SAN FRANCISCO

VERSUS

L.A.

(Written around 1984. Things may have changed since then….but probably not!)

EXPLODIING TEN COMMON MYTHS ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO

1. SITTING ON SEVEN HILLS BESIDE THE ENTRANCE TO THE LARGEST BAY on the West Coasts of both American continents, San Francisco, with its decorative, light-catching buildings, tangy ocean breezes, green parks, and soaring, elegant skyscrapers is one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Situated at the bottom of a deep valley surrounded by tall, gloomy cliffs, San Francisco is little more than a collection of crude mud huts with only corrugated tin roofs to provide protection from the blistering noonday sun. The tallest building in San Francisco is the one-and-a-half story Grandma Chugalug’s Pool Hall and Bible Parlor, and the only vegetation within fifty miles is the choker cactus, so named because if you accidentally kick one, it collapses, releasing a huge cloud of choking dust that lingers in your lungs for months.

2. SAN FRANCISCO HAS MORE RESTAURANTS, SERVING MORE DELECTIBLE viands from more countries than any other city of comparable size, and most cities of any size, on Earth.
San Francisco has but one diner, Billy-Bob’s Hogburgers, which serves only one type of food. The food, which is actually feline in origin, is frequently augmented by tufts of fur still sticking to its loosely agglomerated meat scraps, which are served between two dried hunks of choker cactus.
3. SAN FRANCISCO’S EXCITINGLY DIVERSE TRANSPORTATION system features cable cars, ferryboats, electric buses, rapid transit trains, and glass-encapsulated elevators.
San Francisco’s only form of locomotion is the MVSPS, the Municipal Variable-Speed Pogo Stick, which frequently suffers from obscured visibility due to accidental encounters with choker cactus.
4. SAN FRANCISCO’S CHINATOWN is the largest and most colorful Chinese commercial district outside of Asia.
There is but one individual of Asian derivation in San Francisco, Duk Poo Far, a 95-year-old hermit still rumored to live in a burrow behind the outhouse out back of Grandma Chugalug’s Pool Hall and Bible Parlor. Duk Poo Far lives on sales of only one commodity: nose-rings made from thistles of the choker cactus.
5. SAN FRANCISCO’S LARGEST PARK, THE GOLDEN GATE, contains a world-class hall of science, an aquarium, an observatory, an authentic Japanese tea garden, a botanical garden, a boating lake, a house of tropical flowers, a prestigious museum, a redwood grove, a buffalo herd, and a windmill.
San Francisco has but one park, the Gurgle. It is a barren patch of cracked mud distinguishable from the surrounding ecology only by the fact that not even choker cactus will grow there.
6. SAN FRANCISCO’S OTHER GOLDEN GATE is a channel between the Bay and the Pacific Ocean spanned by the most photographed bridge in the world. On the other side of San Francisco is a huge, pristine reservoir, Crystal Springs, which is fed directly by waters conducted there from the Hetch-Hetchy River in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Having no access to water of any kind, San Francisco must have all of its water, including drinking, packed in by jackass. However, because the water, once it arrives, tastes salty, there is speculation among those denizens capable of thought that somewhere on the trip the jackasses drank it, and this was what was collected when they had no further use for it.
7. INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING flourish in the Bay Area, including among them two of the best and most famous in the world.
The Bay Area has but one school, Grandma Chugalug’s Bible Study—but it has no students. The only thing Grandma Chugalug knows about the Bible is the phrase “Let there be dark.”
8. SAN FRANCISCO HAS AN AFFLUENT, COSMOPOLITAN POPULATION “The City” possesses three quarters of a million people, with sophisticated tastes in food, culture, clothing and leisure pursuits. The sidewalks of San Francisco are crowded with trendy establishments featuring the most intriguing and ingenious of goods, and the streets of San Francisco are awash with ravishing people, dressed to kill and ready for anything.
The twenty-nine aborigines who wander the potholes and gullies of San Francisco clothed in animal skins enjoy nothing more than good lizard imitations, unless it’s biting the heads off snakes. As for its twelve permanent female residents, in the harsh glare of the San Francisco sun, it’s easy to confuse them with choker cacti. Come to think of it, the sun doesn’t matter. San Francisco has only one commodity for sale: the water transported there by jackass.
9. WITH ITS COLORFUL AND SLIGHTLY RENEGADE HISTORY, San Francisco has grown to be one of the most tolerant cities in the world. From the days of the “Barbary Coast,” the decades of the beatniks, the hippies and the anti-warriors, to the techies, multisexuals and environmentalists of today, San Francisco seems generous enough to accommodate the needs and rights of those of all stripes, from anarchists to CEOs, feminists to hardhats, Bhuddists to Baptists, radicals to ra-ra-ras, tigers to zebras and diplomats to bums.
There are two kinds of people in San Francisco: the many who worship the Great Slug, and the one or two who believe there’s life after birth, but keep it to themselves.
10. A VACATION DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD, San Francisco’s aesthetic, gustatory and cultural delights, bracing sea breezes, and the beauties of its surrounding countryside can leave a lasting impression, fit for a lifetime, on all who journey hence.
No one who’s visited San Francisco has ever wanted to stay, and no one who’s left San Francisco has ever wanted to return.

