It must be nice to be normal

Music – The Violent Femmes – Add It Up

Eddie and I rode the 41 Union back through the Marina on Thursday morning.  He was headed to work and I was headed back from the doctor.

The 41 has a reputation for being the best looking bus in San Francisco, a reputation well deserved.  It’s a far cry from the filthy, Third World freakshow 27 I usually ride up from Market and through the TL, a bus that’s a cross between Arkham Asylum and a open sewage trench.  Most of the blondes around us on the 41, by contrast, wouldn’t be caught dead riding without an hour’s worth of makeup and their finest cashmere.  After all, the 41 is where you meet husbands.  Unlike the 27, which is where you meet rapists.

Today was a special day, though, and a bunch of the girls were wearing face masks, messing up their hair and hiding their expensive lipstick.  Behold the power of Swine Flu FUD.

Eddie and I laughed like madmen after we climbed on at Pierce and saw fifteen chicks probably all named Nicole and Brandy and Lauren rocking masks they’d stolen from their oral surgeon and med student boyfriends.

This is exactly the kind of hyper-reactionary white people behavior I adore.  Eddie, who despite his dark skin and ostensibly Spanish heritage is about as Mexican as Thor Heyerdahl, immediately started coughing and snorting, convulsing and twitching as though overcome by all manner of foul contagions.  He collapsed into a seat next to a tall brunette in a pressed business skirt no doubt on her way to her Important Downtown Career Job.  Sneezing and drooling, moaning like a B-movie zombie, he leaned against her every time the bus rattled over the slightest pothole.

HACK HACK SNEEZE
“Escuse me meess, do joo have a teessue?” He asked.  The girl, wide-eyed with terror behind suddenly inadequate blue mask, plunged into her purse and brought out a full pack of kleenex.
“OH thank you so much, meess. Muchas gracias.”  He said, touching her arm appreciatively with his disgusting infection-vector Mexican hands.  She nodded and looked out the window, too scared even to speak.
“You are so sweet to share your teessue weeth me.  Do joo wanna have deenner some time? Can I have joor number?”
This was too much for the poor girl, whose sense of decorum was rapidly losing out to her instincts for panic and flight.  She yanked on the stop line like it was a goddamn parachute cord and leapt for the door, barging through the crowd.
“Maybe nest time eh?”  Eddie shouted, spittle flying.
She shoved her way out the door as soon as the bus stopped, preferring the long walk to work over a hacking bloody death at the hands of Eddie’s Supermexican Deathgerms.

I scooted over to the now-vacant seat next to him.  The entire bus looked at me, appalled by my obvious deathwish.

“Your Mexican accent is fucking terrible.” I told him. “You sound like Nacho Libre.”

“Screw you whitey. Your reign of oppression is over.  The swine flu is my people’s Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

“Now that girl is gonna be late for work; she’s gonna go home, drink a pint of hand sanitizer and probably cry all through her forty minute shower.”

“Serves her right. Viva la raza.”

“You’ve undone fifty years of race relations in ten seconds.  Everybody on this bus that just watched you wipe your pigflu boogers all over that pretty girl’s arm is gonna loathe and distrust latinos for the rest of their lives.  Cesar Chavez hates you.”

“Not my fault your people are so racist.”

“Motherfucker don’t say ‘your people’.  You’re from fucking Marin County, you square.”

“She was pretty scared, huh.”

“Haha yeah. It was great.”

I highfived his outstretched, plague-ridden hand.

We sat for a second, aware once again of the fearful and awkward glances of the other passengers.  We got to Van Ness and headed for the door.  The people parted before us like the Red Sea for Charleton Heston.

“DON’T WORRY FOLKS.” Eddie shouted as we stepped out.  The whole bus started at the noise. “IT’S JUST ALLERGIES.”

