If you live in the city, chances are you've had the pleasure of riding the MUNI. Now, taking the MUNI can be rather fun: I've seen hobos, schizos, popos and magic shows while onboard and even had to disembark on my way to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival after a woman was wrongfully sprayed with mace.
Another nice thing about this little gem (crack rock) of public transportation is that it caters specifically to the lazy American and picks up almost everywhere (read: EVERY SINGLE corner in the Mission), so regardless of how much you've had to drink, or how badly you need to flee the Tenderloin, the Magic Car
And for those swindlers, grifters, and con men (and women) out there, you can easily cheat the MUNI by administering one of the following techniques:
1) Hop on the back of the bus- This is the most common method of transport-theft, and since so many people of all shapes, races, and smells apply this approach, your chances of being prosecuted are as likely as contracting the Bubonic Plague.
2) Renovate your transfer (use this method when you have an expired transfer)- Since so few bus drivers really give a shit whether or not you've "paid your fair share", it is not out of the question to use that San Francisco swagger to simply walk past the operator without paying. He will either (a) assume you have a monthly pass, or (b) be practicing Gandhism after one too many altercations with irate passengers. However, there are a few drivers that still display a level of dignity and won't stand to be treated unjustly! (mostly because they're sitting down anyway) This is when you can alter the appearance of your transfer. To do this, simply take an all-night transfer from a previous day (you can easily find one on the ground near a bus stop) and place your expired transfer on top of it. When you flash it to the bus driver, the date will match, and your time will be extended.
3) Buy From a Bum- Last year, a bus mechanic was arrested after being caught selling late-night MUNI transfers, which costed the transit agency thousands of dollars a week. Though you won't be able to buy from this guy (since he's sharing soap in jail), there are still a few shady characters who hang around 16th and Mission and whisper "Laaaate-night, laaaaate-night." After getting over the idea that he's advertising Jimmy Fallon's talk show, offer to give the bum fifty cents, and he will give you an all-day ride.
4) (When taking underground MUNI) Always have a Clipper card with $2 on it- I once saw a man jump the turnstile underground and fall face-first onto the cement floor. Miraculously, he wasn't caught (or hurt, for that matter), but I wouldn't advise this method for cheating the system. Instead, I always keep a Clipper card with a two dollar value on it in case the MUNI cops/inspectors/whatever they call themselves hop onboard. When they check your ticket, they will know that you didn't activate it, but they will assume that you tried to magnetize it (or demagnetize), or whatever the hell it's called when you hover your card over that weird machine that makes those annoying grocery store check-out sounds, and they will have you try again. If for some reason, the MUNI cop/inspector/whatever the hell doesn't believe you, he will ask for your ID and write you a ticket. This is when you tell him you don't have an ID on you, and after some playful banter (enough to last until the next stop), get off as soon as you can and run! The MUNI cop/inspector/whatever doesn't have authority to detain you, and once you're on the other side of the turnstile, you're out of his jurisdiction and into the arms of freedom.
But I digress. Hmmmm I need to feed my cat.
But I digress. Again.
Although MUNI is convenient and fun to cheat, it really is going to hell.
Today, I waited fourteen minutes for the outbound K at Van Ness. When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that it was a two-car train, so I resisted the urge to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and breathe into other passengers' mouths in the first car, and opted for the much roomier second car.
When we got to Forest Hill station, the doors did not open. I thought this slightly odd, as the doors always open at the major stations. It wasn't until the driver got onto the loudspeaker--or loudmuffler--that I found out that the car I was in was actually "out of service."
Well this sucks, I thought to myself. I am now being held hostage on a bus; call up Keanu! On our way to the next stop, the few other people on the back train and I began to plan our escape, like something out of Chicken Run.
"Okay", said the man with the big mouth but no rescue requisites (clearly the guy who would get his teeth knocked out by the butt-end of a gun in the event of a bank robbery), "when we get to West Portal Station, let's all push the door-open button at the same time."
Needless to say, this man's idea wasn't fool-proof, but sure proved he was a fool.
After the driver made another announcement that the second car was "out of service" and directed new passengers into the first car, we began to bang on the windows, hoping to alert the morning commuters of our K-napping. Apparently the business men and women's large coffees hadn't taken effect, as they were as alert as a stoned high school student in math class.
Finally, one wise woman pressed the "red button" (I never thought I'd see the day), and we were able to tell the driver we were stuck. He opened the doors, but not before scolding us for not listening to him the first time.
Hey dick driver, you never said anything when I got on the train at Van Ness. You can kiss my second-car-lounging ass!
The moral of this story: Sometimes it's better to prematurely evacuate before you're stuck riding the back for too long.
Upon arriving at this bus stop, both the 14 and the 49 were broken down (Notice one of the bus drivers smoking in the middle)