Vermin Street observationsBottom Highlights, Bill's Briefs Thursday, March 31st, 2016
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Just back from my trip, I took my first bus ride down University Avenue and was surprised at the changes six weeks had brought. Buildings, shops and restaurants were gone, yet often in the same locations buildings, shops and restaurants were opening. Thus is the power of positive thinking, a principle to live by.
Walking back later I looked at the menus of a couple of the new eating venues and it is clear they are definitely not of the fast food genre. The variety and creativity of the offerings were most impressive. We are not dealing with cooks here, but chefs. Aside from that, I was unsure of my hearing when the bus driver announced, “Vermin Street.” After a perplexed moment, I gathered he meant Vermont. True, the innumerable Spanish names here in San Diego are frequently mangled by outsiders to the great amusement of the locals and I don’t mean to quibble, but Vermont is a state! Furthermore, the spelling leaves little to the imagination, although, on second thought, it obviously does.
I hear cursive writing is currently deemed “too difficult” for the curriculum and that seems to pertain also to kids learning the 48 states, in alphabetical order, and their capitals. The level of education today is shocking. The younger crowd spends all their time on their pads and pods while computers do the research. I am sure I’d be a whizz if I had the time to learn to twit and face etc., but I am busy with meetings, doctor visits and keeping up with world events.
My point today is I filled this article just from riding the bus. Get out, ride, walk or cycle and open your eyes. There’s so much going on to see, criticize and bitch about. Enjoy.
Where ruminating leads
Doctors advise us seniors to be focused on the present and not dwell in the past, but to me, reminiscing mixed with a little mind-wandering can stir up great topics for conversation. Let’s see what I come up with.
I’ll start clean and simple: I remember five cent candy bars and 10 cent phone calls. For that matter, phone booths – which make me think of the filthy one which the butch guys used as a spittoon in the roller rink. I loved the organ music there with the twirling mirror-ball. The local lesbian bar had a huge one and it gave an extra ambiance and thrill to those daring to same-sex dance. No big deal today, but then it was judged decadent, depraved and illegal. If caught, we faced arrest. Yet we did it. Participating in the forbidden was dangerous, but exciting. It was also a great turn-on to hold someone close (and closer) in a slow dance as you got to know each other, in many ways. Then disco with its psychedelic music came along and touching was out. People gyrated and hooked up amid bell bottoms, flashing lights and clouds of funny cigarette smoke as you younger seniors recall.
Today, finding someone on Grindr and Craigslist may be convenient, but it lacks the pizzazz of spontaneity. We didn’t need such detached assistance or to live in a sin-filled big city to have wild, wonderful escapades. We got our hanky-panky from chance encounters in supposedly innocent locales and with supposedly straight neighbors.
Memories of such home-town shenanigans would spice up a ho-hum coffee-klatch and depending on the teller, the tale can go from routine to racy to raunchy. Goodness, look where we’ve ended up. Give it a try.
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