12/28/14

Cracking UP

The headline in today's paper said, "SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT CRACKING DOWN ON CRIME."

Isn't that cool? Although I have to admit I have yet to see a police department anywhere in the world that is cracking UP on crime.

Imagine this scenario: you are hanging out with your wife/girlfriend/mother/sister and there are a couple of cops nearby. Let's say this is in a diner. The two cops are sitting in the next booth having lunch when suddenly a purse snatcher whizzes by and snatches your wife/girlfriend/mother/sister's purse right off the table!

While firmly clutching it in his sweaty little paws he dashes out the front door and for just a fleeting moment you're ever so slightly tempted to just go all vigilante on his ass and chase him down, wherein you will tackle him and then bludgeon him with that purse before wiping the blood off of it and returning it to her.

But wait, those two cops are nearby and you should really just let them deal with it, so you do. You quickly turn to the cops and say, "Officers, help! That guy who just ran out the front door snatched my wife/girlfriend/mother/sister's purse!"

But instead of jumping up and running after the fleeing felon, the two cops nonchalantly gaze at the door of the diner, then the one on the left goes back to reading his newspaper while the one on the right shrugs and takes a sip of coffee before saying, "Sorry pal, but this month we're cracking UP on crime." Then he gets up and saunters into the men's room.

This seems like a very unlikely scenario, does it not? Nonetheless, I feel that if I decide to be a lawless rebel on any given day it will probably not be during such a time as this. With my lousy sense of timing I'd surely become a felon when all the cops are cracking down on crime, not up.

This is frustrating because I have so much pent-up stress that's been building over the past few days, I feel a need to let it all out by committing heinous acts of criminal activity. I already have a few ideas on how I can take some of the laws in this city and flaunt them in the face of authority, which, by the way, could use a shave.

NUDITY

First of all, there's the fact that we can no longer walk around San Francisco totally naked. There was a time up until about a year ago that you could actually do that, but the powers that be in City Hall looked out the window and said "OMG!" and immediately passed an ordinance against it. Technically you can still walk around naked, but only under your clothes, which kind of takes the thrill out of it.

BRICKS

We can no longer build buildings here out of brick. This is earthquake country and everyone just got tired of picking up bricks everywhere, so the city made it illegal to build a house or any other kind of building out of brick.

EUCALYPTUS TREES

We have thousands upon thousands of eucalyptus trees in this city, which is why on rare, humid days the entire city smells like a giant cough-drop. Well, a giant cough-drop mixed with weed. So the city has made it illegal to plant any more of these type of trees.

Yes, weed is legal in this city but Eucalyptus trees are not. We're awesome that way.

The main factor is that eucalyptus trees proliferate really fast. You could take two of them to a club and they'll slip out early via the back door and go find the nearest motel. They love making little eucalyptus trees as often as they can, so the city just decided that we'd have a plentiful supply even if they did ban bringing in new ones, because the ones that are already here keep us well stocked.

BURYING PEOPLE

There are only a couple of cemeteries in the city of San Francisco because they made it illegal to bury anyone after 1900. We were running out of room around that time and the powers-that-be looked around and said, "OMG!" and "Hey, we're running out of room!"

They also realized that cemeteries are a really bad real-estate investment because the tenants don't pay rent. They just make a one-time purchase of a small plot of land and afterward there is no flipping it, subletting it or reselling it after the value has appreciated over time (that's after the tenant has settled in). The tenants also don't pay property taxes.

The city of San Francisco sends all that type of business down to COLMA, which is a neighboring city to the south that's known as "The Mortuary City." This is because there is a mortuary on every corner in the fine city of Colma, just as there is a Starbucks on every corner in practically every other town and city in America. The upside is that there's a Starbucks in the lobby of every mortuary in Colma. You can go have a caramel frappucino after the service and pull yourself together as you remember Great-Aunt Edna, who gave you a five-dollar-bill for your eighth birthday and told you not to spend it all in one place, so you didn't. Boy, was her mustache scratchy.

The sad fact is that although it's legal to die here in San Francisco, you just can't be buried here unless someone burns you up first and then just buries your ashes. You could do it that way, we guess. So yeah, what the hell, GO FOR IT! We'll wait.

ELEPHANTS ON LEASHES

Many years ago the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus used to visit San Francisco and they'd have this big parade on Market Street, wherein all the clowns, acrobats, jugglers and animals would give the citizens a free sneak-peek at their circus antics. During one such parade a handler was walking an elephant down the street and it went crazy and trampled some people. It wasn't on any kind of leash or rope; the handler was just sort of nudging the lumbering beast along with something called an "elephant stick."

So the city passed an ordinance saying that if you must walk an elephant down Market Street, the elephant must be on a leash. Because we all know that if you're on the other end of that leash and the elephant gets spooked, breaks into a run and tramples people, it wouldn't stand a chance as long as you wrap the end of that leash firmly around your little wrist and give it a tug.


A 1900 photo shows a circus parading down Market Street here
in San Francisco with a handful of elephants down in the lower
left corner that are clearly not leashed.


I must admit that all these laws are simply too much for me, as I am a rebel at heart. I am a wild, free spirit who cannot be tethered by legislation. I yearn to break free and fly like the wind, stretching my wings of freedom as I sail along on the sea of mixed metaphors.

With this being the case I am bound and determined that the next time I feel the least little bit stressed-out I am going to simply shed my garments and walk buck-naked to the nearest nursery and purchase a eucalyptus tree, which I shall then plant in the city of San Francisco right in front of the brick house I will have just finished building (in the nude) before I get a shovel and bury someone in the front yard right next to that tree.

Then, to relax, I'm going to take my elephant for a stroll down Market Street with NO DAMNED LEASH WHAT-SO-EVER.

This should alleviate the bulk of my stress and help me to feel better, as long as it's during a week when the cops are cracking up on crime and not down. Because if I land in jail, my wife/girlfriend/mother/sister will miss me terribly.

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