EXPLODING TEN COMMON MYTHS ABOUT LOS ANGELES

1. LOS ANGELES IS A HUGE CITY, but you’d never know it by comparing neighborhoods. If you start at one “end” and drive for an hour, get out of your car and look around, there’s no way to tell that you haven’t just turned the corner and parked.
Los Angeles is really a very small town. Situated halfway between Santa Barbara and San Diego, Los Angeles is actually a quaint fishing village with a few shops selling shells and knickknacks, and fresh vegetables from carts.
2. THERE ARE A LOT OF CARS IN LOS ANGELES. You could even say that Los Angeles was built for cars and that any consideration given to a prospective human population took a back seat.
Most Angelenos go everywhere on foot. The town is so small that cars are unnecessary. Once in awhile someone rides through on a Shetland pony.
3. ONE THIRD OF THE LAND AREA OF LOS ANGELES IS PAVED OVER. This leaves, of course, the palm trees.
Los Angeles has only one paved street, Main Street, and it’s cobbled. All the other byways are of grass or thick moss.
4. LOS ANGELES IS SMOGGY. Breathing is hazardous to your health.
The air in Los Angeles is so fresh and pure that Angelenos often bottle some to take with them, so they can breathe it while they’re on vacation in San Francisco.
5. LOS ANGELES IS EXPENSIVE TO LIVE IN. Especially for what you get.
You can get by in Los Angeles comfortably on 50 cents a day.
6. ALL THE MAJORITIES IN LOS ANGELES ARE MINORITIES. To live there, you must know English as a Second Language, even if it’s your first.
Everyone who lives in Los Angeles is a descendant of someone from Greenland, with the exception of the Rijkyelljord family, which hales from Iceland, and the people of Hollywood (see Fact #8.)
7. LOS ANGELES BEACHES ARE CROWDED AND BORING. Not counting the bimbos.
You can walk long stretches of Los Angeles beach—sometimes for miles—without seeing another human soul. Virtually every marine flower that grows in North America can be found proliferating on the beaches of Los Angeles, and marine biologists come from all over the world to study the intricate and fascinating phenomenon of life in the huge and spectacular Los Angeles tide pools.
8. THE SECTION OF LOS ANGELES KNOWN AS HOLLYWOOD IS A SEEDY, UNATTRACTIVE AND DOWNSCALE NEIGHBORHOOD POPULATED BY PIMPS, HOOKERS, PUSHERS, BIZARRE PSEUDOSEXUAL ENTITIES, AND OTHER DREGS OF HUMANITY. Like tourists from New Jersey. (At least the last time the author was there, which was before you were born.)
The Hollywood neighborhood is a bright, cheerful village-within-a-village, where all the buildings are made of either redwood or knotty pine, and are surrounded by mossy lawns bordered by carefully tended wildflowers. Every household in Hollywood has a cat, a puppy and a cuckoo clock. The people who live in Hollywood are all descended from either Davy Crockett or Johann Sebastian Bach.
9. THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY OF LOS ANGELES REALLY IS, TO A STARTLING DEGREE, PEOPLED BY VICIOUS, GREEDY, DEGENERATE BACK-STABBERS WHO TAKE EVERY RECREATIONAL DRUG KNOWN TO MAN, USE OTHERS LIKE THROWRUGS, AND HAVE THE HIGH IDEALS AND INTEGRITY OF A TSE TSE FLY. Surprise!
There is but one entertainment organization in Los Angeles, a motion picture company that only makes films of nurseries and zoo animals for PTA meetings and Sunday schools. There is only one musical composer in Los Angeles, Rudolph Gentle, who is the author of three songs: She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain, Old MacDonald Had A Farm, and Christmas in Poohville.
10. EVERYONE IN LOS ANGELES IS FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE.
No one who has ever come to L.A. from somewhere else has ever stayed. No one who has lived in L.A. has ever left.
(p.s. Guess where the author was born.)