Larkspur to San Quentin to San Francisco
1) bumper stickers reading: "I Survived Dick Cheney's Last Hunting Trip"
2) t-shirt: "Dick Cheney Hunting Team 2006" with bullet holes all over it.
When you grow up in California, or maybe just in Southern California, your grasp of reality can get a bit skewed. Much as the obsessive consumer of pornography lives in a world where all women are pneumatic, hairless playthings, so does the SoCal kid live in world where Disneyland is real. The world is a continual diorama, rolling by slowly as you wave to all the animatronic beings.
It is a small world, after all.
The Larkspur ferry made me think of this. Today I drove my poor Acura up to Marin Acura for some new rear brakes, and took the Larkspur ferry back into San Francisco. I love ferries and will take one any chance I get. Nothing beats bearing down in one of the ferryboat's faux Denny's dinettes with a stack of "Homes for Sale" magazines.
At Larkspur today I stood outside and breathed. I had a dozen real estate magazines, but there's big air on the back deck of a ferryboat, and today it was sunny and warm. As the ferry backed out of its mooring and eased out of the inlet, we passed houseboats, hills and, finally, near the entrance to the open bay, San Quentin.
Adopting the Alcatraz paradigm of prison locations, San Quentin sits right on the tip of a peninsula, jutting out into San Francisco Bay. Behind it, on a hill, is a small village of gorgeous Victorian houses -- the homes of wardens, guards and others who work at the prison. Still, there is no doubt as to what it is: maximum security prison, home to Charlie Manson and, until recently, Tookie Williams. It's a worn down, ominous-looking old building, with World War II-era observation towers and a bunch of barbed wire. And I swear to God, as we floated by San Quentin, the tourists on the boat stood on the deck and waved.
Sadly, it didn't strike me as odd, at first. It was Disneyland's storybookland canal boats made large (minus the babes in the Alice in Wonderland dresses). A cute little prison scene with animatronic rapists, murderers and thieves. I had to remind myself of what actually goes on inside those buildings, what the guys inside did to wind up there. The tourists waved. An older English guy took pictures. Then the boat turned right, kicked in the engines and drove out toward San Francisco, where a cute, colorful diorama of a city awaited us.
Meanwhile, happy Valentine's Day. Sandra Bullock confessed to me that she didn't get me a card, but somehow, seeing that it bothered her that she didn't get me a card somehow meant more to me than actually getting a card.
This guy is funny. This guy is most certainly not.