Thursday, October 28, 2004

Street Moment
Walking past the Civic Center yesterday afternoon, I passed by a young black couple. He was sitting on the sidewalk, legs spread out, his head resting on her breast. His eyes were closed and he was singing along to music on his head phones, some kind of “ooh girl you so fine” ballad apparently, because he was singing “oooh” in falsetto. As he was singing, his girlfriend was combing his hair and gazing into space.

My wife got tickets (through her job) to the Tom Stoppard play, THE REAL THING, at the lovely ACT here in San Francisco. I wasn’t that keen to go (I’d just seen the play two years ago, and didn’t like it that much), but what the hell, it was free.

There was an old couple in front of us, with a young woman on their left, on the aisle. About halfway through the act, the old woman (seated on the old man’s right) got up, and said, across her companion to the young woman, in a normal conversational tone, “His leg hurts. Can we switch places with you?”

The young woman whispered agreement, and a very long process of place-switching commenced, phase one ending with the young woman taking the seat formerly occupied by the old woman, the old man occupying the seat on the aisle just vacated by the young woman, and the old woman sitting on the aisle steps, where she proceeded to crinkle her program (I think) loudly for two minutes or so. Then she slowly got to her feet and asked the old man, again in a normal conversational tone, if she could get by him.

“What?” he asked.

“Can I get by you!”

By now, everybody in our section of the balcony was paying more attention to her than to the play.

A muted chorus of hushes went up, as she slowly made her way past him to her seat. She did not sit down immediately, however. Instead, she very slowly began to remove her coat. (Why she did not do this when she was in the aisle crinkling paper I don’t know.) But her purse had become entangled with her sleeve. The old man helped to disentangle her. She finally sat down, turned to the old man, and said, “How’s your leg?


“How’s your leg!”


An usher emerged from a side door, and sidled over to them.

“Please speak in a whisper,” she whispered.

“I can’t hear you,” the old woman said.

“Whisper,” she whispered.

“I can’t hear you!”


Street Moment Bookend.
We left after the first act, and strolled to the underground. There was a young couple at the entrance, a young black man sitting on a slab, and a young whitish woman with a back pack standing in front of him, haranguing him. There was an edge of hysteria in her voice, as though she were on the verge of tears.

“I’m not going to take you all the way to the Civic Center,” she was saying, “and then all the way back to the Jack in the Box. I’ll miss the BART! It’s not fair, Sean!”

Scientists have discovered a new humanoid species in Indonesia, a dwarf species. The locals on the island apparently have legends about these creatures, calling them “Ebu Gogo,” which means “zombie hobbit.”

Who Said What?
Who is suspected of having said this on a recent videotape?
"The streets will run with blood," and "America will mourn in silence."


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