Friday, September 22, 2006

Rubberbands, Racecars & the Future

Imagine our excitement as we approached the Pride Suprette in San Francisco’s Mission District--the home of what’s purported to be the World’s Largest Rubber Band Ball.  Well, OK, finding a parking place was really hard... and then Nabil, one of the two brothers who owns the place (and the ball) got a little testy about whether he oughta show it or not.  I think “a million dollars” was mentioned at one point.  But eventually, fast talking TV Weasel Mike convinced him to put aside his hatred of the Chiefs (like we care) and give us a look before “his crabby brother” Salim got to work. 

What can we say?  It was magnificent, sitting there in its top secret location (not far from the chips) and even better when paired with our own World Record holding ball o’ tape.  Granted, it’s nowhere near as large as theirs, but we do still haul ours around in a van, so throw us a bone here, OK?

Our escape from dense urban lands took us down 101 to Millbrae, just south of the airport.  Stephen Powers lives there, not terribly far from where he grew up as a baby boomer immersed in the magical world of TV and technology.  His early artistic pursuits fell prey to the need to make a living, but eventually he started painting again--bright, colorful works that imagine buildings and potential inventions that the future may yet bring. Some are fairly apocalyptic, some harken back to “Lost In Space” and Spielbergiana.  Stephen also likes slot cars, which he gleefully raced for awhile with Mike--quite fitting since Mr. Murphy never gets to drive the real thing! 

A tasty Vietnamese lunch set the scene for our final stop of the day, or what was supposed to be, anyway--Axel Erlandon’s Circus Trees at Bonfante Gardens.  Only when we got there, the wheels of PR ground to a halt.  Nobody could be found who would say we were theme park certified.  At least, Don did get to try out their facilities, and reports they’re just fine.  No pictures, please.

Which left us scrambling for one last gasp before daylight was completely done--the last Mammoth Orange stand, a fabled big round orange burgerteria near Chowchilla. We beat sundown by about forty seconds, said approximately six witty things about Orange Julius, and decided we’d had enough.  Viewers are almost sure to agree.

Music in the Van-”Magic Time” Van Morrison, “Failer” Kathleen Edwards, the most recent Rolling Stones (it’s late and I can’t remember the name)

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