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Bus Ride Home

So on the way home from the closing of "Clue" at SF Playhouse last night, loaded down with cards and all the crap I had in my dressing room, I get on the 38 Geary bus and notice something is amiss. It seems very crowded at first, but once I get on I notice that while the front and back are packed there is a bubble of space in the middle. This is because of a young-ish man screaming at everyone, brandishing a staple gun like a weapon, and banging some kinda short steel spike on everything he can reach. Everyone else is quiet, and scared as he screams "Everybody better back-off, or I will shoot you," pointing the staple gun at people.

Everyone is scared into silence.

So of course I say something.

"Wait - you're threatening to shoot people with a staple gun?"

"Shut the fuck up! I'm fully loaded!"

I resist the obvious temptation to say "With staples?" and instead make my way towards him through the crowd. He keeps screaming for people to stay back, and there is one terrified woman who is one the edge of the crowd nearest him. He's still banging his spike and screaming threats. so I go up to the woman nearest him and politely ask if I can get by her. This puts me closest to him, between him and her. I'm holding a flower, a buncha cards, a water bottle, and my shoulder bag while edging towards this guy. The people in the seats around us get up and leave, and It's now him and me standing in the middle of the bus. Everyone is silent. His reaction to this tension is to scream "Get back, motherfucker!" My reaction is to not get back, but to instead plop down on a newly vacated seat, facing him. I'm more worried about the spike, but it's in his left hand, and he looks right handed by the way he holds the staple gun, so I figure he not going to be super adroit with his left. The only real thing I have to worry about is the staple gun and my eyes, but staples don't really fly very well, and he'll probably overly rely on the threat of the staple gun rather than it's actual use as a weapon. (Now you might also think I had given up a tactical advantage by sitting, and I did think about this, but in a moving bus I figured this would give me more stability.)

At this point I notice that there is, like, too much silence. This is because the bus has stopped. The back doors suddenly open, and the Bus Driver comes on.

"What is going on here?" the Driver demands, but no one says anything. I look at all the terrified faces and think these people have been on this bus for how long with this guy and no one is going to say anything? I just got on ninety seconds ago!

"So there is no problem?" the Driver says as he starts to exit.

"Actually.... there is." I say.

"Are you the problem?" he asks.

"Nope, it's the guy right there, threatening to shoot people with a staple gun." By now the guy has sat down, and is trying to hide the gun in a bag.

"Get off the bus!' the Driver shouts at him.

"I didn't do anything!" Staple Gun Man whimpers, having gone from Tyrant King of the 38 Geary to shivering puddle.

"OFF!" the Driver says, and the guy leaps to his feet, shoves the Driver onto me, and bolts out the back door.

The Driver gets off me, makes sure the guy is gone, apologizes to me - I guess for being pushed onto me - and goes back to the front of the bus. The people around me thank me for speaking up, ask if I'm alright, I tell them I'm fine. Another guy seated nearby starts talking about how he was ready to take the guy out if he hurt anybody, and I say by then it would have been too late. I wanted to make sure that if anyone was going to get hurt it was going to be me first. Then it would be Staple Gun Man...

I'm sure people on the bus were wondering why I would be so seemingly reckless in the face of an obviously dangerous, threatening person.

What they didn't know was that I'm an actor, and I just finished doing a murder mystery. I've been dealing with this shit for weeks.

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