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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Take Out Those Ear Buds -- Eavesdropping on BART

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 10:51 AM

click to enlarge HUNTER HUBBY

Bay Area Rapid Transit is one of the best eavesdroppin' spots in the world. Far too often I see commuters listening to music and missing out on the truly amazing real life comedy that is playing out right in front of them. Don't just bump some tunes every time you commute. Because although you may think you are just blocking out noise, you are actually missing your chance to hear an elementary school boy tell his friend, "Those n----s must be going to West Lake. I'm not trying to go there. My ex hangs out there, and I'm not trying to run into that beezy."

I couldn't help but think about how impressive it is to be an elementary school boy and already have ex-girlfriends you want to avoid. This young man was definitely way ahead of the bell curve on that one.

But all the pro eavesdroppers know the absolute best time to catch a sneak peek into the hilarity of someone else's life is on the last BART train home on a Friday or Saturday night. There is a certain magic that happens on that rolling drunk tank that makes it unlike anywhere else. The alcohol has been going in people's systems all night long, and now the words -- and sometimes bodily fluids -- are coming out. And although I have overheard hundreds of funny stories on the drunk train, nothing will compare to the actions of one man, and his epic quest to find out once and for all, "What station are we at?"

click to enlarge What station we at? - MARK ROY

It was the last train home and this guy had obviously had a little too much to drink. He was stumbling around looking perplexed, trying to trace the train lines on the wall map. He had a friend on the phone and it seemed like they were trying to coordinate a meet-up. That's when he got right in another rider's face and half-shouted, "Do you know what station we're at?" The man he asked jumped back with a disgusted look on his face while waving a hand in front of his nose in a desperate attempt to rid their air of the man's breath.

Frustrated, he turned to the entire train for the answer. "What station are we at?!" he asked the train while making some weird swallowing noises. "Embarcadero" someone said. "What!?" he shouted back, approaching the rider who spoke up. "Embarcadero" they repeated for him. "No, what station are we at?!" he cried out again, this time looking up to the heavens for an answer.

At this point the BART train started to slow down as it approached the next station. The change in speed knocked him over and he crashed right into the train doors. That's when he started puking all over himself, the floor, and his phone. "What ... station ... are we at?" he sobbed, right as the doors opened and the train operator announced over the P.A. system: "Embarcadero. Embarcadero station."

It's memories like these that make it absolutely imperative you turn off your iPod from time to time and eavesdrop on your fellow BART commuters.

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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.


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