Part One: Bad Foam Risin'
I knew the evening might be jacked as soon as I saw the smoke.
I stepped out into the sodium-colored early evening sunlight putting on my crappy shades. They have that annoying reflective lens thing going on, but were the only pair I had nearby. As soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk I did the Pants Pat, checking for the big three: keys, cash and wallet. I turned to the left (east) and did my normal, "Yeah, she wants me... Big Time..." to the first women I laid eyes on.
Then I turned west...
Down a few blocks, over at Geary and Presidio, there were plumes of thick gray smoke billowing into the sky. One word: Pompeii. Either a fissure opened up on the Pacific Rim's tectonic plate or a truck carrying chinchilla dust overturned. This was a Bad Sign. Bad juju. I needed to fight fire with fire. Needed a good sign. I needed spicy Thai fire, and a sign that reads "King of Thai Noodle House"... I needed to get some good mojo on my side, and right quick!
I walked down to the ATM to grab some yuppie food coupons ($20 bills), hearing the roar of not-too-distant sirens, and then made a b-line to the Thai joint. I needed that number 18 in me asap, or there'd be hell to pay. Actually, it could've been hell that was erupting down Geary. Maybe someone got the map wrong in their search for the guy who put the Pope in a bathtub with Anna Nicole Smith, but I digress.
So I get there. The usual crew isn't working, so I actually have to order. Man, this was going to be a tough night. I slowly devour my food, washing it down with a Diet Coke, as I watch the news on the greasy TV next to the fish tank, hoping to see a story about the new volcano forming in the inner Richmond district. No luck. I bust outta there, leaving my normal generous tip, even though I had to order the food. Fucking beginners.
Part Two: In Need of More Mojo
Anyway, I need to pick up saline at Walgreens so I don't have a rerun of this morning's episode: Left Side In Focus and Outta Eye Juice. I walk over and grab a basket. First things first, get 3 bottles of saline (I'm making sure I never run out.) I also snag some cleaner and deodorant. In case it really is the Dark Lord coming for my ass, I should probably freshen up a bit.
I'm walking towards the checker, I see it. There in the magazine rack, my ace-in-the-hole. A GQ magazine. Ok, so normally I'd never pick one up, but on the cover is my hero, Muhammad Ali. If there's anyone who can help kick some serious bad juju ass it's gotta be him. Ain't nobody messes with the black Superman! I stick Ali in my basket, making sure he isn't being mistreated by any of the other inhabitants. I'll be damned if some saline wreaks my secret weapon!
As I make one last circuit through the store I come across the toy isle. Yeah, like I can actually leave this place without checking out the toys... Also in the isle are two hyperactive, pudgy little Chinese boys with snot crusties all over their noses. The Mom is farther down the isle, ignoring their demands for the purchasing of the Power Ranger toys they're clutching to their chests. All this is in Chinese.
I step in behind them, towering over their heads, checking out the selection. Hold everything. They have the latest Spawn figures, the Manga Spawn. Oh man, this kicks righteous ass! I grab one to check it out in detail. A mile below me two tiny heads turn skywards, watching as the Big Guy is checking out a toy. They're not sure how to react to this. This is new to them, an adult hold is taking a toy off the shelf. They look down briefly at their Power Rangers and then look up at my figure. A stream on Chinese spills from their little pink lips. Now, I don't consider myself a linguist by any means, especially to a language as complex as Chinese, but I knew what these kids were talking about. Only the most universal language ever known to man. Forget speaking in tongues, we had touched up the ancient dialogue Toy Talk.
I flipped the package in my hand around, so they could see the figure. I said, "Spaaaawwwwnnn" and they both replied immediately in unison like little songbirds. We had transcended by any sort of language barrier. A quick glance over to The Mom only verified my act. She was pissed, as is the normal reaction. Some complete stranger just taught her sons how to beg for a completely new toy in another language. Maybe I should leave...
I quickly slid the Spawn figure onto it's post with it's neighbors. I made a mental note that Walgreens was a possible Cool Toy Site, and then headed up to the cashier. For the first time in my life I actually didn't have to wait in any type of line. Already the good mojo was in effect, and I hadn't even purchased the GQ yet! Must be the Thai food starting in a little early.
