Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Hempire Strikes Back

And it’s up against the wall, Redneck Mother
Mother who has raised her son so well
He’s 34 and drinkin’ in a honky tonk,
Just kickin’ hippies’ asses and raisin’ hell.

- Jerry Jeff Walker

This blog is about to boldly go where no other entry has gone before: I will not only touch on incidents of a personal nature, but I will make pointed accusations, denounce an entire group of people, employ dramatic narrative strategies, and pass value judgments. I will, in short, complain.

First off, it should be said that my relationship with so-called hippies has always been a complicated affair. On the fuzzy side, I’m the son of a Berkeley ’69 graduate. I lived in a co-op for three years of college. Crosby, Stills, & Nash’s “Teach Your Children” makes me so sentimental you could shit. I’ve used a frying pan as a musical instrument, and eaten more than a few meals off a Frisbee. I think Burning Man is the coolest, although, as longtime readers will know, I’m in it for the conspicuous consumption and sheer patriotism of it all more than any feel-good ideology. The point is, I’m not going to be confused with the Project for the New American Century anytime soon.

There are contradictions, however. I often denounce residents of the Mission as “liberals and vegetarians”, tongue partly in cheek. While I was certainly an avid proponent of some aspects of co-operative living, I also took a hard line against the resident ideologues. During my house’s now-infamous “buy local” meeting, I declared, “I don’t care if they come from Mordor, I’m eating a banana every morning.” I enjoy hunting wild boar in the wilds of coastal California. I part my hair with precision. I think the American system of government is superior, I’m just not convinced of the efficacy of trying to impose it elsewhere. I’m a pretty reasonable dude, when you get down to it.

All of which makes the current outrage afflicting my previously pristine quarters overlooking San Francisco’s Aquatic Park all the more difficult to brook with equanimity and grace. Last Sunday, after several days away from home, I returned to find that my housemate was going away to Aruba for a wedding and would be gone most of the week. I also found that two textbook cases of unmitigated hippie scum, itinerant jewelry “artists” who eschew last names, had been invited to stay the week and furnished a pair of keys. I was further informed that they were recuperating from an infection of “worms”, and were treating themselves with a strict diet of vegetables and almonds.

I have been familiar with these two for some time, and I must disclose that my enthusiasm becomes more restrained with each successive visit. Past highlights include the matriarch and nutritionist, as it were, informing me that “you shouldn’t eat fruit with anything else, because it rots in your system”, and the whole menagerie badmouthing my friend, the human rights attorney, for being a “fancy Stanford and Yale person” while they thought she was out of earshot.

One could debate the merits of taking nutritional advice from people who sleep until 3 PM, smoke cannabinoid stimulants throughout the weekday, appear to have four or five functioning brain cells left, and make a point of driving across town to dine at Café Gratitude. But that's a given. I will instead present some of the more noteworthy scenes of this past week, for your moral instruction:

Scene 1: Wednesday, 10/31/07, 4:00 PM. The male hippie has risen for the first time all day and is busying himself in the kitchen.

Me. So, what’s the plan for the rest of the week?
Male Hippie: We don’t have plans, we have visions.

Scene 2: The same day, 5:15 PM. The female hippie is busy concocting numerous unappetizing substances in a blender. I enter the kitchen to put together a marinade for that evening’s dinner.

Female Hippie: Hey, do you want me to clear some room? Are you gonna make lunch?
Me: No, that was a long time ago.

Scene 3: The following day, around 3:30 PM. The male hippie shambles into the kitchen in a state of obvious decrepitude.

Me (pointedly): Good morning.
Male Hippie: Good morning, man.
Me: I was kidding.

Scene 4: Several hours later. After disappearing back into my housemate’s bedroom, with no evidence as to the activities within save for a steady trail of marijuana smoke, the male hippie re-emerges.

Me: So, what’s the agenda for this week, guys?
Male Hippie: We might be taking off in a couple of days. We want to find some more stores to sell our jewelry, but we got a lot of work to do before we can do that, y’know.
Me: (Suppresses urge to helpfully point out that waking up during normal business hours and leaving the house might be effective ways to follow through on this strategy). Yeah…you know, I’m going to be doing a silent meditation all weekend, so the sooner you all could clear out, the better.
Male Hippie: Cool, man.

Scene 5: Saturday, 11/3/07, 3 PM. Both hippies, in an unprecedented state of dress and mobility, leave the house, bags in tow.

Hippies: See you later, Gabe!
Me (overjoyed): Are you guys leaving for good??
Female Hippie: No, we’re just checking out some stores! We’ll be back!

I’m heading back to my apartment now after a day exploring many of San Francisco’s cosmopolitan pleasures. Who knows what I’ll find on my return.

“The omen is bad…Today, I saw the day become like night. I saw a man run with the Jaguar…”

To be continued.


Blogger Robbie said...

Please let them know that amyloid plaque is a myth.


1:24 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I call myself a hippy, in general. I also attend hippy festivals and listen to lots f Grateful Dead (Jerry played the pedal steel on the Teach Your Children record).

But I could never compete with that kind of crap, no matter how long my dreads grow or how much pachouli oil I soak my stinky ass in.

Get a fucking job, hippies. Lay off the green crack.

We have visions? What the hell is that?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous "Nasty" Nakamura said...

if you believe in Cartman you would play SLAYER very loudly

8:51 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

cafe gratitude is perhaps the gayest thing outside of the castro. I agree with Nak. Death metal is the only repellent. Tunes that harsh the mellow.

9:46 AM  
Blogger bisgeier said...

haha -

...have yo heard the rumor that Cafe Gratitude is actually owned by The Landmark people? I'm surprised THEY tolerate such a lack of biz sense ;)

10:57 PM  

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