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Thursday, October 27, 2005

I'll Have A Side Of Ectoplasm, Please

I see Dead people.

They're everywhere and they scare me.

I move past them, averting their gaze lest they follow me home and haunt my doorstep. The smell of patchouli and the dropping of temperature warn me of their presence, and I make sure that I avoid all who twirl and funky chicken into my path.

Why, yes, I am in the Upper Haight.

And now I am walking past All You Knead, a long running greasy spoon establishment that serves up one of the cheapest and greasiest breakfasts in the City, and has the line out the door to show for it.

Rumor has it that All You Knead has a ghost. According to one employee who has worked there for some time, the ghost is a junky who overdosed in the upstairs John. Sometimes, late at night, after the last of the customers leave, supposedly you can hear him running up and down the stairs.

Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but I have met a lot of people with severe substance abuse problems and this sounds like typical psychotic, drug-induced ghost behavior.

Once, I lived with a 6'2", 200 pound tweaker in Berkeley who, in addition to hearing voices and being the owner of several firearms (always a comforting combination), would comb through the carpet in the middle of the night looking for ghost rocks of crack.

It's just too bad that, in the afterlife, tweaker ghosts have no resources to get clean with. Isn't there some celestial Betty Ford clinic or something we can refer them to?

I have a "ghost society" friend who leads ghost tours here in the City. When I asked him if he knew of any haunted restaurants, he told me that he couldn't think of any other than the All You Knead rumor.

Sure, you have your Lady of Stow Lake and the home-girl who walks around town crying, but surely with all of the restaurants in the City there has to be more than one culinary ghost sighting!

I mean, this is the city that exhumed almost all of its dead in the early 20th century and relocated them, Poltergeist-style, 15 miles away to Colma (ie., in many cases only the headstones were removed). Plus, when you think about all of the murders, overdoses, and suicides that have happened here just since the Sixties, there should be a whole army of grateful Dead. Combined with the City's famous love of wining and dining, it just seems odd that we don't have a whole list of haunted restaurants with folks clamoring to get in to get their spook on.

So, wha the faaa?

Here's my take:

San Franciscans are jaded to the supernatural. We treat our ghosts like we treat celebrities, with indifference.

"Oh, your place is haunted? That's cool. Um, did you really let that dude suck your toes last night or were you just trippin'?"

And lets face it, how many times have you cruised Ringold Alley at 5 in the morning and seen the undead only to have your attention distracted by the sugar daddy who just drove by in his new sportscar? And how many times have you heard "ohhh" and "ooooo" and chains rattling in the middle of the night only to wish your pervert neighbors would go to sleep already?

I know I have!

But the sad truth is, Frisco is a ghost-indifferent town – and to many of the undead, soon-to-be dead, and wanna-be dead, that just hurts.

Yo! Whatever happened to giving the Ghost Man his propers?

It's true that San Francisco doesn't need to advertise its "ghost community", or "persons of rest", in order to attract tourists, much in the same way the Folsom Street Fair attracts the Leather Tourist. But whatever happened to celebrating diversity? Can we just get one more color in that Rainbow flag to celebrate our dearly departed?

How about...is translucent a color?

This is an injustice that may only be rectified through the implementation of some Ghost Respect ordinance or resolution, and I plan on drafting up a document to submit to my local District Supervisor right this minute! Being a long-time City Hall watching enthusiast, I can say my bill would stand a "ghost-of-a-chance", even if that sort of language is totally "life-ist".

In the meantime, while having your ghost pals over for dinner this Halloween, why not consider serving up some of Vincent Price's famous curry?! Get out all of that copper and brassware! Mr. Price lets you in on one of the hottest culinary/entertainment trends that’s sweeping America by storm!



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