("There and Back Again" is an epic, multi-part article series posting this week to recap BABScon from this past weekend. Tune in every day this week for a new installment.)
It was early Sunday Morning that a group of 12 slightly-hungover people, composed of Capper General, PonyToast, Super Kami Guru, Based Anon, Flash Sentry, Deimos Foxx, and other agents of the interwebs sought to complete two tasks: To get Chinese Food from Chinatown, and to see the Golden Gate Bridge. And so, the Fellowship of the Golden Gates was born.
|You have my sword.|
QUESTETH THE FIRST: TO EAT OF THE CHINESE FOOD
After a nice trip on the CalTrain (Not affiliated with Calpain), our fine heroes entered downtown San Fransisco with a song in their heart and a pounding in their nethers. Toast, who was flat broke, borrowed the first of many sheckels from the group, and bought water at a Walgreens. Then the fellows were off to a bus to take them into chinatown. This was our heroes first encounter with...
|The 30 Bus, seen here in its natural habitat: killing people.|
The 30 bus took our heroes to a Chinese food restaurant of questionable origin. After deciding on dishes and how to pay (In which Toast borrowed even more sheckels, putting up his left toe as collateral), a meal was had.
Shortly thereafter, the anons saw a bridge in the distance.
"Is that the golden gate bridge?" Flash asked.
"No, the Golden Gate is red," Toast replied.
"Maybe they forgot to paint it," another anon asked.
But yea, it was not the Golden Gate. So our anons were faced with a choice: Either seek out the Golden Gate bridge or try to find a titty bar. By some stroke of stupidity, they chose the former.
QUESTETH THE SECOND: TO SEE THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
After making this decision, the Fellowship sought a map, which told them that they would need to take the 45 to the 27 to Golden Gate Park. After being unsuccessful in locating the bus that was sought, they asked a local.
This was their first mistake.
"Okay," says the local, when Based Anon inquired about how to get to the bridge, "Go down this street to Broadway, take a left, head to the 45. Take the 45 to Findlay street, then get off and cross the park to Washington. From there it's all downhill to the 75, which goes right to the marina, where you will have the absolutely best view of the bridge."
Our fellowship, their courage renewed, sought out the bus. They found it after some walking in circles, and boarded to. Getting off and crossing to Washington park, they started downhill. On the way, they noticed a bus crossing their path.
The 30 Bus drove past, taunting them.
|Y hlo thar|
"Well, at least we know how to get back to the train station," Capper remarked. And how true: it would simply be a matter of retracing to the 30 bus stop and taking it right to the station.
At the bottom of the hill, our heroes found a dead end, and were unsure why. Locating a map, they discovered that the local had lied. They were going the wrong direction.
Retracing back, they headed back up the steep hill to the broadway bus stop and looked for the 75. They found it and asked if it went to the marina. "Yeah, but it's just two block down. this is my last stop," the driver sneered.
Exhausted, the heroes started toward the marina on foot. The 75 drove past them and stopped at the marina. Another local had lied off his ass!
Grumbling, they went to cross the street and froze. There, crossing their path, once again, was the 30 bus.
|Seen here, under police investigation for murder, arson, robbery, rape, terrorism, and making an illegal left.|
Sighing with defeat, the anons finally made it to the marina. While they passed a golden retriever shitting and some kid flying a dumb kite, they looked out across the water at what the local had called "The best view of the bridge."
|Pictured: "The best view of the bridge"|
Yes, the local had lied again. The Bridge, barely visible against the sky, was too far to care about. The anons sat with their toes in the water for a bit before deciding it was time to go home. "Here at last," Capper said, showing how much of a nerd he is, "on the shores of the sea, comes the end of our Fellowship."
But this was not the case.
QUESTETH THE THIRD: TO RETURN TO THE HOTEL
Upon re-ascending the hill toward the 30 bus stop, our heroes discovered that there was no 30 bus stop. Two 30 buses came past and did not stop. Knowing they would be lied to, but trying anyway for fear of loss of everything ever, they asked a stopped bus driver where the stop was. She pointed to a pole on the other side of the street. upon inspection, sure enough, it read "BUS STOP 30".
|A pole which, Deimos observed, would be very good at stopping buses.|
Boarding the bus, our tired fellows sat for another hour as the 30 bus traipsed through the city, passing every single point along their journey at least once, finally depositing them at the train depot. Our heroes, exhausted but victorious, boarded the train and took one long last look at their enemy.
|As it drove away it reminded them THERE IS NO GOD.|
To top it off, the Wall Street Journal enquirer article on the newsstand read "Yes, it does feel like we've been here before."
And so our heroes journey here came to an end; a journey not to be forgotten by the 9 who returned (3 anons were lost along the way and never seen again). The 30 bus, however, still lives. It also now has a twitter.