EXHIBIT #04 – Public Service Annoyance


FEAR OF THE WEEK: Not being able to get off the bus at my stop.

The only BART map you really need, courtesy of Thrillist.


I use a lot of public transit. I started riding the good old Bay Area Rapid Transit trains when I was commuting into San Francisco from the easterly East Bay for school, years before I had either a vehicle to myself or, for that matter, a driver’s license. As I started picking up all kinds of freelance theatre work in every forsaken corner of SF, Berkeley, and beyond, I also expanded to various bus systems as well. Even now that I have my reliable li’l hand-me-down car, I will still frequently use public transit, especially because I find attempting to drive through downtown SF only slightly less anxiety-inducing than the prospect of having a root canal in a room full of giant spiders while dangling 40 feet in the air.*

So, as you might have been able to guess, I’ve gotten pretty good at navigating public transit systems. I’ve also gotten a huge number of stories about things I’ve witnessed and things I’ve done in the process of trying to get from Point A to Point B, some hilarious, some terrible, and some genuinely frightening. But in spite of some pretty intense incidents I’ve been present for, the thing that I find myself fretting about the most is surprisingly mundane…

Not being able to get past other passengers to get off the gosh-darn bus.

I don’t know why it’s such a struggle for people to understand this basic concept of shared space. I’ll give a pass to folks who are new to the whole transit system, but I can spot a newbie from a mile away by their deer-in-the-headlights terror and their need to ask at least six different people the same question about directions before they believe them, and they are not the ones who see to have a problem with this. It’s the seasoned commuters working on their laptops, the little old ladies with the well-used pass in the clear holder on the lanyard, and the cool bros with their Fantas** who seem to like to fall asleep on me this month.

Look. Y’all know the next stop is coming up. Y’all see me putting my stuff away and wriggling into my jacket and getting my pass-card out and putting my bag on my lap. I am clearly going to need to stand up and get past you. Don’t make me miss my stop. Don’t make me late because I had to backtrack. Don’t be a dick.

Also, please stop falling asleep on me; it’s really weird and I will in fact punch you.***




* Some of my Non-Absurd Fears include spiders and heights. I’m actually super cool with the dentist, but, as we are reminded by that masterpiece episode of The Avengers “The Fear Merchants” – “There is one universal fear, Mrs. Peel. Pain.” [or something like that]

** Seriously, it don’t know why but my seatmates lately all seem to be dudes in hoodies with a random flavor of Fanta.

*** I don’t know if that bro was more startled by getting jolted awake as I socked his arm and practically climbed over him, or by the huge dude who was laughing hysterically as he watched the whole thing go down.

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