images

The house was packed Saturday night at the Elbo Room for an evening of stories that can only happen on Muni (and BART). If Muni is the city’s public living room, our storytellers are the ones you want sitting next to you on the couch.

We started the show with comedian Nato Green. A former union organizer, Nato put a hilarious spin on the BART strike. Oh, and remember that one time when the cops took Muni to Occupied?

nato green

Story maven Kay DeMartini allows herself only one shit fit a day, and when the BART doors closed between her and her kids on the way to the airport, I think we can all agree that the time was ripe for a daily allowance of freaking the eff out.

kay demartini

We welcomed back filmmaker H.P. Mendoza, who wrote a song about all the lost theaters in the Mission as he time-traveled on the 14-Mission. H.P. brought his ukulele and a childhood diary—each day with a Muni transfer taped onto the page to show the date. Brilliant!

hp mendoza

Local band Female Trouble wrote a song about the frustrations of flirting on Muni. And of course we had to have them at our show!

female trouble

Speaking of flirting on Muni, sometimes it’s not all a wash. We struck gold with audience storyteller Shannon, who says that she’s “good-looking, but not Missed Connections good-looking.” Well, a real missed connection on the bus proved Shannon wrong. And her story has an incredible ending. Do I hear wedding bells?

shannon audience storyteller

Storyteller Tarin Towers is one of our favorite people in the Twitter universe. Saturday night, we realized that she’s one of our favorite people in the real universe, too. Tarin tells a story of how her martial arts classes turned a bad Muni trip into a triumph.

tarin towers

You may know her on stage hosting Porchlight, but did you know writer Beth Spotswood is a terrific storyteller herself? Beth told us how her fellow passengers banded together when they were stuck on the bus and started chanting in unison. If you don’t believe her, she brought an audio recording.

beth spotswood

Our third ever Muni Haiku Battle, inspired by the Dirty Haiku Battle at Oakland’s Tourettes With Regrets, brought reigning champion James Nestor head-to-head with seasoned storyteller Jesse James. Mr. Nestor’s on-stage flair (and epic haiku titles—is that allowed?) brought the audience to a roar.

james nestor

But new challenger Jesse James brought his best 17-syllable weaponry to the battlefield.

jesse james

In the Muni Haiku battledome, two poets enter, and one poet leaves…with a gold spray-painted battle trophy, decorated with authentic public transit detritus.

haiku winner jesse james

We’d like to give a special thank you to our sponsors Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and local indie favorite Lucky Jesus for providing prizes, and Parisoma for the use of their chairs.

Muni Diaries is made entirely of your stories on public transit, whether it’s on the site or on the stage! So keep the tales coming.

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