Photo by Charles Haynes
Transit etiquette and decent human behavior, yet again, flew out the window at Millbrae BART, dropping the chivalry index to a record low.
No, seriously. This was my morning: BART was running at least 15 minutes late to Millbrae, so people on my BART train making the Millbrae Caltrain connection were getting visibly antsy. It looked like we would miss the bullet train, after which the local Caltrain only comes every hour. As the Millbrae BART train pulled in, we could see that a Caltrain was already waiting at the opposite platform, but we would have to go upstairs to cross the platform and then down another set of stairs to catch it.
The BART train stops and everybody makes a mad scramble to the fare gates. As I walked up to the faregate and reached out to scan my Clipper card, a young man (Silicon Valley type, corporate backpack), leaped over two other people to jump in front of me to scan his Clipper card.
His Clipper card didn’t scan so the fare gate was still closed, so he hoisted himself up to jump the gate, kicking up his feet to nick me right in the shin, breaking skin (I was wearing a skirt and heels on account of the great weather today). No apologies.
None of us made the train.
How about this for an etiquette rule: don’t take fellow riders out at the knees (or the shins). Now does anyone have a Band-Aid for me?
My photographer friend Matt called especially to tell the story of this photo. Excellent from-the-hip composition, and possibly our sharpest full-frontal nail-clipping view.
For context, Matt doesn’t ride Muni that often. It’s like going to Disneyland for the first time!
Anyway, he enters the Embarcadero station and sees signs for Clipper. “Hmm,” he thinks. Clipper. New ticketing service, perhaps? No matter. He gets on an outbound train and sits across from this woman on the left. After a bit of chatter with her riding partner, she produces fingernail clippers from her backpack and (you guessed it) starts clipping her nails — shrapnel flying every which way — while continuing to chat. Making little effort to control his facial expressions, Matt silently scans for brothers and sisters in arms. He sees one other noticer looking back at him, shaking her head and smiling that, “Yep, I see what you see and it ain’t pretty,” smile.
Since Matt just saw signs for “Clipper” and is now seeing a woman clipping her nails, this is starting to feel like the strangest trip. Not literally, but, yeah, also literally.
He takes this single frame seconds before she leaves the bus, leaving behind her fingernail detritus and Matt’s indignant disgust. I personally wouldn’t groom in front of the guy holding full camera gear, but I also wouldn’t clip my nails on Muni. (Can you imagine if I did and got shamed on my own website?)
Welcome, Matt. We’ve been waiting for you among the clippings.
Itching (scratching, even) for more? Nail clipping on another Muni Metro. Nail clipping on the bus. Muni driver nail clipping on break, what?!
We’ve all been there. On a crowded train or bus, some jerkoff has his bag on a seat next to him. Sometimes, even giant Styrofoam gets a seat before you do.
We RT’d @amanda___c this morning, and got quite a number of suggestions for how to handle such an egregious breach of public-transit etiquette:
Uh, pick up his bag and throw it on him, then sit down. if he complains, tell him to F— off. 🙂 — @michaeldowling
I usually just start sitting on the seat anyway. The introduction of a stranger’s ass is good motivation. It works. — @McClure_SF
I’ve been known to pick up a bag, plunk it in their lap, and sit. Seats are for people, not bags! — @cripsahoy
I stand in front of them and pass gas… — @murphstahoe
What about you? How do you handle this particular type of Grade-A douchefeather?
@RitaBookNews tweeted us this gem the other day, with this title: “Woman brings a huge, life-size piece of Styrofoam on Muni?”
We lament the 500 breaches of Muni etiquette that flew out the window so this thing could have a seat(s). But it does look damned comical just sitting there. Perhaps these are the beginnings of a Halloween costume? It reminded me of Ol’ Drippy from Aqua Teen Hunger Force in its blobularness.
Spotted something cool (balloon animals) or ridiculous (see attached) on your ride? Talk to us about it @munidiaries.
Image by Flickr user muilak
Rachael posted an interesting question on the Muni Diaries Facebook Page yesterday:
Maybe I’m weird about germs but to me walking around barefoot is no more/less gross than touching everything on the bus then sitting down to eat a sandwich. Why do people eat on Muni?
Which led me to wonder which was actually grosser. I haven’t decided yet, but I’ve probably spent too much time thinking about it already.
The floor is just plain grody. I’ve let bare legs and bare hands touch seats and rails before even thinking about putting a bag on the floor. I think we can agree that the chicken and formaldehyde combo platter is an appetite-killer for all involved. But Muni riders snack on food that isn’t stuck to the window all the time, and it doesn’t always bother me. That said, we use our bare hands to eat, sometimes before washing our hands when we’re late to dinner and about to eat a limb for sustenance. OK, maybe by we, I mean me.
But, which is worse? Barefoot riding or eating while riding?
From Muni rider and Giftly Marketing Director Nish:
My experience on the 14-Mission bus this morning: I hobble on with my crutches and it’s a super-crowded squalor of a ride. No seats for me until some punk kid goes, ‘Dawgs better get your asses up, this dude is handicapped.’ Yes, I am finally someone!
Sometimes, the unlikeliest of seat angels (on a 14-Mission, no less), will back you up when no one else will.
A reminder to be kind to your “handicapped” rider pals, dawgs.