Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Welcome to San Francisco

[Note: This post reminds me of, and therefore is an accidental homage to, Brandon's writing style, though of course, I am a far less talented writer. And this post is far more ironic in its selection of music.]

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there.

In 1999, I visited San Francisco to see some good friends of mine. It was the first time I had gone there without the express purpose of seeing relatives. (In fact, I made a conscious effort to avoid calling my uncle who lives in the area.)

As Ross and I were walking out of the gate area (this was before 9/11, after all, when guests could be met at the gates), a man in a suit, obviously in a hurry, came running past me. His running looked out of place because he seemed a bit bogged down by his carry-ons.

As he brushed past me, a cell phone fell to the floor.

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There's a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion

My immediate reaction kicked in, which was to pick up the phone and start going after the guy who ran past. After all, it was logical to believe that the phone belonged to him, and it had been jarred loose from a belt clip when he bumped me on his way past.

I did that quick goose-step you take when you first launch from a leisurely walking pace to a faster pace, at which point a man just behind me and to my left called out, "Hey, that's actually my phone."

"Oh," I responded, halting my intended acceleration. "Sorry. Here you go." I handed him his phone back.

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there.

In the meantime, two old ladies who were also in the immediate vicinity had already drawn their own conclusions about me. "Did you see that?" one of them haughtily commented, loudly enough that I could hear her. (In fact, I think she intended that I hear her.) "He tried to steal that cell phone!"

"Uh, no," I politely told her. "I thought it belonged to that man who ran by."

"A likely story," she spat back, dismissively.

She wasn't about to listen to logic, so I didn't bother trying to further convince her of the sheer idiocy of her assessment. I guess in her world, all it takes to stop a guy from snatching her purse is to say to would-be snatcher, "That's mine," because people who try to STEAL other people's belongings naturally terminate that endeavor in face of a claim of, I dunno, ACTUAL OWNERSHIP. "Whatever," I told her. "Oh... and fuck you." And I walked away.

She's lucky I didn't actually articulate the other four-letter word I had come up with to describe her. Let's just say it rhymed with runt.

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there.

[Song lyrics: San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair), performed by Scott McKenzie]


kat said...

i'm not sure that brandon would use the word "fuck" in any of his posts. (actually, that's not true - he used it once pretty recently and i remember being very surprised.)

either way, it's a great story. i was sitting next to an old lady on the plane from philly to DC yesterday, and she did nothing but elbow me in the side the whole time. but she rhymes with "punt."

Steve said...

Ouch! Good for you, however, you should've added the 'C' word after you said the other stuff... just for good measure. What a bitch.

Jon said...

People are too quick to judge. Doesn't matter what coast you are on, or what country you're in- that was a huge assumption that woman made. But, it made her look like an ass in the end ;)

ducklet said...

that is a very funny story. i love scenes where you try to explain your way out of something to someone who clearly doesn't believe you. classic.

(i tried to insert a curse word, but just couldn't do it...)

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