Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Video Camera Dads"

They are everywhere. They invade little league fields, tourist spots, living rooms on Christmas morning and anywhere else they are tolerated before getting a swift kick to the groin. They are Video Camera Dads.
I’ve never quite understood why they insist on video taping every freakin’ moment of life. Maybe they think their far-from riveting production will be enjoyed in households across America, but they are rarely enjoyed in their own household.
We’ve all been over to peoples’ houses and are enjoying a great evening when the words of death are heard - “You’ve got to see the footage from our trip to Montana…” You then quickly grab another piece of chicken and then proceed to fake-choke in attempts to get out of the impending misery.
During a recent trip to Europe I was at the St. Peters Basilica in Rome. It is one of the most magnificent structures in the world with beautiful art and sculptures that attract people from all over. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty of it and only an annoying video camera Dad could take me out of my awe. And sure enough there was one. Here is about how his narration went as the imbecile looked through the viewer. I stood there and listened in amazement.
“There is a door, that is the ceiling, there is the window, that is the floor…” –are you kidding me? Who is watching these things? He also made sure to pause on each interior fixture such as the doorway just so the audience could really get a feel for it in case they’d never seen a door, wall or ceiling before. The guy travels 6,000 miles, pays $200 for entrance for his family, ignores the work of Michelangelo, all so he can tape a blank wall. Makes perfect sense.
The guy will go home and say to his wife, “you know I didn’t feel like I was there and don’t think I really saw everything there was to see. Lets re-watch the tape so we really feel like we were there.” Uh, you were there! If the guy spent one-third of the time actually observing what was there to offer instead of taping the floor he might have actually got something out of the trip.
I have no doubt that eventually he got to the statue of David or the Mona Lisa, or whatever tourist place he was, but he’ll send his family and friends into a sleep-inducing coma caused by forty-four minutes of walls with nothing on them with his boring narrating well before they get to see any real history.
“Well at least we can relive our experience over and over on VHS tape,” the guy will attempt to tell his houseguests as they drool all over his couches that he video taped for hours after bringing them home from Z-gallery six months ago.
These Neanderthals also find it comical to videotape absolutely nothing. They’ll focus in on an unwilling subject for fif-teen minutes and find it completely comical when the person tells them to take a hike, then proceeds to sit there while the camera keeps rolling as they keep prodding the person to do or say something funny on command. “This is my best work,” the video camera Dad will think to himself as the subject tells him to F off a few times then slams the camera to ground and gives the video camera dad a swift shot to the nuts.
Before you start getting irrational and start stalking, tackling and maiming these video camera ignoramus creatures, keep in mind they do not know any better. If you see them politely tell them they’ve gone astray. If they don’t listen then you can strategically remove the camera from their grips and their families will thank you. The world will also become a more exciting, fun place thanks to your efforts.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"A Harmonious Blend of S.F. Misfits"

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that San Francisco, though amazingly spectacular in many rights is a harmonious blend of the world’s biggest cut-throats, rejects and potentially insane. They all exist in perfect comity to co-exist no matter what type of language, race, sexual preference or whether you are just a glue sniffing, three-legged-cross-dressing, swashbuckling, ballerina dancing, alien believing, opium smoking, art gallery visiting, clam chowder eating, going green recycling, save the pigmy marmoset picketing, anti-war rioting, sideways snorkeling, god faring… human being.

It not only is downright crazy, it’s truly astounding. In towns all over the country many of these previously determined itinerant outcasts have been ostracized, beat up, laughed at or downright banned. In San Francisco, not only are they completely accepted – these inscrutable lunatics are freakin’ celebrities! It appears that the more peculiar you are, the more accepted and popular you are in this town!

My theory came to a complete culmination this past weekend at the Haight Street fair. Haight street is infamous all over the world for being a hippiesh, anything goes type of area and my white, Marin-raised, frat boy roots were wandering into dangerous uncharted water like a customer wandering into a 7-11 without an interpreter.

It was either the six-foot-nine Dennis Rodman look alike dressed in high heels and a tight purple skirt dancing to Death Techno or the gentlemen pictured below dawning a tidied shirt, Jesus sandals and a pair of jean shorts too tight to fit even a nine-year old anorexic schoolgirl that made me come to my ignorant conclusions. (This Rodman wannabe busted my hypothetical cherry for a large man dressed in drag, but then again this was my first Death Techno concert as well so who’s counting?)

These nonsensical creatures of lunacy at first made me want to vomit on my funnel cake, but after careful deliberation and several minutes of jaw-gaping astonishment on my part I began to search the crowd, my eyes darting too and fro in a desperate attempt to find more inscrutable misfits capable of satisfying my insatiable urges for eccentricity. It actually was kind of refreshing to be in a scene where people just don’t give a f#@* (expletive). They are who they are and granted I would prefer not seeing two guys dressed up as snoopy characters making out, but if Brandon Walsh never made manager at the Peach Pit on Beverly Hills 90210 then why should I get what I want? The way I figure, as far as these normal citizens are concerned, if I don’t like it…I can take a hike. Because then again – they are celebrities in this town and the normalcy that is formally known as myself is merely an inscrutable misfit just trying to find an identity…

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"The Move In"

It is difficult enough to go through a strenuous move into a new apartment in San Francisco, but it is even more difficult with scantily dressed drunk girls everywhere. Don’t get me wrong, some of my friends have actually driven up to fifty miles just at the slight rumor of a drunken young gamine, but trying to move during these circumstances was like trying to diligently follow a calculus lesson during the Hooter’s Swimsuit pageant. Sidestepping a pool of vomit near our box of clean plates and cutlery while trying to maneuver a one hundred pound couch I felt like Reggie Bush carrying a wounded ox. Just as I gingerly did a tap-dance-juke, keeping my fresh pair of shoes from becoming the vomit’s next victim while balancing the couch a drunken passerby shouted some desultory remarks resembling something to the extent of what idiots move during Union Street Fair? Before giving either of us a chance to defend our daft decision making due to his short term memory forgetting he even asked the question, the inebriated sot let out a drunken bellow of “Union Street Fair. Whoo…” Both of his hands shot into the the air causing his beverage to splash hastily all over himself and almost onto our couch. At the time I didn’t think much of it but apparently this tippler was actually giving us the official yell of the Union street fair. Although each following variation we heard from other loaded partiers were slightly different due to the level of their intoxication, they seemed to follow the same basic principal. Each included something about the Union Street Fair, some sort of celebratory chant or scream and usually involved the spillage of some sort of beverage all over their person.

Unfortunately neither myself nor my roommate Tony bothered to check any sort of calendar, otherwise we would have chosen our move in date differently. After a few items had been moved we realized we needed to expedite the process so we too could yell slurred obscenities and spill alcohol all over ourselves.

After finally finishing our move and dropping our U-haul off at a liquor store near the projects of all places we were ready to hit the fair. I’m still unclear on how U-haul came up with the marketing plan of leasing trucks through a liquor store but I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a team Harvard marketing graduates partnering with Mothers Against Drunk Driving come up with the plan.

“Here you go sir, third truck on the right. The clutch sticks a bit and the FM radio doesn’t work, but we’ve left a fresh box of St. Ides forties in the passenger seat for your troubles…on us – really just one of the great advantageous of the U-Haul-Pablo’s Liquor Store partnership.”

What’s next? Hertz Rental car and Jimmy Joe the crack dealer teaming up?

We headed out to the fair, just a block from our place about nine hours later than most of the partiers had starting drinking and it was absolute total chaos. At one point when just standing observing the drunken disaster a cop confronted an intoxicated guy drinking a 22-ounce Coors Light in a can. In any other city I’ve lived in, this drunk-ass (sorry I used up all the other intelligent sounding vocabulary words for drunkard in this entry), would have been cuffed, pepper sprayed and given a generous cavity search with a rubber glove for drinking an open container, but I watched in amazement as something I’d never seen before happened. The cop actually asked the guy to get rid of the can. She didn’t swipe it from him, threaten him, or beat him senseless with her billy club like I expected. She actually asked him politely if he would get rid of his beer. Amazing, I thought expecting the guy to politely cooperate and thank god for getting off so easy but instead the moron started pounding his beer right in front of her! And still, there was no senseless beating or mace to the face. The cop actually tried to pull the can away from the moron’s catlike grasps but was not successful as he kept pounding away. The moron’s girlfriend started to get involved by yelling at her idiot boyfriend and trying to assure the cop that he really is a decent god-faring individual. The guy finally finished his fraternity house hazing-like gulp and then tried to reason with the cop to let him finish the beer.

Finally after the cop started to finally get a little agitated the moron’s girlfriend had to reason with the cop to let him off the hook. I’m sure she reasoned that being with the moron was probably punishment enough let alone having to bail the loser out of jail. The cop agreed and took off to leave the girlfriend to bitch out her stupid boyfriend.

Drunken Idiots 1, Cops 0

I think I am going to like this place…