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Friday, June 14, 2013

Karl The Fog Explains How He Got the Gig as San Francisco's Fog

Posted By on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Karl the fog's parents reportedly had a steamy romance - TWITTER/KARL THE FOG
  • Twitter/Karl the Fog
  • Karl the fog's parents reportedly had a steamy romance

It seems San Francisco's fog is even more shrouded in mystery after it penned its family history.

The physical fog rolls into the city for boring, scientific reasons, but mainly because of advection, which is just transference of heat, namely warm air moving across the cooler Pacific Ocean.

But the fog that many people know and love is named Karl, where, as profiled in this week's SF Weekly cover story, sprung to life on Twitter and even on Instagram.

On the same day that the SF Weekly feature hit newsstands, Karl took to the blogging site Medium to write about the family history of the San Francisco fog in a post titled "A Family Affair."

In the post that is written in first person as the fog, Karl talks about his mother being the fog of San Francisco before the city was colonized, and her meeting of his father during a trip to Hawaii. Interestingly, there is not a mention in the story about Hawaiian vog, but perhaps there is a sequel coming, too.

An excerpt from the post:

I had several shitty jobs before I took over the family business. I spent one winter being a stand-in for a broken fog machine on the set of Who's Afraid of the Dark? (it was as insulting as it sounds). And there was that time I posed for pictures against a green screen for The Weather Channel where they screamed things like "dance, monkey, dance!" (just awful).

Then one morning in September 2006, after finishing the last day of her summer shift, mom returned home to Point Reyes and said she was retiring. "I said I was retiring" she yelled to my dad who was busy watching tourists near the lighthouse run back to their cars for jackets. She looked in my direction and smiled. "Rest up, Karl. You have work to do."

The personal story of the fog, in which he relates such things as his support for the local economy -- "I support the local economy by making tourists buy embroidered SF fleeces at Fisherman's Wharf because they didn't realize July is actually winter and all their t-shirts and flip fops aren't helping them stay warm." -- is also a clever way to obfuscate the swirling online chatter about the puppet masters behind the Twitter characters.

Whether the post is a way to deflect the light from the person behind Karl or another expansion of the character is debatable, but no doubt, it's a fun read.

Aloha, Karl.

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Mike Billings


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