$2 Ride in Hell: The Dirty 38 Geary

When you’re a young and curious broke ass, coming up with $2 and stepping onto the SF MUNI can be a very thrilling and sexual experience. But the thing to remember is you have to make sure you’re ready for this responsibility. When two people love each other very much, they sometimes have urges to ride the MUNI; however, it’s very important to be sure you’ve prepared yourself for this encounter. True, you may see a total fox that’s eyeing you from across the aisle, but sometimes you may see a homeless person with their hand down their pants. The real beauty is you never really know which it’s going to be. But more often than not, it’s Big Reggie smiling at you with a toothless grin.

There is one bus line in particular that really makes me want to drive needles through my eyeballs to guarantee I will never have to witness such painful images again. When I first moved to this city, I was working late in the Financial District. Every night at 11:30pm, I’d catch the 38 (or the Dirty-8 if you will), which goes through the Tenderloin on its way to Ocean Beach. You may think that at this time of night, things would have slowed down and you could actually score a seat in this tin can full of broken dreams. Think again.

One night really stands out in my mind. I was looking at a scrubby man sitting a couple of feet away from me. I was thinking about his life, his past and how frustrating it must feel to be a human being with nowhere to turn and no one there to give you a chance. Immediately, my thought process was interrupted when he reached into his shirt and started scratching with a vengeance. He then pulled his hand out, picked underneath his fingernails and flicked whatever it was that he found onto the floor of the bus. When we reached his stop, he made sure to touch every pole before exiting (this is why it’s important to always wash your bus hands).

Another time, I was sitting near a group of young girls in the back. They were laughing, being super cute and made me remember how fun and innocent middle school was. Then, a mother and her daughter stepped on the bus and worked their way towards the back to get some empty seats. The mother accidentally nudged the foot of one of the girls from the group with hers, and that’s when they all started screaming and cussing her out while she sat there silent and terrified the entire time. It actually got to the point where they were telling the lady’s daughter that her mom was an “ugly bitch” and they were going to throw her “old ass in front of the bus.”

Between these horrifying events, countless people shamelessly vomiting and the jars of urine rolling around underneath the seats, I’d have to say this bus line may have been invented by the devil himself. There are plenty of options to protect yourself, but the only way to truly prevent these experiences is 100% abstinence from the 38 Geary. I trust you’ll make the right decision.

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About the author

Ryan Miller- Depleted Resource Analyst

Ryan Miller was raised in a small, quaint village named Portland, Oregon before spontaneously packing two suitcases, scrounging up $300 and catching a flight to San Francisco. Judging from his garbage, he is a connoisseur of Sun Chips and rather inexpensive wine. His personal goals are to refrain from hailing and accepting rides in random cars as well as greatly reduce the amount of hugs he provides for the homeless community. While touring Jamaica and prompted for his opinion on the prevalence of TB in third world countries, Miller eagerly asked, "They have Taco Bell here?"
  • Dini

    LOL – I love it! I can’t stop laughing!Very well-written! When is the next party bus Stu? :)

  • Elan Gaite

    Although I find this article very witty and charming I cannot help but feel a raging anger in the pit of my swelled belly. I ride this bus often and me and my wife met and got married on this bus. The marriage only lasted two weeks, but that is besides the point. Abstinence is for pussies and I do not use this term lightly or light flow or light showingly. I like to dance. Is this casual encounters? Sorry, I will post in the proper area next time. Please don’t fag me.

    • Ryan Miller- Depleted Resource Analyst

      Hey Elan,
      I was riding for your ceremony and it was beautiful. I’m still sorry things didn’t work out between you and Bruce, she was stunning in that dress and we’ll never know why she took your money and ran off to Puerto Villarta. That’s what this post is really about, I’ve seen too many marriages on the 38 end in divorce and it’s a tragedy. Hang in there buddy.

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  • http://www.busienssthree0.com Michael Zeuthen

    Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanmilesmiller

  • http://www.youfoundthecard.com Alan Scott

    I’m certain it is child’s play compared to the route 5 in Minneapolis. Though at least the drunks have the decency to ask the driver to stop so they can take a leak. Getting on the bus afterwards, however…

    • http://brokeassstuart.com Broke-Ass Stuart – Editor In Cheap

      people piss themselves on the bus here for sure.

  • johnny Blackwell

    I remember riding the 38 late night when I used to live at 25th and Geary. It was late and the bus became even more deserted the farther we got in the Richmond. Soon it was only me and one older guy in the back of bus. All of a sudden I see a cloud of smoke next to me. I laughed thinking it was funny how this old guy was toking up in the back of the bus. Then I smelled the smoke, it wasn’t the sweet smell of weed, but rather a nasty chemical smell. Motherfucker was smoking crack like 2 feet behind me. Thank god i was only 2 blocks from my house.

  • Randy

    Good article. I drive but use the Underground, #1, M, L on occasion, so I’m not captive to the vagaries of the transportation infrastructure of a “transit first” such as San Francisco. I can put up with most things except smell. The 38, a long line, has always been a steady articulator workhorse, and probably has a fair ridership compared to most lines. So you’re going to see a lot as it cuts across all the areas, downtown, TL, Western Addition, Masonic, Richmond. Another main gripe I have is that Muni is unreliable at night and for special events. I also ride the express to Candlestick at $10 a pop for a 40 minute ride, WAY over-priced.

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