A Step By Step Guide On How To Commandeer A Moving Bus (San Francisco to Portland, Pt 1)
Take a step. How’d it feel? Take another. Now another. How about one more for good measure. Satisfied? If not and you’re at work, try moaning like a mongoose. Had Mic Jagger witnessed someone trying this, the Stones never would have had their hit single.
“I can’t get no/ Satisfaction/ When I’m walking down the street/ And a man walks up to me/ And I say ‘Eek, eekie, eekie, eek!’/ And he yells, ‘what sort of mongoose could he be?’/ That’s when I’ll get my … … …/ A hey hey hey!” Just like brushing up on your Shakespeare, some of you may need to brush up on your Stones. Back now to talking about steps.
The infamous Irish Jig Mongoose.
Ok, so to recap we had step, step, step, step, and one step for good measure. Hell let’s get crazy and throw one more in. Each one of those steps was about a foot. Now throw on a large back pack that could fit a small human inside and repeat that step 3,363,360 times on hard asphalt. Yep… That’s how far it was to Portland. Welcome to life on the motha fucka!
“Take one more step, I dare you, I double dare you motha fucka! Take a step one more time!!!”
San Francisco proved to be quite difficult to leave after the incredibly raucous time I had with my old high school friend Beth. There are some people you knew when you were younger that after reconnecting with them you wonder how in the world you ever dared share a locker. Beth was the opposite. Though we only did a few theater shows together and hung out a hand full of times in high school, our personalities aged like fine wine together.
To tell you of our time together would be to like reading a letter in German if all you spoke was crayon scribbles. Too many inside jokes. However, I did get to bare witness to one of the finest parking jobs in the history of mankind, as Beth performed an 800 point parking job on a 45 degree slope with a stick shift. Such feats few have ever had the privilege of baring witness to.
Every time I leave to go hitchhiking there usually is a bit of resistance. I know it will be challenging, I know my body will probably ache after it and I know when I get to where I’m going I’ll be chomping at the bit to perform sexual favors on any local chiropractors so they’ll adjust me. There is also another reason. Being that I travel like this with no health insurance, very little money and no idea what will happen, my sense of mortality readily comes up to stare me directly in the eyes.
It’s a powerful sensation and one that is easier to overlook when you’re a teenager. But the longer you are here, the more that snake bobs its head in and out of your awareness until you finally are forced to face it head on. It brings with it frigtening unknows and hard questions. As I begin almost every knew journey, I face this. It has become a companion. I’m not certain whether to call it a friend or an addiction in the way that some soldiers can be addicted to the adrenaline of battle. When you are put on the edge, you feel alive. Often, when I walk out the door to face the unknown, it is the most alive I ever feel. Sometimes terrified, but alive.
“I knew a man once who said, ‘death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.’”
“Was it Crocodile Dundee?”
“Hmmmm… so you’ve heard about the smiling crocs? Apparently my acting isn’t covering up this Aussie accent.”
I now want to take you all on an adventure. My spectacular adventure of van chases, hijackings and a bag of almonds to keep me satiated. Are you ready?
After maneuvering around the local BART system, which is Bay talk for their metro rail, I eneded up at the bus stop. I wanted to see if there was a way to get to Sacramento which was almost an hour and a half north. When I asked the bus driver, a jive talkin black woman who was as sweet as a jolly rancher if that was possible, she told me she could get me half way there. She also mentioned that the bus that would take me the rest of the way stopped running at 4 PM.
“What time is it now?”
Shit! Well, I figured I would take the bus anyways and see if I could hitch to Sacramneto. When we pulled in, I hoped out and asked one of the drivers who was taking a smoke break if there were any buses that could take me up to Sacramento. To my surprise he pointed at a lone bus and said, “hurry up and catch that one. That’s exactly where it’s going!”
Shocked and surprised as it was clearly 45 minutes after 4 PM (I know, I looked) I grabbed my bag and ran to catch it. When I got to the door, I looked up to see a stern faced thin man with eyes slightly sunken who looked like he had followed every rule ever given to him by the age of newly formed sperm.
“Are you going to Sacramento?” I asked.
“Yes, but I only bring passangers from there, I don’t take any of them back.”
What the fuck is that bullshit, I thought. I’m sorry, but we make so much money we can afford to deny 50% of our clientele. I asked him if he could make an exception this one time. He shook his head no. Damb obedient sperm with a torso.
This is why we don’t allow stupid sperm in the gene pool. There’s a 68% chance they’ll take over our buses and make idiotic policies. ”I’m sorry but you can’t get on because we decided to stop letting people sit on the left side of the bus.”
I walked back to the sweet, jive talkin black lady who unbeknownst to me had been telling my story to the other bus drivers. Bus drivers and one upper management employee named Bob. How is it the name of all blue collar management officials is Bob? It’s never Edward or Francisco or Ingelbert. My motto is going to be: when in trouble, find yourself a Bob. Don’t bob for apples, bob for Bob.
When I walked up, Bob was already on the walkie talky asking if it was ok for the ultra-obedient driver to take me to Sacramento. I got very excited. What a score! As we waited for the answer from upper management (apparently this kind of thing is a big deal and has to be approved, re-approved, and then put into a cage to defeat a hungry tiger with only day time television as a weapon) I turned in dismay to watch the bus going back to Sacramento pull out of the station and drive away.
“Quick! Someone pull a Speed and blow it up!” I yelled. Probably not the best thing to say but it was worth a shot.
“Have you tried driving under 50 mph? It’s the new big thing.”
I thanked Bob and the lady driver for there efforts and began to walk off, when Bob got a response on his walkie. He turned to me and hastily said, “grab your stuff and follow me.” As my excitement and hope began to rise, he took me to a van.
“Throw your stuff in! We’re going after him!”
We hoped in and sped off to chase down the empty multi-ton metro ride with a sever case of stupid rule-ism set down by the oligarchy of the financially damned. The call came through to the other driver and we saw him pull over to the side of the road. Hot damn I was about to commandeer my first bus and I didn’t even have a gun! Just an attitude that said “don’t fuck with me, I hitchhike.”
“I have a thumb here people and I ain’t afraid to use it!!!”
I thanked Bob, hoped out and rode 45 minutes to Sacramento. This was turning out to be a good day.
Bob the wonder stud
Tune in next time where I’ll talk about how I almost got jumped, met some interesting sleeping partners and found out that the city animal of Sacramento is not what you might think.
- wacsonwacsoff posted this