San Franciscans face a paradoxical difficulty when faced with this week’s Challenge: in this city, the unexpected is all we expect, and only the expected is unexpected! So I have to ask myself: what would a visitor not expect to see?
I certainly did not expect to see this when I first moved here in 1982:
Those danged vehicles ruin the effect; the Tiger House (located in between the Upper Haight and Cole Valley) features such good trompe l’oeil that upon first glance the cute cuddly little critter can look quite real after each restoration. The paint job has been around since before I moved here in 1982, so a lot of money and paint has gone into the maintenance.
But the most unexpected things I’ve seen and heard recently were not photographable, with the possible exception of the tip jar at a food truck with the message “FEAR CHANGE: Leave It With Us.”
First I heard this snippet, and this was all I heard of the conversation: she said, “Office negativity is so less stressful when you’re in your pajamas.”
Then there was this other guy.
I was following a pair of young gentlemen on my way to the Rainbow Grocery when I suddenly realized that I had approached too closely.
MUCH too closely. Witnesses who overhear this sort of speech tend not to live long:
“So this one f—– has his gun on me, and I have my gun on the other f—–, but he’s using Natalie as a human shield, so I can’t do s—, when Trevor, who’s got his head up his a– as usual, just walks in not knowing what the h— is going on, and the guy with his gun on me draws down on Trevor, so I pop him, and the guy who’s got Natalie tries to pop me, but Trevor, that m—– f——, shoots him through Natalie!! I mean the first bullet explodes her HEAD and goes into his chest and Trevor keeps popping until they’re BOTH dead, and he turns to me and says ‘Too bad ’bout Nat, huh?’ and then he f—ing laughs, that pr—, and then he blames me for the all the s— gone down! He–blames–ME!!
“So we’re like this close to shooting it out right then and there, I mean, I am SICK of that crazy m—– f—–, but then he tells me he’s got this one last job worth like forty million, I don’t know, and he needs my skills, and after this we can both retire, ’nuff money for two lifetimes, and I decide like, OK, I’m gonna do it, but then I’m gonna pop that m—– f—–, f—ing POP him, but I know he’s gonna try’n pop me, too, but I know how to get to him first, he gonna die ‘fore he knows what happened and I will take his money and leave the country…”
Meanwhile, at that particular moment I felt that I had gotten too close this particular conversation and I rather needed to hear one particular tiny little detail…
“…so after all that s— went down, I saved my progress and went into Sniper Mode, which is totally beautiful, you have got to check out this game, man…”
…and that was the particular little detail I needed to hear. Not what I expected, but it was what I wanted.
Vonn Scott Bair