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The Gospel According To BART

For those not familiar with BART, it is the train system that links San Francisco to Oakland and to other more forgettable places in the Bay Area. This is what it’s like:

Whatever you do with your graffiti, don’t smoke, drink, or eat it while on BART

Also known as Commandment #6 as told in “The Gospel According To BART.”

However, federal law does NOT require that the seats actually be clean enough to sit on.

“Hey, hippy, why does no one want to sit anywhere near you? Are you the reason that the seats on BART are dirty?”

Sometimes while I’m on BART I play, “Hey, Pal, Are You Dead Or Just Sleeping?”

BART isn’t just for homeless people trying to stay out of the rain. Celebrity impersonator sightings are frequent. Depending on which side of the train this John Goodman wannabe sits, there’s a good chance that the train will be leaning to that side.

Clearly this couple thought that they were on The Orient Express. I love this guy’s cane.

This from the BART website: We are asking you to help keep BART safe for everyone by reporting unattended packages or suspicious behavior. What do we mean by suspicious behavior? Here are some examples: 1) Acting nervous, sweating inappropriately. 2) Taking pictures or videotaping in areas of no interest to the general public. 3) Attempting to get into an area that is off limits. 4) Leaving a package, backpack or briefcase and hurrying away from the area………………..The Bay Area Brit: guilty as charged…………Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to eat and drink and maybe smoke some graffiti.

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Get Out Your Butterfly Nets

Thanks to the small army of insane men and women roaming the San Francisco Bay Area streets, it is possible to observe a large variety of conversational monologists. While it is not politically correct to refer to the mentally disturbed as “insane,” I feel in my case it is okay, because for all you or I know, I might be “insane.” And if I am “insane,” by the unwritten rules of modern day name-calling I can call “insane” people whatever I want–right?

There are different types of conversational monologists.

The Angry Ranter might threaten violence, as they play out moments in their life, screaming something that they said, or wish they had said. These are the ones you have to watch for, because more often than not, they don’t want anything from you, and therefore have no reason not to shank you with a rusty corkscrew. If confronted by The Angry Ranter, stand your ground and slowly walk backwards while making a bleating sound like a baby goat hungry for its mother’s teat.

Mr. Mumbles sits quietly on the park bench talking to imaginary pigeons who are eating imaginary scraps of food that he dropped from an imaginary sandwich, bought with his imaginary money which he earned from his imaginary job. Mr. Mumbles is safe to sit next to if you’re waiting for a bus, but don’t get started in a conversation about life being like a box of chocolates.

Cellphone Bluetooth Prick is the most obnoxious monologist. If I see someone (dressed in business attire) gesturing and yelling randomly while walking down the street, I am unsettled. I secretly hope that the man has just lost his life savings on a bad stock deal. However, this kind of wishing can lead to dangerous consequences. Cellphone Bluetooth Prick’s life may be spiraling downwards and he might want to take someone down with him. Perhaps he might be on the brink of purchasing a high-powered rifle; minutes away from embarking on a spree, of the non-shopping variety. Fears are assuaged however, when the Cellphone Bluetooth Prick stops every ten seconds to meekly say, “Can you hear me now?”

The Whitney Houston Syndrome Monologists vary in levels of irritation. They were probably once told by someone that they have a nice singing voice, and so they demonstrate their skills (not by applying to be a contestant on American Idol) but by roaming the city streets and public transportation wearing headphones while singing loudly and out of tune, scaring passing children and small dogs. These are the most selfish of monologists because they don’t hear the torture they are serving.

The Delusional Writer Monologist is usually locked away in his studio apartment molding his borderline tasteless, semi-amusing gibberish into something tangible. He’s usually editing his manifesto or working on that hilarious buddy cop screenplay. However, every now and again he will leave the security of his writing environment to sit in a café or a bar with his notepad and pen and chuckle as he reads his musings to himself. Occasionally someone might overhear his mumblings and interrupt to ask, “Are you a writer?”

His answer of course, is “No, I’m just insane.”

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