2009 Game Developer’s Conference Journal – Day 2

Today was exceedingly boring – insofar as wacky stuff happening to me. Conference meetings were good but the peripheral experience was very unusual because normally every time I go downtown, something ridiculous happens to me. I guess that’s why I moved away from Albuquerque to the “big city”. I guess New Mexico just wasn’t fulfilling my need for more crazy/potentially dangerous social encounters.

Since I really have nothing to say about the conference itself, and the only anecdote worth telling happened on the way home, I think I’ll change the title of this post to:

ADVENTURES ON THE #71 HAIGHT-NORIEGA.

So as I was saying, it looked like the whole day was going to pass with nary an incident until halfway through the bus ride home. The 71 was packed with the usual mix of elderlies and kids, hipsters and working people when a meaty, average guy about 55 or so, got on and sat down at the front. Within seconds he was chatting up the woman next to him who was probably 10 years his senior with green toenails and fire-engine red hair. He not-very-slyly put his arm around the woman claiming his balance was bad and so he needed to “hold on”. I expected her to move away, flinch, slap him even, but she was fine with it. And they say Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love.

In the relative quiet the increasingly weird things the guy said were clearly audible. He started normally enough saying he was here having moved from Texas two weeks ago but then he suddenly burst into song for no apparent reason, inspiring the exchange of many an uncomfortable glance among the other passengers, everyone wondering if it was a light musical prelude to an inevitable beheading.

The impromptu serenade was followed up by a smorgasbord of unrelated comments ranging from, “I’m part Sicilian and part Apache” to “I slept outside the first few nights and it was colder than a witches’ tit” to “I’m a Pisces, a water sign–the whales and the albatross are my brothers”. I suspected the guy might be a graduate of the Gary Busey school of nuttiness but when he said “I escaped from an institution because they wanted to shoot me all full of thorazine”, I realized he was not only a graduate, he was valedictorian.

He jumped off the bus on Haight street (what a surprise) but before doing so, happily asked a woman to take a picture of him and his new friend–”What’s your name, darlin’? Oh – this is my new friend Mary!” with his cell phone. After manically insisting to yet another woman that his last name was the same as the name of the author of the book she was reading, he said, “Wow, this bus is just like the Twilight Zone – DOO doo doo doo, DOO doo doo doo…”

Uh…yeah.

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