Several months ago, I had to go downtown to the Stockton street Apple Store (one of three in San Francisco) to ask about a computer problem during my lunch break. Now Muni does not allow dogs on its cars except for service dogs. However a man embarked the Civic Center station with an absolute beast. Four feet tall at the shoulder, six feet long, not counting the tail.
A passenger said, “Man you can’t bring that Siberian Husky on the train.”
“Don’t worry, it’s OK, no problem. This is not a dog. He’s a Timber Wolf.”
That is a really, really good way to get everyone’s attention. Especially mine, since wolves have very large heads, even larger jaws, and these even larger jaws were very close to a pair of very special parts of me.
His human told us all that his wolf was “completely tame.” No. Tractable like cheetahs, maybe, but not tame. It did let us pet its head and it did sit on command, but make no mistake, a wolf is not a dog. Wolves do not enjoy humans. This wolf did not enjoy us, not with its massive head lowered and looking at the floor of the Muni car, not with its body absolutely still. I know that anthropomorphism is a dangerous thing, but in my eyes his body language screamed sullenness. If I read his mind correctly, the wolf was thinking, “Anywhere but here. Anywhere but here.”
But it was not a dog. So it was OK to bring it on Muni.
Hearing the call of the wild (new episode of “Being Human” in a few minutes), I remain,
Vonn Scott Bair
Photo Taken 6/29/2007 at 6:15:45 p.m. with a Nikon Coolpix 4300
Quite the large crowd, isn’t it? Doesn’t it make you wonder exactly who the superstar, the big-time celebrity, might be? Is it San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana? Giants legend Willie Mays? A surviving member of the Grateful Dead? A Hollywood megastar? Former President of the United States Bill Clinton? The reincarnation of legendary 19th Century icon Norton I, Emperor of these United States of America and Protector of Mexico? Take a moment to study the picture to see if you can locate and identify the celebrity in question, and then scroll down for clues and the answer. I hope you will find the puzzle amusing.
Vonn Scott Bair
First clue: you already know that it must take place in San Francisco; after all, this is The San Francisco Seen. You also know the date and time.
Second clue: look at the reflections in the glass. Among other things, you will see the words Stockton, Ross Dress for Less, and Megastore. San Franciscans will recognize at once that the location is Stockton and Market Street, across from the shuttered Virgin Megastore and the Ross discount clothing store.
Third clue: look at the point at which all of the cameras and heads are pointed. It is below the second vertical line from the left at the top of the picture.
Final clue: the vertical lines at the top of the photograph can mean only thing–this is the front of the Stockton Street Apple Store.
Therefore, this huge crowd has not gathered for a glimpse and/or photograph of a human being. See the small black box with the white front in the background above the blonde woman’s head? That is the first Apple iPhone that was ever sold in San Francisco.