Today is the 100th anniversary of the 1906 Earthquake here in San Francisco. Our public transportation system, MUNI, decided to celebrate by not collecting fares today. So, this being San Francisco, every mentally-ill, crack-addled, drunken, shoeless inebriate took advantage of this and was on MUNI today.
I had the pleasure of several of these citizens on my bus going home, including one who decided to go crazy right as I was getting off at my stop at Haight and Baker. After insulting and threatening several passengers, he got it started by punching an elderly man in the face, breaking the man’s glasses, then trying to steal his bag. Several passengers and I proceeded to literally kick him off the bus, down the back stairwell and into the street. He then, since I was standing in the stairwell, tried to grab my laptop bag, pulling me off the bus.
I landed on the street and scraped my finger, but it didn’t notice it until someone later pointed it out. As an adult male, you occasionally wonder what you will do if you ever find yourself in these sorts of situations, facing someone coming at you, fists cocked and out of their mind. I now know how I’m likely to respond. Like an idiot:
Despite taking a few boxing lessons about five years ago, I haven’t been in a fight since like sixth grade. But I got up quickly, made my own hands into fists and swung them at him, aiming at his face. I missed. Somewhere, my boxing trainer is very disappointed in me. The drunk fighter took a swing at me and missed. “Come on motherfucker, I will kick the shit out of you, motherfucker!” I heard myself yelling. He was screaming something equally threatening back at me, but I can’t remember what it was. Passengers were calling out behind me on the bus. I picked up my laptop bag from the street and put it next to a fire hydrant and from that position stupidly resumed taunting my opponent, who eventually shuffled down the side street.
After that, the incident dissolved into taking care of the poor guy who had been punched, his nose bleeding a little. The police eventually showed up (the station is all of three blocks from the scene) and a little later an ambulance arrived. The crazy/drunk assailant walked away and, to my knowledge, wasn’t apprehended, even though he lingered around for at least ten minutes after the fight, watching from half a block away.
I’d spent the day quietly at work in front of my computer designing and thinking and listening to music. But you never know what can happen during the course of a day: an earthquake, a fistfight, whathaveyou. Just another day in San Francisco.