Thursday, June 15, 2006

Girls in Their Summer Dresses Redux

Lunch with Brother Pabst today at Gio's on Commercial Street in the great beating heart of the San Francisco Financial District. Pabst knows the crew there because when he was in the ad game -- before being hit on the head and losing his bearings and becoming an adjunct college professor -- he worked in the area and seems to have begun many an if-it-doesn't-sell-it's-not-creative afternoon at Gio's horseshoe bar.

He is known and when one is with him, one is treated nice. Gary the septuagenarian waiter sees an empty wine glass and fills it, a ManTribe ritual old as fermentation.

The key to a pleasant lunch is for one person to be slightly but not decisively more interesting than the other, the "slightly more" being true in the case of Pabst, who has had a varied career in advertising, plus he has four children all of whom have been willing to put their shoulder to the anecdote.

For instance, one of his kids decided to work in Cairo for a while and learn Arabic during which time he fell in love with a local girl and popped down to the office where they register such things and became a Muslim so he could marry her. It is my strong impression that "popped down" captures the rigor of the thing.

But in particular Pabst has stories from the big tainted world-of-work, and when so-called pros (he advertising; I journalism) end up working in academe oh they do sometimes yearn to recall -- and in the spirit of reciprocity listen to recollections of -- those distant days way out there in the blue riding on a smile and a shoeshine.

Actually, I was never much for shoeshines, though my smile was worth a set of burglar's tools.

Anyway, Pabst has interesting stories, somewhat superior to mine I concede, but I've got some good stories, too, to fill the chinks in the conversation. Buy me lunch and hear them all.

Bright day in downtown SF, a day of adequate warmth, which you can't always count on here in the summer. Lots of women in power suits looking quite splendid, like socially acceptable dominatrixes. I walk slow and weave a little, hoping they jostle me as they pass.


david silver said...

Buy me lunch and hear them all.

lunch on me in mid- to late-july.

ps: i am hoping you have rid yourself of that self-inflicted blog-ban of last week. more posts please!

Anonymous said...

I disagree. There is a fullness and richness to those postings that come after three or four days of gestation and one yearns to see what interludes of a week or two would do. Robert Graves went silent in his last years, but you wouldn't have to carry things that far. Would you?

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Brother Silver is first in line. Brother Anonymous never bought lunch for anyone in his life, plus when it came to buying drinks his skill at bar dice -- that most graceful way of sharing in the general expenditure -- suggested he ran a three-card monte game at some stage of his life.

G Pabst said...

And while MR and I take turns paying for lunch - that day was his tariff.

I was merely pulling out my "A" material in order to be the Piper who must be paid.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

Brother Pabst is correct. He is amusing and informative but not so much that we don't trade off paying the freight. When he pays, I drink and drink and drink, become rowdy, weep unconsolably and fall into a stupor.

*Become* the anecdote: That's my motto.