I needed to get home. I needed to start the bath before anything else blows up. I walked back, trying not to be distracted by all the folks running around the Clement Street shops as they're closing. It all slides off me like water off a duck's ass. As I near 10th Ave, where I need to turn up to Geary, I'm working it. The good mojo. My mantra is, "No smoke, no fire, soothing bath is only desire" over and over again. I walk past the kid's playground where the fellow decided to try and hang himself today. How unthoughtful does one have to be, to try and commit suicide, having your body blocking the only cool thing at the playground: the tire swing. I mean seriously? Go for the rings, at least then if the belt breaks you stand a chance of falling and cracking your head on a metal ring! Go ahead and kill yourself, but for the love of god, let the kids play! Thoughtless bastard.
So I turn the corner. No smoke. No lava. No chinchillas. No Dark Lord. Yeah, I had it all under control. Things were going to be alright. The Thai food and the magazine are talismans, warding off any bath bad juju. I fire off a quickie prayer to the Calgon Lords, thanking them for their protection. Somewhere in my bathroom, protected by a green rubber sea turtle and pink glow-in-the-dark jellyfish, is a Cookie Monster shaped bubble bath bottle smiling in anticipation. It's sole purpose in life, sole role to provided hours of sudsy bathing pleasure, are about to unfold. I want to be one with the bubble.
Part Three: The Bath
Ok, so I'm currently in the tub. That's right, not next to, or nearby. Not waiting, or wondering. My ass is sudsified!
The Cookie Monster bubble bath has a slight bubble gum smell to it. I feel, smell, like I'm in primordial bubble ooze. Proto-gum. The Wrigley's has yet to wiggle. The Bubble has yet to Yum. Sure, I used up every last drop of hot water to fill my tub, but it's completely worth it. My only fear is dropping this journal into the foamy depths and losing all record of the experience.
Behind me, on the shampoo shelf, a candle is burning. The only way I could feel more feminine is if I had fallopian tubes... I skipped the music, as it might be too much to an (adult) bath newbie such as myself.
The warm water is completely relaxing. I've managed, amid all the passive soothing feelings I'm experiencing, to do a bit of scientific research.
It appears that both the rubber sea turtle and pink glow-in-the-dark jellyfish float. Even after a prolonged period underwater both shoot immediately to the surface. One item that doesn't seem as enthusiastic is the cookie monster blue washcloth. It doesn't float. Ever. (On a personal note, I hope that someday my basic empirical research might lead to a floating washcloth. One can always dream.)
I am assuming that the lit candle on the shelf behind my head won't float either. I know assumptions can be the deathknell for science, but you're just gonna have to trust me on this one...
A for behavioral patterns, the jellyfish seems to be very mobile, floating away quickly with little warning. It is hard to locate the jellyfish among the various bubble formations. It's pink color seems to act as camouflage against my skin below the water's surface. Very interesting.
The sea turtle, on the other hand, seems to stay close. He tends to slowly drift in a clockwise motion without ever changing his position in the tub. Sad to say, the washcloth is pretty useless and immobile. Not much to say there. It seems to have settled on the tub floor, shifting only slightly with the current.
Me? I'm in heaven. I'm warm, foamy and smell like bubble gum. You can't get any better.
As for the bubbles, they seem to be consolidating in the fore and aft of the tub. There are some smaller clusters along the side walls and around my knees.
One fun item I've noticed is that if I hold the turtle down at the bottom of the tank, errr.... Tub, and release, he darts upwards at an alarming rate. I should probably check to see if similar behavior can be found in the normal, ocean-dwelling sea turtles.
Overall I give this experience a jellyfish up. (Speaking of jellyfish, I think I've lost it again...) I'm feeling much more relaxed. At peace. Tub tranquility.
It's good to know the Thai food and GQ worked to make this tub-o-rama a pleasant outing. I think I will wrap this tubumentary up so I can spend a little more time with the washcloth. I don't want him to feel neglected.
May all your bubble baths be as great as this one...