I could use this PREMIERE FIRST-EVER GRAND OPENING FREE CRAB RANGOON WITH THE PURCHASE OF ANY DINNER ENTREE post to describe the effervescent personality, the razor-strop wit, and the dyspeptic charm of The Stranger: whose round pear-shaped tones titillate you with I’m sorry I can’t finish this sentence because I have to laugh at the word titillate. Excuse me.
But you won’t get anything out of me, copper. I’m no stoolie, see?
What do you really need to know about me? Besides that I defy the laws of physics on mere whim, have been known to sometimes control weather and traffic lights with my mind, and still cannot deign the true nature of this intricate universe, the mysteries of the origins of life as we know it, and why that chick says she likes me but then gets all weird when I go to put my hand in her shirt.
What I really want to know (and by extension, the rest of you interested in me), is all about this fine little moisture-farm community, San Francisco (or as I read on one mailer, ‘San Francocaus’).
It’s the town where morning=trash smell, midday=sweet Chinese bakery smell, and nighttime=spent condom smell. Where you’re lucky if all you’ve stepped in each day is dogshit! The most clear example that the hippie generation accomplished nothing further than the reclamation of authoritative society into subversive counter-culture, which itself was reclaimed into demeaning covers for auto ads and ice cream flavors. San Francisco, the town where Sam Spade’s partner was gunned down in the street, where Mark Twain attempted suicide, where Jack Kerouac came to get away from it all and Jack London couldn’t wait to get away from.
Home of Craig’s List. And though lesser known, also home to Craig’s Shitty Stereo, Craig’s Ikea Furniture, and Craig’s Bonsai Tree.
Most people on the street (not to be confused with ‘street people’) are rich and haughty, and won’t give you the time of day. Fortunately for you, in case you hadn’t noticed, the pocket watch of old has been replaced by the cell phone, complete with a digital sundial. See? You don’t need other people. Just me. I’ll get you through this technophobic crisis.
Visit the sparkling Pacific Ocean, voted second greatest ocean before Atlantic and after Indian by Zagat’s three years running!
Visit the bay, Otis Redding-recommended, Jesse Fuller-approved!
Visit the precarious bridges, built by precarious natives!
Visit the Full House house! It’s full!
Visit the Metreon, wtf is up with that shit?
Visit the glorious Coit Tower, one of if not the tastiest towers in the continental United States!
Visit San Jose, it’s just down the way!
Visit the Wetzel Pretzel, who’s going to stop you?!
Visit beauteous Golden Gate Park, where if the coyotes don’t get you, vice squad will.
Visit more art museums than you can shake a stick at! (If that’s your idea of a good time.)
Be nice to the homeless about half of the time, because about only half of them are homeless. If they don’t like them odds, they can take it up with the homeowner’s association.
Find your dude or get your card, because walking up Haight will only get you burned. Ah, to be nineteen again!
Be aware of your surroundings, make mental note of where seagulls and pigeons regularly whitewash, where everything else yellowwashes, and who around you carries a knife.
Carry a knife.
Meet some cool people. It is surprisingly easy, or maybe that’s just me. I’ve always been good at that, though I’ve never been good with names.
In short, the sweet industrial sea of skyscrapers reminds me of Cincinnati. The confusion and bustle (though arguably more hustle) reminds me of Phoenix. The fluttering flood of flying forgotten flotsam reminds me of Pittsburgh. Those smells you don’t know but you know you would know them if you could smell them individually, and the only thing you do know is that you don’t want to do that, reminds me of New Orleans. Some of you remind me of L.A., try to work on that. But most of all, it reminds me of San Francisco, a place for which I have no mental frame of reference. Like the stupid leading the blind, or attempting to think like a bat, or trying to remember Spanish based on high school-level foreign language classes: truly I feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land. I’ll either fit right in, or die trying.