I'm saving last night's adventure with Eve for tomorrow's Culture Blog, but I had a whole separate adventure just trying to get home. Maybe it's because she's shiny and perhaps, the same color as a bright new crack pipe, but hobos love Rhonda the Honda. They're drawn to her in complex and frightening ways.
And anyone that lives in my hood knows that HoboVillage SF in preceding up to and directly under the freeway on South Van Ness. There are three stoplights (Market, Mission, under freeway) where one is forced to stop and either do the straight, stare-ahead as if some legless person and their sign are invisible. Or my choice, since I'm so pious, the sheepish, concerned smile and negative headshake.
Obviously, I'm going straight to heaven.
I guess last night, my refusal to ignore my fellow man backfired. Some guy, hopped up on something that actually made him HOP through the streets comes up to Rhonda and starts tapping on my window.
"Gimme a dollar?"
Sheepish, concerned smile and negative headshake.
Immediately, hopper starts banging on my windshield, trying to pry up my windshield wipers. Oddly, this doesn't really concern me because Rhonda's windshield wipers suck and I need new ones anyway. And clearly, I was more concerned with my own health and safety than Rhonda's shitty accessories.
In some instinctive, protective gesture, I released the brake and moved into the crosswalk a few feet forward, causing hopper to jump back.
"She's trying to kill me!"
Of course, it's late on a Monday night and there's like, two cars in the vicinity. So I used every ounce of potential superhero power I might have and willed the light green, speeding off into the relative safety of the Mission.
I think this is what Gavin means when he talks about "aggressive panhandling..."