Mystery smell at Van Ness Station explained

Van Ness Muni Station
Photo by franciscophile

Jeff (not me) has got a doozy …

Last week (or maybe the week before), the Van Ness Station smelled like farts, or a sewer line broke, or something, for several days. Pretty gross.

Then one day about 2 p.m. on my way to work, I’m heading down the stairs and this dude is walking to go up the escalator and talking on a cell phone. With his other hand, he starts grabbing at his crotch — which catches my attention.

He then pulls out his schlong, looks at me straight in the eye as we pass by each other. I look back and as he heads up the escalator, he starts pissing while talking on the phone. And there’s a lady about 10 feet ahead of him.

Just another Tuesday. I now know why the place smelled like a sewer.

Well, that explains that. Thanks for sharing, Jeff (not me)!

Clipping Nails on Muni, the 2011 edition

When we started Muni Diaries, one of the first stories was about nail-clipping on the bus. It’s become such a popular rant that we even incorporate it into Muni Diaries Live in the audience portion — Suzanne’s big toenail clipper is the signal that your time on stage is up. I guess when some people have to clip their nails, the urge to so is like needing your fix for caffeine, chocolate, or heroin.

That, or people still don’t care that this ends up online.

Photo by Muni rider XC.

Scratching an itch on Muni

Photo by purpletwinkie

Katie posted a story on her Tumblr blog (A Streetcar Called Taraval) that had me covering my face in laughter and horror. Read on:

So I’m riding a 71 from downtown with my boyfriend. At Sixth street, a woman begs the driver, “I don’t have any money, I just need to go to the hospital!” The driver doesn’t have time for her story, so he lets her on without fare. She sits in the designated seating, spread across three seats. She’s wearing an ankle-length skirt. She has a stained T-shirt stretched over pendulous breasts that reach her navel. She has a shock of bright pink hair and is about 5’3” and 350. It’s late December, and she’s smiling and wishing a Merry Christmas to all of the riders.

All the locals summarily ignore her because we’re used to sixth street crazies on the bus. Then she starts itching her leg. She works her skirt up a little bit and claws at her calf. Whatever. A couple of tourists get on the bus with their muni 3-day passports. They look like a young couple from New England. The woman wishes them a drunk “Merrrrry Christmuss!!” and smiles. They awkwardly exchange a holiday greeting back. This woman has since moved on to itching her inner knee…. Her skirt is hiked up a little bit more, so she can reach it. She’s still overflowing with holiday cheer.

Finish reading Katie’s story on A Streetcar Called Taraval.

Swishy River on the 49

Not every liquid on Muni is urine, but I always jump straight to that conclusion every time I see something like this on the bus. I’d argue that most of the time, it’s not urine, but I still think it is, anyway.

About the pic, though. I thought it was probably urine, especially given its proximity to the back corner of the bus. Then, I decided it wasn’t because I couldn’t smell it. Then, I smelled it and it was absolutely urine. Couldn’t be anything else.

But, the worst part, by far, was how it kept swishing back and forth (back and forth) as the bus started and stopped. It wasn’t a tidal wave or anything, but it definitely had momentum. So not only was this a urine trail, it was a moving urine trail. Boo.

I hopped off soon after my if/then/therefore thought process came to a close, but not before snapping this glorious photo. My foot’s there for scale.

Letting out at Sacramento and Fillmore

Project 365 — 5/365 — Sacramento Fillmore Muni Stop
Photo by Roshan Vyas

Roshan has this disgusting and far-too-common story to share:

This shelter is at Sacramento and Fillmore in Pacific Heights, in front of the Marc by Marc Jacobs store. One morning last summer, when the old shelter was in place, I was walking to the stop to take the 1 to work. The sun was still rising and blinding anyone walking up Sacramento, so I was squinting when I approached and noticed no one was actually standing under the shelter. Usually one or two people are, even on a nice day.

As I got closer, I noticed why no one was standing there: In the middle of the covered shelter area, someone had left a giant pile of poop. This was no dog dropping either. This was human. Everyone was rightly standing outside the shelter and I joined them there.

Checking my phone while waiting for the 1, I noticed the following email from my other half, who had left for work 10 minutes earlier.

Subject: Alert! Poop at muni stop!!!!!
Body: Watch out!

Indeed. It was quite the harrowing experience and made for a great story.

As the day went on, questions like “Who would do that?!” and “Who is responsible for cleaning that up?!” came up. Was it the City? Was it a neighborhood association? Was it Marc?

When I got home that night, the pile was gone, but a giant stain remained. Not only that, some of the substance was also left behind as footprints walking away from the pile. Someone had accidentally stepped right in it! How could that happen?! My theory is that it was someone getting off the back of the 1 during the day, who just jumped off the Muni looking forward to getting some Peet’s coffee and maybe a $50 dog bowl at Jonathan Adler.

Little did they know that their day, their summer, was about to be ruined.

That person’s experience is why I now take a moment to look down before jumping off the Muni. If you are waiting behind me, now you know.

You were warned.

Share your Muni stories, photos, video, and ephemera here on Muni Diaries.

Muni Tales from Andrew Lam

Author Andrew Lam regaled us with some scenes from the bus at Muni Diaries Live last month. If you missed it, we’ve got him on this video clip where he tells stories from the 19-Polk and 47-Van Ness, involving a parrot and a very thirsty cousin. The curtains in the Make-Out Room cast a red light on our videos, but hearing Andrew’s provocative, nearly erotic tales, the lighting only seems appropriate.

Andrew will be reading from his new book, East Eats West, at the Book Passage in the Ferry building in San Francisco on Dec. 7, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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