In the vein of Rachel's Fog City Notes, an excerpt of my travels outbound on the 31 Balboa this evening:
Time: 7:55 p.m. (approx.)
Stop: Turk Street & Taylor Street
The bus is pretty full. Most people look like they're headed home from work. We pick up some people and the bus starts to move. Through the music on my iPod, I hear screaming. Is someone stuck in the door?
I pull my pods out. "Let me on! Let me on!" Someone at the front of the bus tells the driver there's a woman in a wheelchair chasing the bus. The bus stops. Doors open.
Thinking the action is over, I put my pods back in. I look out towards Aunt Charlie's. About two minutes go by and this woman is still trying to get on the bus. The people towards the front seem displaced. Some of them move to the back, some of them stand around the front confused. I pull out my pods. Someone yells, "She's too heavy!" I hear the woman screaming but it's garbled. The bus driver is up and trying to help her. She starts saying something about how it's a new chair, she doesn't know how to work it. Suddenly she's on the bus, zipping around the front and bumping into the front seats. An old man stands up on his seat and clutches the top rail. Talk about dexterity, wow. The woman tries to maneuver the wheelchair but she can't. It keeps going out of control. Finally, she gets over to the wheelchair corner. She keeps babbling loudly about the chair being new and not knowing how to work it. It's a pretty nice chair, it looks cushy and padded.
I'm pretty sure she wasn't locked in because she kept scooting the chair around but we started moving again anyway. She continues yelling nonsense. I put my pods back in.
Time: 8:05 p.m. (approx.)
Stop: Eddy Street and Laguna Street
The bus stops and I'm pulled out of my end-of-the-day-lull by more screaming. The bus driver is yelling at the woman. "You pushed the button to get off here! I heard it"
She's indignant. "No, I DIDN'T! This is not where I get off!"
"You pushed the button to get off here, you're getting off!"
I was in the back, so I couldn't see any of this, but if I had to guess I would say she pushed it. She was rolling around a lot so intentional or not, it seems probable that she did signal to get off.
They continue their shouting match until she calls the driver "a punk ass nigga" to which the driver says, "That's it. I'm getting the police!" The back of the bus sighs an audible collective groan. This could be a while.
The bus driver gets off the bus and heads towards the back. I look out the back window and see the driver and a cop car but no cop. Meanwhile, on the bus, the woman has started crying hysterically. "I take this bus all the time, nothing like this has ever happened to me before!" Seriously, if i had a dollar every time I heard that on MUNI, I would be a very rich lady.
The old man who was previously standing on his chair tries to comfort her in a very thick Russian accent. I'm pretty sure I heard her call him a bitch. As in, "Bitch, it's not ok!" She continues her scream-rambling about being mistreated by the driver when all of the sudden she stands up and walks off the bus.
A guy across from me is on his cell phone. He tells the person on the other end, "Yeah, I'm watching a show MUNI." No kidding. I turn around to look at the driver again. He sees the woman walking and his face is the dictionary definition picture of disbelief. He yells, "YOU CAN WALK?!"
Everyone on the bus laughs. The bus driver is not laughing. "Ohhhh, no!" She gets back on the bus. Out of nowhere the cop appears and he's smirking as he walks to the front of the bus. There's more "I'm not going anywhere! You can't make me do anything!" The police officer says, "Come here, I'll help you get off." She doesn't want help, she doesn't want to get off, this isn't her stop. Finally she gets off. The bus driver closes the door quickly, I guess in case she decided to make a mad dash for the door sans wheelchair.
Outside, the cop has a notepad out and then woman has tears streaming down her face. As we pull away, I notice that she is either wearing hot pants or maybe just panties. Either way, there was a lot of old lady thigh happening.
In other MUNI-related things, anyone know what line this driver is on? Not going to lie, I'm kind of excited for it.