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08/29/2006 Entry: "The Asshole In The Street."

The other night we saw "Playtime" at the Castro theater. All about a man who tries to meet a collegue in an ultra-modernist version of Paris and gets mixed up with a bunch of American tourists; madness ensues.

On the way out, I rounded the corner at 17th and Market and sidestepped around a slightly dirty man with crazy hair coming the other way. He guttorally hissed (sounds contradictory, I know) at me:


When you've spent the last two hours watching a French Modernist farce about living in a contemporary (for 1967) city, and you're in khakis, and you're carrying a cellphone, it's hard to argue the point. Especially with someone who hasn't seen soap in a few days. However, even though I thought it, I did not reply: "Who isn't?"

* * *

The other night, on my way home from work, there were two guys at the corner of 16th and Valencia sitting on chairs next to a big wooden sign that said only: "Talk To Me."

Normally on weekend nights we get the Jesus people littering the four corners there with their pamplets, literally and figuratively speaking. But these two didn't have any literature with them that I could see. it was possible they were doing some kind of viral marketing..."guess what great mobile phone service we have!" Clearly I've been working in marketing too long.

Alternately, I though it might have been an SF0 project or a Burning Man thing. But I was late for dinner and didn't speak to them.

As it turns out, they were just some communicative New York folks (or someone inspired by them, anyway. Like the Hi! guys.) But I didn't know this when I saw them the next night. But again, I walked past. Because I didn't want to talk to anyone. I'm an asshole--leave me alone.

Clearly I've been working in marketing too long.

* * *

On my way back from lunch, the bosomy blonde woman on the corner handed a brochure to me. I smiled politely and looked down at the folded paper, which asked:

"Are you curious about yourself?"

I glanced at her tight polo shirt, "Church of Scientol..." was all I could read before the printed fabric curved down out of sight. Obviously the Enemies of Xenu had discovered that sex sells, even when it comes to fake religions. I handed the flier back. "No thanks, I've seen this before."

"This very quiz? Are you sure?" she asked. I think that was supposed to be a subtle logical challenge: how can you know if you don't open it and see? But yes, of course I've seen their personality assessment before, way back in the 80s. I loved personality quizzes then as much as now. But when the Scientologists mailed back a phone number in order to set up an appointment to talk about my results with a councellor, I decided not to bother.

I told her yes I had, and walked across the street with the green light. I thought, but did not add: "Honey, you know that not everyone in Scientology gets to fuck Tom Cruise, right?"

Because, Purification and Auditing aside, I'm sure she would have called me an asshole too.

Replies: 3 comments

Casey, you're too much. I really do get a kick out of your style of sarcasm.

And is it indicative of working in marketing too long that you have comment spam as your only comment (well, before mine anyway)?

Posted by Randy @ 09/12/2006 09:12 AM PST

My boyfriend was walking through Dupont and a Scientologist came up and hawked a "Free stress test!" at him.

"Oh, no!" he says. "I got audited once before, and it told me I was psychotic!"

"What? How can that be?" the Scietologist said, in possibly-feigned horror.

"I dunno, I guess I must be psychotic! ...Byeeeeeee!"

Posted by Daniel M. Laenker @ 09/19/2006 10:42 AM PST

I think I found an easy way to delete all this comment spam (I hope I hope I hope.) So Randy's note used to make sense.

Posted by Casey @ 10/06/2006 05:26 AM PST

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