Recently, I have had the chance to observe San Francisco Muni's new contribution to culture - the Free Theater On Wheels. All I had to do was buy a bus pass and take a ride, and suddenly drama, comedy, and tragedy were all to be had thanks to the Theater on Wheels.
Act One was a drama played out on a Friday evening rush hour bus. I chose to take one of the downtown buses back home instead of the train (big mistake). There was a whole bus packed to the rafters full of people, all tired, all wanting to get home, putting up with the stops and lurches and starts of a bus stuck in traffic.
That is, except one young woman. She was the designated Theater Queen that afternoon and for her performance art, chose to talk on the cell phone during her trip. Loudly.
As the bus ride got louder, she got louder. When people asked her nicely to keep it down (not even asking her to stop talking, as is the rule on the bus), she ignored them or did some fancified "oh no you did not" finger dance at them. Her performance managed to take a diverse group of people of all races, ages, ethnicities, creeds, religions, economic classes, etc. and unite them all in one great cause - that this chick was a rude, loudmouth bitch, and someone needed to show her up.
That's when the bus' savior popped in. Now, for those of you not from San Francisco, or who have not yet visited our fair city, you have to realize that in a situation such as The Bus, you don't just get Anoymous Anyones in any given situation. There are whole legions of people, who, posessing a fine wit, or a willingness to speak out (or mouth off), who will inject them in any sitaution they see fit. Sometimes it's cool, and sometimes you wanna bring your bat or samurai sword with you at all times.
This guy was cool. Rather than try and tell Theater Queen to shut up, instead, Our Hero pulled out his own cell phone. He called a friend and started to tell them about the loudmouthed pain in the ass he had the misfortune to sit next to.
Actually, the misfortune was hers. See. while she tried her "I'm ignoring you because I'm a diva in training" move, Our Hero listened in on her conversation, and began repeating it, loudly, to his cell phone comrade. And the entire bus.
So as Theater Queen kept talking about somebody's "baby daddy" or who she slept with, it got repeated so the entire bus could make sure they'd gotten their notes right, and his cell phone companion got hte word as well. Finally, Theater Queen was upset. She said "Stop fucking repeating everything I say, bitch!" to the guy.
Second mistake, Theater Queen. Now Our Hero could unleash the slice and dice of irony that would slay the beast. "But you're already talking so F*CKING loud, forcing all of us to hear your cell phone call, what do you care if I just repeat it louder? Duh!"
The entire bus started laughing and cheering. Theater Queen rushed off the bus as fast as she could. When Our Hero got off the bus he got an array of "right ons", "you da mans" and "thank you kindly sir for your heroism today." All of San Francisco for that moment put aside their concerns, and thanked Our Hero for slaying the cell phone spewing Theater Queen.
Bravo, Free Theater on the Muni.