On Saturday September 28th, 2013, it was a gorgeous and sunny day here in gay San Francisco. The weather was beautiful and picture perfect, and I felt incredibly happy and lucky to be alive and living, in the most beautiful American city by the bay.
It was late morning, and I was going about my business in my neighborhood (The Castro). After I left my bank, I ambled north on the east side of Castro Street. After I walked under the marquee of the Castro Theater, and neared the busy intersection at Market Street, I saw people pointing and shouting at the corner crosswalk.
Imagine my surprise when my blurry and nearsighted eyes peered across the busy street, and looked toward the shuttered Diesel Jeans store on the corner, and saw that the senior citizen cast of Cocoon had gathered, to reprise their smashing performance of the 1970’s broadway musical Oh! Calcutta!
In the middle of the crosswalk, I spotted one prominent cast member carrying a sign that had a photo of a woman’s genitals with the words “MY BUSH” scrawled alongside, and directly beneath that was a photo of former President George W. Bush, and “ELECTIONS” scribbled in green. OK now - that’s a clear message??? WTF?
A stage-hand followed the prominent cast member, in his well worn tartan underpants, with a sign that said “Freedom of Choice.” The tartan didn’t really suit his look, and I was puzzled by his assertion that his right to wear an old dirty pair of tartan underpants, was being threatened.
A group of saggy assed chorus boys were hiding and gossiping behind a planter in the little corner parklet (see top photo), in various stages of undress, while a large and lonely naked male figure, in smart black sensible shoes, stood on the corner and surveyed the goings on. The thoughts that immediately sprung to my mind was “braid that back hair” and “my oh my - what a fleshy back you have.”
Tourists were huddled near the Chevron gas station, with cameras and phones at the ready, just clicking away taking pictures. I thought I’d get in on the camera action too, and took several photos of the cast’s pre-show preparations.
Then I ran into an old acquaintance, who greeted me with a raised eyebrow, a hug, and a whispered “hello,” that felt more like a question than a greeting. He rolled his eyes and said “see you later,” as he pretended to vomit in his cardboard coffee cup.
In the musical Oh! Calcutta! , the first act ends with the song “Was It Good for You, Too?” I couldn’t bear to stick around to find out, and sauntered quickly toward the waiting F train.
We all know the song “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” where Scott MacKenzie’s lyrics claim that “In the streets of San Francisco” you’ll find “Gentle people with flowers in their hair.” I didn’t see any gentle people or flowers last Saturday, though I did see a lot of hairy bodies and flabby asses.
Not pretty. Not pretty at all.
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