It is always a great source of pride & joy in my life whenever I think back to the trip my wife & I took to San Francisco for our honeymoon ten years ago. It’s not just the fact we were on our honeymoon, and not just the fact we picked San Francisco. What makes me especially proud & joyful is the fact it was ten years ago, long before the place finally decided there was no point in continuing to resist the left’s relentless back-alley assault on its livability.
That was the good old days, a time when the homelessness problem was relatively manageable. A time when the worst littering you’d find on a given city block was maybe a crumpled receipt or candy wrapper; now it’s packed with more needles than the sum total in my grandmother’s pincushion and all the men’s dress shirts stocked at Walmart. A time when a good old fashioned stroll was uncomplicatedly neat; now people who leave one place on foot, with the goal of ending up at another place, have to engage in all sorts of dodging & weaving if their goal involves a lack of human feces on their shoes. A time when residents and visitors alike could avoid the stench of urine by regularly flushing their toilets and holding their breath during the Alcatraz tour. Before you know it the public at large will be sporting Aqualungs & navigating sidewalks on Segways modified for off-roading.
I gotta admit this puzzles me. Whoever heard of a major American city becoming less & less pleasant after years of being run by fiscally ignorant people whose entire skill set consists of obnoxious grandstanding & sucking money from others like a Kirby? Dammit, everyone knows that the instant fix for people who have fallen on hard times is listening to Democrat politicians endlessly upchuck shallow rhetoric & false promises! I mean, who among us hasn’t seen a typical street in Detroit’s inner city & mistaken it for Wisteria Lane?
Now that San Fran has turned into a giant diaper with streetcars, the things that annoyed this often overly-demanding dude a decade ago seem so trivial.
It had been barely 24 hours after my beautiful bride & I arrived when I remarked that anyone determined to become a multimillionaire overnight in that town need only open up a brake shop. Sure, I’d heard numerous stories about how steep the roads were. I’d seen plenty of neighborhood photos. I had the car chase scene from Bullitt gloriously etched in my brain. Then I spent an hour or so driving our rental car up & down those paved alp-wannabes, & concluded two things: A) the people who decided to settle there a couple of centuries ago were a bunch of drunk masochists with a geometry-fetish, and B) this place could make a carpenter’s level explode.
We stayed in the Marina District, and the parking in that part of town was so awful, it reminded us of the parking in every other part of town. The few dozen spaces closest to our hotel were small. Really small. I’m talking Alan Ladd plush doll accidentally shrunk in the wash small. Most of the time the closest we left our rental–which nobody would’ve mistaken for a Lincoln Navigator stretch limo mind you–was at least a 15-minute walk away. If it weren’t for the fact I was a right-winger with a sedan and plantar fasciitis, I would’ve felt right at home.
On one of our feet-commutes we came across a house for sale, and took a moment to check it out. If memory serves it was a two-bedroom (or a one-bedroom + den)/one bath condo, and, apparently keeping with the whole parking theme, a wicked-tiny one. The hallway was just wide enough for me to traverse it without my love handles touching the sides, and the kitchen was just wide enough for the oven door to be opened all the way. Unfortunately for whomever ended up buying the property, I’m not kidding about the kitchen.
Oh, I almost forgot–the listed price, which I assume reflected the local walkways not being a minefield of diseased human waste, was around $750,000.00. If it weren’t for the fact I wasn’t a tycoon with dwarfism who hated to cook, I would’ve felt right at home.
I believe it was on our first walk along one of the many fancy side streets, those rows of bookstores, bistros and boutiques not yet regulated into bankruptcy, where I got one of the biggest reality checks of my political life. It was in a corner souvenir shop, the type where unsophisticated tourists like your truly go to overpay for refrigerator magnets with rough sketches of the Golden Gate Bridge. There it was, a few feet or so from the cash register, floating in a sea of Cal Berkeley and Grateful Dead memorabilia: a rack stocked with Obama family t-shirts in all sizes. Including children’s. Barack wouldn’t be elected for a few months, and nobody knew whether he’d be the next Harry Truman or Woodrow Wilson, yet there he was, poised with Michelle and the girls, sharing the same pop-culture pedestal as Jerry Garcia.
To this day I’m convinced the late singer/songwriter/guitarist, who was an American icon even before his passing in 1995, didn’t end up so because of his musical talents. It’s because a sufficient number of people, whose daily diet regimen included assorted hallucinogens, were higher than the Coit Tower whenever they heard him play. That said, it was still decades of hard work that got Garcia to the top, and at least it wasn’t beneath the dignity of his job to be pictured on those garments.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to seeking out investors for my upcoming business venture: Jeff’s Brake Repair and Vacation Gas Mask & Off-Road Segway Rental.