Monday, June 13, 2005

Settling In

After more than a month in our new home, I feel like we've finally been welcomed to the neighborhood.

On Friday, for instance, someone took time out of their busy day to pee in our entryway. I feel this is a sign that people in the neighborhood have grown comfortable with us and want to stop by and say, "hello" (in their own way). Sadly, this gesture was lost on Kelly, who has no sense of smell.

Then yesterday afternoon, as we were looking for a parking space, we met a grocery cart-pushing homeless guy named Ray. He shared some very useful local knowledge, such as where to retrieve our things when they are pilfered from our car. Apparently, stereos and other items stolen from cars along our street are promptly sold in a bazaar of sorts at the intersection of 7th and Mission. Good to know!

Ray also offered to clean my car using a special formula that he created himself. It appears to have some nanotech properties because he claimed it would seal microscopic fissures in the metal and return all the plastic moldings to showroom condition. Ray went on to claim that Procter and Gamble has offered him $10 grand for his formula, but that he would prefer some sort of profit-sharing arrangement. Turns out Ray was a chemistry major at Berkeley, so I guess this is all highly plausible -- though he did stretch credulity with some of his other claims:

  • that he also attended culinary school and was Diane Feinstein's chef when she was mayor. And that she tracks him down whenever she's in town and tells him how much she misses his cooking. (If you ask me, given Ray's malodorous condition, I'm not sure food prep is his ideal vocation.)
  • that he was a track star and recently chased down a purse snatcher. The purse contained $8,500, but Ray refused to take any form of compensation, accepting only a hug.
  • that he is writing a book on homelessness and has a publisher but won't pocket any of the proceeds from the book. He plans to donate all the money to muscular dystrophy (or something), because he feels it's important to "give something back."
  • that he is personally meeting with Gavin Newsom on Tuesday to discuss his various ideas for the city.


There was another highlight last night, when we were treated to quite a show. A man and woman were making their way down Langton engaged in a heated discussion. It went something like this:

"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"
"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"
"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"
"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"
"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"
"Bitch, gimme my money!!"
"I ain't got yo money!"

And so on... This was loud enough to hear several blocks away, but when they finally reached the front of our place, it hit a crescendo. The man yelled, "Bitch, gimme my money or I'm gonna make a scene!"

I was curious what "making a scene" would entail for this gentleman since he'd already broadcast his problem to everyone in a 10-block radius. Perhaps they would be continuing their debate at the Four Seasons?