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I Must Be In San Francisco: That’s a Strange Place To Put On Your Pants

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I’ve been on a lot of  trains in my day, and I’ve seen a lot of strange things on trains.  Everything from the roaming 3 card monte games on the Chicago El to the (more common than you’d think) concealed vomiting on the New York subway.  I saw something completely new on San Francisco’s light rail, though.

I was doing a reverse commute, heading downtown just at the beginning of rush hour.  The train was mildly crowded and I sat down on the outer seat of a 2-seat bench by woman in her early 20s.  I was listening to an audio book and not paying a ton of attention, when I suddenly felt the urge to duck my head.

The young lady was taking off her coat and appeared to be rearranging the layers of her  coat/sweater/shirt.  Not a big deal.  I’ve been in San Francisco long enough to know that the temperature tends to start dropping around 5pm and a change of gear isn’t a bad idea.  She keeps on with that and I keep on listening to my book.

Less than five minutes later, I glance up and there’s a guy with a Whole Foods bag standing by the train door and staring at me with a look of shock and maybe just a touch of horror.  Then I noticed a typical San Francisco skater dude: ~19, sideways cap, over-stuffed backpack, taking hits of a liter bottle of Dr. Pepper.  Skater dude is staring at me and his eyes are bulging.  If he was over 40, I’d have thought he was having a stroke.

At that point, I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and realized I wasn’t what they were staring at.  I glanced to my side and the young lady next to me had her knees up in the air and she was… putting on her pants?

Now that probably isn’t as bad as it sounds.  She’d been wearing sweatpants and was putting on a pair of black slacks over them.  It was still quite the acrobatic display and I’m not entirely sure either gentleman, especially the skater dude (who may have been too over-stimulated to breathe), could tell she already sweats on.  It may well have looked like she hadn’t been wearing any pants at all and she was putting them on in relatively dramatic fashion.  It’s hard to tell what those two guys thought we’d been doing, and it probably didn’t look any better that I had a full-length stick umbrella in my hand, at the time.

Pants now buttoned, the young lady scooted out as the train hit the next stop.  Since the final ensemble was a white shirt and black pants, I’m going to take a wild guess and say she was off to a bartender or waitress gig.

Still, that has got to be the strangest place I’ve ever personally witnessed someone putting on their pants.  On the other hand, with the skater dude’s partially obscured view, my legendary status has probably already been conveyed to his friends.  This was all probably a great example of how rumors get started.

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