the Dying Need Good Shoes
He could plunk
out the ribs of a ballad on his bass, tripping his fingers up the
strings like an expert hopscotch player headed home. Carburetors
were no mystery to him, nor the niceties of occult quadratic equations.
He could capture your true face in gobs of paint daubed on canvas
and dress out a sheep. His knife would slit the pelt off gently
as a mother peeling a wool pullover from a child. The day before
EasterJack always had a feast at his place on Easterthe
lamb would be hanging upside down from the bough of a blossoming
plum tree in his yard, curing for the barbecue, a red rose stuck
in its rectum. Jack could show you how to whittle ...
Amnesia & Pimm's Rose
still get a tear in my eye," says Enrico Banducci. That's when
he looks down at the hole in the ground at Kearny and Jackson. The
brick wall that he sees when he looks down is the brick wall of
the old Hungry i—what was once the back of the stage. It is
where Barbara Streisand, Mort Sahl, Lennie Bruce, Woody Alan, Bill
Cosby, and a lot of other, got their start. The
Hungry i stared at the corner of the Coppola building on the Corner
of Columbus and Kearny, but it soon moved over to the location on
Jackson and Kearny for more space....
& Bar School
la moneta" (count the money), said Enrico Banducci's grandfather
to him one day in Bakersfield. His grandfather had heard that Enrico,
age 13, was planning to go to San Francisco to study violin. His
grandfather had been keeping Enrico's money for him in his safe
so that his parents did not take it. Enrico had earned the money
playing the violin two or three times a week since he was six years
old. His father, who took no interest in his musical abilities,
made him practice in the garage. Part of the reason he was going
to San Francisco was to study violin with then-concertmaster Naum
Blinder. Part of it was surely to get away from his parents, who
beat him almost every day....
Sa Buy Dee Mai?
am so stupid," said Xiao Fan as I walked into Red's on Thursday.
She was sitting in back of the bar on a stool looking forlorn. There
was no one else in the bar but an elderly Chinese gentleman....
Xiao Fan works as bartender two or three times a week at Red's,
and part of the job is drinking with customers. This of course increases
sales considerably. A guy who might buy a single drink and go away
may buy five for himself and five or more for the pretty bartender.
This, as you might guess, is a common scheme used in Asian bars
to increase sales. It makes the cash register hum....
sighs as he shoves my SuperLOTTO slip back across
the supermarket's customer service counter. I've filled it out incorrectly.
I should ink in only five blanks on the main grid. The sixth selection,
between one and twenty-seven, belongs in the special MEGA number
column. "I've never played the California lottery before," I explain.
"That's obvious," he says. "Of course," I continue, uncoiling a
kink in the chain holding the counter's pen in place so I can complete
a new slip, "I've never been given the winning numbers before, either."
"Yeah, right." ...
and Mr. Muto
don't really do pizza," said my friend Belvie Rooks. She was
just back from Mendocino. "But I hope you check out Piaci in
Fort Bragg. Best pizza I ever had." She
made pizza sound like a drug. I don't really "do" the
stuff either; it's not one of my habits. But I have nothing against
it; in fact I have friends who eat it all the time and they are
A-okay people. But if I were going to check out Piaci in Fort Bragg,
I was going to have to find a San Francisco connection. You see,
Maureen, our editor, is tough as nails and doesn't let us writers
flit around wherever we want. There must always be a reason, a connectionin
other words some damned logic to what we do. Just once it would
be nice ...