My wife and I spent last week in San Francisco. It was beautiful and I especially enjoyed the cool weather. It was in the upper 90’s when we left from the airport in Fort Smith. When we arrived in California it was in the 60’s.
We walked and we walked. I developed blisters on my feet walking uphill and downhill. There are no flat areas just straight up and straight down. You really had to evaluate how much you wanted to go somewhere before committing to climbing the hills. There were cable cars of course but they were so sporadic it was hard to know when they would arrive and when they did if there would be enough room for more passengers.
When going to a large city the thing that gives me the most anxiety is bathroom availability and San Francisco is the worst. Every business there pretends to not have a restroom and the ones that do have keypad locks. If you purchase something they will then give you the combination to the bathroom.
I went to the center of the counterculture revolution at Haight and Ashbury on Thursday and found the hippy mecca of peace and love overrun with capitalism. Overpriced tie dye t-shirts and trinkets had taken over. At the corner of Haight and Ashbury was a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop, I can’t imagine why.
I walked for about a mile looking through all the shop windows, not a bathroom in sight. Finally I came to a Whole Foods and I thought for sure that they would have a bathroom that I could use and they did. But, there was a catch. The bathrooms required you to download an app that would give you a barcode that would unlock the door. Normally I would push back against such tyranny but my bladder convinced me otherwise.
As I started downloading the app other weary travelers arrived and began to question me about the process, I was now the bathroom expert. Two men from Missouri showed up that did not own cell phones as did an asian lady and another man who lived nearby. The app was a new thing and apparently did not work. Soon there were eight of us waiting to use the restroom and we conspired to fight back. We all agreed that if anyone ever gets in that we would not let the doors shut.
We sent out a detachment to capture one of the elusive employees and force them to open the doors. The team hunted down a manger and marched him to our location. We held him ransom until a cashier brought us printed barcodes to unlock the doors. We released the manager, made use of the facilities, held the door and passed the barcodes out to those waiting in line.
The counterculture revolution may have failed in San Francisco, but on that day a handful of men and women, who had too much water, brought one chain grocery store to its knees.