An excerpt from the Dao of Doug:
So one night near Halloween, on my pull in from North point, I saw that the paper in the scroll roller was torn and would get caught and tear a bigger rip. So I had to look for another sign to put up that would be clear that I was not going all the way out to Ocean. And, being in a playful mood, I decided to scroll all the way up to “Nowhere In Particular.” And this was a good decision. I got a lot of smiles along the way. Even some toots from coaches going in the other direction. People were noticing the sign more so than if I had put up the standard sign of “Mission,” or “Market.” I did not have to waste any impatient energy with all those I came in contact with that were waiting at the bus stops along Van Ness. And they waited for the next bus to take them beyond my pull in point. So I didn’t have to say anything. The few that did get on were in a good mood, and obliged nicely by getting off at my last stop without a peep. “I wish I could go where you are going! Good night.” Wow. What a difference from the usual groans or sighs. So my playful energy transferred perfectly, and no one complained. I was in the Zen zone on my pull in trip instead of getting stink eye or endless questions.
Everyone asks me what the bad lines are. And my answer is that none of the lines are bad. Timing is everything. Which is true for a stand up comic, a worker on an assembly line, and as a waiter or cook in a restaurant. So here is what most riders don't understand: its not what line you are driving, but when. For example, do I really want to be leaving Clay and Drumm on the 1 California line at 5:02 p.m., as Embarcadero Three's elevators are filling up to capacity, dropping hundreds of workers to the city streets to pick up a bus to go home?
Or should I be at the other end of the line at 33rd Av and Geary, hours after school has let out, to be headed inbound in non-peak direction, only to arrive downtown an hour after most people have gone home?
Do I want to be the first 22 Fillmore leaving after the bell at the Marina middle school, where hundreds of hyped-up middle schoolers with more hormones than they know what to do with, after hours of being cooped up in school, be knocking on my door as I try to pull away from the inbound terminal at Bay and Fillmore? Or would it be better to be leaving Third and Twentieth in Dog Patch, around 3 p.m., hours before all the blue collar workers around Potrero Hill start clocking out? And so it isn't what, but when that makes or breaks a good run choice at Muni.
What all my longtime San Franciscan resident friends point out, is the frequency with which horn blasts are now used on a daily basis in heavy traffic. Compulsive Honking Syndrome is an infection that seems to be spreading around any construction site when traffic is constrained into one lane.
Good will hunting, an opposite action, by allowing others to go first, actually moves traffic faster without conflict. Don't feed the Gremlins!
Find out more button links to Balboa Press, and my hardcover and softcover full versions-- public transportation
Check out the interior of a 1956 Muni Heritage Trolleybus!
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