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The Durst of Times

Will Durst
Every Castro resident will have his own coffee shop

By Will Durst



San Francisco, where the bullet-riddled shirt of Clyde Barrow sold for $85,000 to Whiskey Pete's Casino. Imagine what Ronald Reagan's presidential cuff links will be worth.

In San Francisco, our intrepid band of supervisors has imposed a moratorium on new coffee shops in the Castro District. This is the eighth moratorium the supervisors imposed in the past year. One of them actually talked about a moratorium on moratoriums. Soon, they'll address the issue of a moratorium on even considering moratorium moratoriums, and then voices from 13th-century Indian warlords will whisper sage advice concerning wormy maize to them in their sleep. The stated logic is the neighborhood is losing essential services like dry cleaners and hardware stores to coffee shops, who outbid them for storefronts since they can afford to pay higher rents.

Dry cleaners. Who the hell wears their clothes twice in the Castro? Let's say you're walking down the street and feeling sluggish. What are you going to do? Walk into a hardware store and slam your hand with a hammer? Maybe drift into the launderer's and grab a quick huff of a chemical-soaked rag? No, you're going to grab a half caf double latte with no foam, and who in their right mind would want to walk a whole half-block to do it?

I think the supervisors have it all wrong and every storefront in San Francisco should be required to pack an espresso machine. We could become "Grindland," the theme park of the skittish and fidgety. Take the honor away from L.A.

San Francisco, where Willie Brown is rumored to be our mayor, but roving ambassador is more like it, since he's spent about four days here.

For reasons known only to him and his best bud God, the Reverend Jerry Falwell thinks Ellen Degeneres should be called Ellen Degenerate. Why? Because she advocates the overthrow of democracy as we know it? No. Because she hurts other people on purpose? No. Because she rubs fish eggs into her armpits before eating mashed potatoes with her fingers while riding a unicycle naked through a children's petting zoo? No.

The reason the good Rev thinks Ellen is a degenerate is that her head faces the other way when she has sex. I'm sure she also has the audacity to read books, rather than the Book. And for this she should be held up to public ridicule? To be perfectly honest, most of us married folks tire quickly of people being defined by their sexual preference. Gay sex, straight sex, sex with tiny feathered barnyard animals--it's all the same to us; a vague memory of times past. Face it, God is an orgasm, and he/she/it doesn't care which path we take to heaven, Reverend.

You know what Clinton's biggest problem is? No, I mean besides the fact that he looks like a Burger King manager who loves his work just a wee mite too much. His biggest problem is he's got no "or else." Either you vote the way he wants, or...what? Or else he will...pepper you with a series of substantial arguments? Or else Hillary won't invite your mother to tea? Maybe Al Gore will shoot you a really stern look, all the while surreptitiously spreading a weird pollenlike substance causing the outbreak of Dutch elm disease. Roger won't sing at your fundraiser, and Teddy Kennedy could be put in charge of the Indonesian-contributor carpool.

If all that doesn't work, he can always pull out the big gun and coerce some reluctant cooperation with menacing hints of a sacred vow from Jimmy Carter to personally campaign in the home district of anybody not enthusiastically on board the presidential bandwagon. Maybe Bill just read Teddy Roosevelt's motto wrong. It's "Walk softly and carry a big stick," Bill. Big stick.


Will Durst neither has nor has seen a big stick.

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From the May 1997 issue of the Metropolitan

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