Eddie, always one to use his very marginal ethnicity for evil rather than good, asked for more ideas for terrorizing what he termed “The Cracker-Industrial Complex”.  I explained to him that in their darkest heart even the most liberal San Franciscan honkey believes everything they read in Newsweek.  They may not admit it, may not even realize it, but down in that primitive reptilian part of their brains they’re hopelessly terrified of whatever the evening news declares to be the latest Scourge of Humanity, be it swine flu or race riots or meteors or violence in videogames.  It’s a deeply ingrained part of the white American psyche and is most clearly visible in old white people, who are scared of goddamn everything from peanut butter to direct sunlight.  People know this and exploit the shit out of it.  That’s why Republicans do their best to blame the Democratic Party for everything from gang violence to stomach cancer; no matter how absurd the claim, some appreciable percentage of dumbass white people will believe it, and fear.

Armed with this knowledge about white america’s Achilles heel, I fully expect Eddie to destroy western civilization, if only to be a dick.

——

We hiked up the hill a ways, slowly because of my fucked up leg.

“What’d the doctor say?” Eddie asked.

“Torn calf muscle.  There’s a rend in my calf the size of a shotglass.  The swelling’s from internal bleeding, which is gross.  My cankle’s basically a giant human blood sausage.”

“Thank you for that image, it’s disgusting. Limp faster or I’ll be late.”

“Rather than be bitter and depressed about it I’ve decided to embrace my crippledness. To make it my own.”

“Yeah?”

“Yep.  It’ll be my new quirk.  My Dr. House-esque pimp limp.”

“Maybe you’ll start a trend.”

“Muscle tears will be all the rage.”

——

We went to Zeitgeist on Friday for Herbert’s birthday.  The back was deserted due to questionable weather; trendy assholes have the same aversion to rain the Wicked Witch of the West did. Can’t risk getting that eighty dollar Earth Day 1993 retro pullover wet. Not in these economic times.

We took up most of a table and, between seeing Sapo eat a dog treat and Amos get cursed at by a very angry very tattooed barmaid for leaving a small tip, it was a full night.  Lindsey and I met a dude who told us he was planning to write a book on capoeira.

Intrigued, we asked him a few questions.  It turned out that his knowledge of capoeira was based on absolutely nothing.  He told us he was researching, and by researching he meant downloading capoeira songs on Napster.  He told us he was translating songs (he speaks no Portuguese), and by translating songs he means…. not translating songs.

In any other arena an ignorant asshat like this would be dismissed out of hand as a crank and a fool.  He knows as much about his subject as he could read in three minutes on Wikipedia, has zero first-hand experience, and is obviously confused or wrong about the very few crumbs of knowledge he’s acquired.

After having spoken to him for ten minutes and already plumbed the murky depths of his ignorance, I can already tell he’ll probably get a three book deal and a forty thousand dollar advance.  Because completely clueless dropped-as-a-child functionally-autistic morons are exactly the kind of people who write capoeira books.  Check the bargain bin at your local Borders, they’re in there.  The only other capoeira authors are Mestres, who despite their authoritative knowledge on the subject are so crazy by definition that their writing is like something you’d find scribbled on a bathroom wall in a methadone clinic.

Why capoeira draws these people in like pudgy, empty-headed moths to a flame I cannot understand.  They don’t have the physical or mental stamina to actually participate in it or even to try to understand it on the most fundamental of levels, yet they develop a single-minded obsession with it.  Where the fuck do they come from?  Why do they feel the need to start blogs and write books and generally be fucking embarrassments?  Why do they all live in San Francisco?  Seriously, you guys. Go back to watching anime and reading Spiderman and relieve capoeira of the terrible shame of your existence.

I’m fully convinced that, thanks to the miracle of the internet, eventually enough of these people will find each other and coagulate into a Subculture.  They’ll print shirts and start YouTube channels and begin some sort of Capoeira Appreciation Festival, which will be to capoeira what the Renaissance Faire is to feudal Europe.
They’ll dress up like their favorite player, flame each other’s forum posts, and basically disgrace themselves utterly in the eyes of humanity and God.

All we can do is hope this guy’s job at Blockbuster is too time-consuming for him to actually get around to sitting down at his mom’s Gateway 2000 and facerolling his way through a full-length book.

Goddamn fanboys.

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