Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bay to Breakers Terrorizes Young Child

Bay to Breakers (the world's largest footrace) rampaged through our neighborhood this morning, with tens of thousands of runners flooding Howard Street.

There was some debate this year as to whether crackdowns on drinking and general ribaldry would tone down the festivities. From what I could see, the race was as crazy as ever. Nearly everyone we encountered was both very costumed and very intoxicated. (It didn't help that it was overcast and frigid — it's pretty hard to go out in this weather wearing a toga or mermaid outfit without being totally drunk.)

Our street was an official (and unofficial) bathroom stop. The lines were so long for the Port-a-Potties that people just took care of their business on the pavement. There were rows of men peeing against the wall, and every car parked on the street seemed to have a drunk Marina girl squatting behind it.

When these girls saw Elliot, they suddenly became very alarmed that a child could see them. I guess it's good to be concerned about exposing a child to something that's not age-appropriate, but these people should probably be more concerned about embarrassing themselves in front of adults (Elliot's not going to remember anything he sees anyway).

This is Elliot's second year of watching the race go by. He seemed a little more apprehensive about what was going on — with reason, I guess. This photo summed up his experience pretty well.

Most of the costumes weren't too creative (lots of people with viking helmets and jellyfish umbrellas, along with the usual naked folks). I liked the group that dressed as Tiger Woods and his mistresses, as well as the team of Na'vi people (both those ideas will probably be stale by Halloween, so it was good to use them now).

There was the ever-present salmon group, which always swims against the rest of the runners. This time they were chased by a group of bears. I thought this might be a stock-market reference (bears betting against the market), but I think it was just about how real bears like to eat salmon.

This one was commentary on the oil spill. I assume the Skittles outfit is unrelated.

We also saw several chickens...

...and bunnies...

...I think this one is a play on "Mario Kart"...


...and a burrito blimp.

Oddly enough, a lot of people were most surprised to see Elliot. They would stop and point at him, like a kid had no place being at Bay to Breakers. Maybe they were just admiring his smart-looking fisherman's sweater.

Things got weird when a woman in a green body suit tried to entertain Elliot. She ran over to him, crouched down and said hello. Unfortunately, Elliot had no idea this was even a person (the green suit covered everything but the eyes), and he was absolutely TERRIFIED.

The woman had the good sense to run away, and Elliot eventually recovered. But we figured that would be our cue to leave.

When we got back to our place, we found this out front.

To be fair, empty beer containers are discarded on our street every weekend. But our regulars would never be so uncouth as to drink light beer.