Mighty Life List
Apr 30 2001


Scenario: My trusty companion and I hike four hours to a remote campsite to find that it’s been overtaken by a Boy Scout expedition.

Characters: Group of 14-to-17-year-old boys whose food has just been stolen by enterprising raccoons.

Boy 1: They got everything, the marshmallows, the beef jerky, everything.

Boy 2: How did they get into my pack? Raccoons know how to work zippers now?

Boy 3: They took the last bag of Rasinettes!

Boy 4: Forget the Rasinettes, dude. (mock serious voice) They took the last of the plutonium.

All: Crap!!

10:43 a.m.

Apr 27 2001

Raspberry bathroom air fresheners are unsettling. The area where one defecates should not smell edible.

9:43 a.m.

Apr 26 2001

During my commute this morning, a young man collapsed on Muni. He was standing, and then he wasn’t. As you may know, San Franciscans are nice people who mind their own business, but also try to help you not die when we see you collapse on the subway. In such a situation, we can be broken into five general catagories:

Oh-my-God-he’s-gonna-die-right-here-on-the-subway San Franciscans

Typical commentary: “IS HE BREATHING?” “Turn him on his side! Don’t let him swallow his tongue!” “IS HE BREATHING?”

Typical actions: Removing their coats to prepare for inevitable “Rescue-911” action, pushing up the aisle to administer CPR.

Nothing-a-candy-bar-can’t-fix San Franciscans

Typical commentary: “He’s fine.” “Give him some room.”

Typical actions: Passing lunch bags, peeled oranges, and Snickers bars up the aisle.

He’s-obviously-a-druggie San Franciscans

Typical commentary: “Does he have any bottles on him?” “Is there a needle anywhere?”

Typical actions: Once they’ve ascertained that the young man is indeed breathing, these commuters glance nervously around the car, praying that a Muni official will materialize before he begins attacking fellow passengers in drug-crazed frenzy.

Leave-him-alone-you’re-embarrassing-him San Franciscans

Typical commentary: Instructional silence.

Typical actions: Feigning disinterest by reading their respective copies of the New Yorker and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Wondering why no one is considering the feelings of this poor young man who has passed out on the subway but is now quite obviously fine, and why is everyone still making such a big deal of it?

The this-shit-always-happens-on-my-train San Franciscan

Typical commentary: Impatient sighs. Exasperated clicking.

Typical actions: Shifting from foot to foot disgustedly. Checking his watch. Being amazed at the guy’s nerve.

I couldn’t figure that last guy out until he said, “Come ON! He’s fine! Can we get going already?” with a thick Jersey accent.

11:32 a.m.

Apr 25 2001

From Misterpants:

“Hey, you know how people sometimes hoot. Like at a rock concert or whatever, someone might go, “whoooo!”

Well, I’d really like it if everyone who reads this can make an effort to hoot just a little bit more. Not only at rock concerts, but also at poetry readings and just while waiting for the bus or waiting in line at the grocery.

I think it’d be cool if we all just started hearing that “whooo!” a little more often and in a wider range of situations.”

10:04 a.m.

Apr 24 2001

Profound(ly odd) thought I had upon waking this morning: “‘Star Trek’ smells like mint.”

9:36 a.m.

Apr 23 2001


Subject: Toledo and the state of higher education.


“At the University of Toledo today, the sidewalk was chalked up with all
kinds of misspelled school spirit: ‘Your here!’ ‘Sign up for the ski
raceing team!’ What the fuck are these people going to do?”

11:05 a.m.

Apr 20 2001

I went to my first baseball game last night, Dodgers v. Giants in the newish SF stadium. I stood and sang the national anthem, I had some cotton candy and a hot dog with grilled onions. It was a very American evening, except for one thing. No half-naked bouncing women. Not a single one anywhere. Was I not here in America–land of amply endowed, blonde women who bounce professionally? Is baseball not our national sport? Everyone seemed entertained by the game, but I pondered the sad truth. An entire generation of young baseball fans will grow to maturity without knowing the nuances of reflective spandex, the alluring twinkle of cleavage sequins under stadium lights. Wistfully, I surveyed the vast stretch of field before me. “Jenni? Tifanni? Jodi?” Two rows down, three sorority girls turned from their gaggle and looked up at me questioningly. “Nevermind,” I said, and flagged the peanut vendor.

11:07 a.m.