Puddin’ Pants


Having left the raucous Receiver’s office at Potrero Division for the quieter Presidio Division, I thought material for my next book would suffer a drought not unlike the one Northern California had been experiencing for the last several years. As I write this chapter, snowpack is 160 per cent of normal, and the folks up at the Truckee Pass are dug in deep in drifts as high as their roof! The Oroville Dam spillway has had so much water pouring over it that it has needed to be refilled and repaired lest those downriver be inundated with, well, quite frankly, shit. We all know it rolls downhill! And it certainly isn’t pleasant when it hits the fan. However, no tome about Muni would be complete without such scatological reference.
Merriam Webster has a nice simple definition: 1: interest in or treatment of obscene matters especially in literature 2 : the biologically oriented study of excrement (as for taxonomic purposes or for the determination of diet). Wikipedia offers this definition: In literature, “scatological” is a term to denote the literary trope of the grotesque body. It is used to describe works that make particular reference to excretion or excrement[…]–as well as to toilet humor. In our case, we are affirming this book as a piece of literature, while also probing a taxonomic discovery of foods ingested to create such a mess. Indeed, a trope is a name given to classical rhetoric and deconstruction, the grotesque body, associated with Mardi Gras consumption of mass food ingestion.
So too, like the Oroville Dam spillway, must our operator’s seat be replaced, especially if our pants overflow with self-made pudding. This pudding is hopefully of a texture firmer than brie or muenster cheese, a ‘better butterfinger’ if like sharp cheddar or lentil soup (left on the burner for a few days.) Thus firmer than, say, cottage cheese, left in the back of the refrigerator for God only knows how long, or day old pot of refried beans. Let’s just say, the phrase, “Who cut the cheese?” begins to bring meaning to what I am trying to say in vivid detail.

To be sure, passing the gas is a problem in the seat, especially if a hottie or cutie happens to move close in to the fare box at just the right (or wrong) moment when one prays which way the wind blows, in a favorable light direction. But for whom the bell tolls, when the anus fails to hold back the flood, is that it tolls for thee.

So too, with stories now emanating from the Gilley Room at Presidio. As I was passing by to pick up my paddle, and suggest this new title as a chapter in my book, a group of operators were in deep conversation about the various personal necessity emergencies we find in having to stop the coach and use the restroom. Our code for personal necessity is 702. The story line at our break room was about a difficult situation (saturation) in which a personal necessity was being called at a busy intersection downtown at Montgomery and Market.
Personal necessity calls are expected to occur at our terminal break, not in the middle of the line. So it was definitely an item for cause when a bus goes out of service at this location. An inspector rushed to the scene to find out why this operator was holding the bus and blocking a traffic lane.
I need to change my uniform. stated the operator. Did coffee spill on your shirt? asked the inspector. No, I need a new pair of pants. Would you like me to show you? Immediately, the look of disdain disappeared on the inspector’s face. He got a wiff.
The operator got orders to pull the coach in. No disciplinary action taken. There is a rule whereby we have two hours to get a new uniform if it becomes soiled.

The reason we put newspaper down on our cockpit seat is because if we don’t, we sometimes feel as though invisible worms are eating the way up our ass as we twitch and squirm in our seat. Our new buses have a seat belt safety feature which sends out a loud noise on our horn which honks not unlike a car alarm. If our ass leaves the seat, even for a second, the bus will scream out loud, and on some models, if moving, the bus brakes to an immediate stop.
So dear pedestrian, if you hear a bus honking loudly in the middle of the street, please take heart. It could simply be that we are trying to remove our caked uniform stuck to our butt from hours of steamy driving, or it could be call for a 702. In any case, the idiot who installed this safety feature did not have experience in driving a bus over a twelve hour range in a city like San Francisco.

Excerpt From
This material may be protected by copyright.

Published by driverdoug2002

Driver Doug is a 29 year resident of the city by the bay, and has been a transit operator for the San Francisco Municipal Railway for almost 20 years. His current run is on the 21 Hayes trolleybus line from the Ferry Plaza to Golden Gate Park. His interests include photography and writing, and this latest essay, The Trolleybus of Happy Destiny, is a composition including anecdotes and photo illustrations from his experience behind the wheel of a city transit bus.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: