Wednesday, April 13, 2005

San Francisco Notes

I just got back from San Francisco. It is an absurdly beautiful town.

The cab driver who took us into the city was from Afghanistan. He said that Afghanistan should be adopted as the 51st state. He also said he is considering a visit there (he hasn’t been back since he fled the Soviets in 79). I asked him if he thought it was safe and he said “of course it is. The President let the first lady go there.”

We had our three year old and our two month old with us so we were somewhat limited as to what we could do (I can just imagine the looks if we had dragged them through the MOMA), but we still went hiking in Marin, ate at our favorite Peruvian restaurant and my wife took the kids to the beach at Crissy Field.

I did not go to the beach. I refused, and I’ll tell you why.

When we lived in San Francisco the closest beach to our house was at Crissy Field (which used to be a military installation but is now a stunning bayside park). Three experiences caused me to sour on that unholy strip of sand:

1) One time while we were sitting on the beach, a homeless person dropped his filthy backpack about ten feet from us. We were downwind from him and the smell coming off the guy was not pleasant. Then he began to take off his clothes. It took a while because homeless people wear a lot of layers. He stopped at his boxers (they were probably too sticky to take off) and then he went swimming. Now, I would never begrudge a homeless person a nice refreshing dip in the bay, and he had as much right to be there as we did, but ooooh the stench. He smelled like the fart of a corpse whose last meal had been Indian food.

2) There are always naked kids running around there as well. Now, I know that the human body is a beautiful thing and that a naked child is the very picture of innocence . . . but could you please throw some trunks on your damn kid, you idiot yuppie new-agers? No one wants to see your kid’s ass (insert your own inappropriate Michael Jackson joke here). It was bad enough when they were two or three year olds but one time there was a kid camped out on a towel right next to us who must have been at least six or seven and he was as naked as the day he was born. His name, not surprisingly, was “Arlo.” My boy liked to make big piles of sand and that day we heaped up a mound of Babylonian proportions. When we were done Arlo climbed up on top of it and slid down. As he did so two things happened: a) he gave himself a sand colonic, and b) he made an ass crease down the length of the pile. My boy’s sand pile had been rendered unhygienic and we had to go home.

3) San Francisco has been overrun with dogs, and Crissy Field is no exception. The last time I went to Crissy Field my boy was playing in the water when a dog ran in and took a shit right next to him. There it was, a big brown buoy bobbing up and down, and the dog’s owners pretended that they had seen nothing. One half step to the right and the turd would be sticking to the scion of my family. So we moved down the beach away from the reeking peril and sat down upon the sand once again. About ninety seconds later another dog approached, lifted his leg, and pissed all over our towel.

That was it. If my wife wants to go to Crissy Field she can go by herself.

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