Saturday, October 30, 2010
When my somewhat tightly wrapped acquaintance Brian B. announced he was going to visit San Francisco, and reeled off the list of tourist sites he intended to visit, I encouraged him to spend a few hours just hanging out in Golden Gate Park. It would, I thought, help him unwind from his usual state of Red Bull- and nicotine-induced tenseness.
So off he went. He had a great time but there was one small fly in the ointment. While relaxing in Golden Gate Park, he was issued a summons for smoking . . . a cigarette.
This is the same park where, a hundred yards from the Children’s Playground, assorted vagrants and slackers lounge about openly smoking reefer on a slope called Hippie Hill. The odds of them being issued a summons: small to nil.
Ah, the contradictions of life in America’s most “progressive” city.
Last week during Game 1 of the World Series against the Giants, Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton caught the smell of pot drifting out of the bleachers in San Francisco’s AT&T Park. In town the day before, he and his wife had seen people smoking it within sniffing distance of police officers. Touchingly, he found this remarkable.
Hamilton’s naivety was nothing compared to the spontaneous amazement of Dallas TV sports anchor Newy Scruggs, who got a nose full during a live standup before the game. In a later segment Scruggs pinpoints the smoke source—and seems genuinely puzzled that the police aren’t doing anything about it. Meanwhile, the crowd in the ball park is dotted with fans wearing “Let Timmy Smoke” T-shirts, and ones declaring “Yes, We Cannabis.”
Spark up a doobie and everyone’s cool with it. Bring your Zippo near a Marlboro and the suede/denim secret police will tackle you like the fascist bastard you are.
Ah, San Francisco.