Rainy Sundays in San Francisco are always lonely. No one is out and about. Normally I would relish such times, but the older I get, the more my feelings are tied to the weather. The fog and drizzle can cover the whole city and my mood like a wet wool blanket. Even the Folsom Street Fair people seemed despondent, and I couldn't help but notice that the ass cheeks that normally press up against one's face on a packed Muni car were, this year, attached to leather daddies who seemed like they were just going through the motions.
When I emerged from Embarcadero station, there was not a person to be seen, not even BART staff. Empty subway stations always remind me of Beneath the Planet of the Apes. (Or, whenever I run into people with big foreheads who can communicate telepathically).
Speaking of apocalyptic scenes, gentle reader, come with me now to the Financial District on the weekend. Even the Starbucks is closed. You can walk for blocks and never see another living soul. This is what I imagine the city would look like after a neutron bomb has hit, just buildings and signs and empty newspaper racks.
I shuffled down Jackson, because when you are wandering through a desolate, empty city, you do not "walk," you "shuffle." I was, of course, looking for a bar, and I figured that I would have to walk -- er, shuffle -- all the way to the Ferry Building to even come near a place that might be open for business.
Finally, on Clay, I saw a building with flags unfurled out front (in a desolate, empty city, flags do not wave) and beer signs in the window. "OVER HERE," they seemed to say, like a way station from Mad Max. I dutifully headed over and found myself in front of the Elephant & Castle Pub and Restaurant, and, lo and behold, there were lots of people inside. Don't mind if I do!
The hostess led me to a table adjacent to the bar and plonked down a gigantic menu before me. "Bang on!" it said at the bottom, and then it described what "Bang on!" means in England, in case you thought the restaurant was telling you to go ahead and have sex at your table. The menu also differentiated between the British meaning of "pudding" and our American idea of "pudding:" "Pudding = Dessert," it said in big, bold lettering...