Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cable Car Confessions: The Pick Up Artist

Ding ding all aboard. "Next stop Powell Street Chinatown. Tickets please show me your tickets please." These sounds are very familiar to San Francisco tourists and locals. What is the one thing that you have to do when you come and visit San Francisco? Ride the cable car. What we don't hear about are the stories from the cable car drivers. This is their job. They ride in the fog, sun, rain, and in traffic jams. Here is one of their stories.

Here is one of my own experiences, as the last couple of chapters I have written have been about me people watching on the cable car. I would consider myself pretty wise to the pick up artist and yet sometimes I find myself twirling my hair around my index finger or blushing when a guy tries to pick me up in a clever way. And then the reality show became popular on VH1. Do these tricks really work? Can a guy really get a woman to start opening up and talking to him because of the way he touches her arm? I pride myself on being able to recognize this kind of manipulation, but then I found myself on the cable car recently being faced with a man staring at me. (Sorry honey.)

It was a Thursday morning and I was taking the 8:24am cable car down California street to Market so I could walk to work. The cable car was packed and I was carrying several things with me. My oversized purse, my laptop bag and my lunch, so I could save for my Toronto trip (I think it was left-over Shepard's pie from the recipe I shared with you guys earlier). The weather was around 60 degrees and the fog hadn't yet lifted within the city. (The fog usually lifts in San Francisco later in the morning.) There were no seats available inside the cable car so I stood beside the cable car driver with all of my bags at the window and held onto the metal bar on the door for support.

Now this might sound easy, but it's really not. You have to balance all of your weight, with all of your bags and ride the cable car. Imagine being on a boat and having to balance. First the cable car climbs up the hill on California street and then dives down the crazy hill all while I am trying not to drop anything or fall.

Over the years, I have watched to see how well other riders balance themselves. I thought that because of my dancer background I was able to balance until this man, let's call him "mystery" (the pick up artist), told me otherwise.

After a couple of stops people got off of the cable car and I saw that there was a free seat inside the car. This is perfect. I can get off my feet and get some warmth away from the fog. "Mystery" sat down next to me. At first I didn't notice him and was deep in my thoughts of what I needed to do for my meeting in a half an hour. "Mystery" then smiled at me. I was startled - is he smiling at me?

"Mystery" had dark hair and lighter eyes and was wearing a light blue shirt. I could see no eye liner or huge fluffy hat, but maybe that was because it was the daytime!

"Mystery" asked me "I have a theory that maybe you can help me with?"

So this is a typical pick up line that is shown on the show. I recognized it right away and thought I really want to see this master in action so I said. "Oh really."

"Yes, can I ask you if you are a skier?"

"A skier?" I replied "Why?"

"Well," Mystery said "I was watching you standing and riding down on the cable car and my theory is that you were a skier which is why you kept your balance."

I replied "Well, I was a skier and I was actually born in Canada."

"Mystery" seemed pleased that I was talking and offering more information.

Mystery: "A Canadian, but I don't hear that you have an accent."

Me: "I moved to California when I was a teenager, hehe."

Mystery: "I am a snowboarder and my theory is if people stand like a snowboarder on the cable car and ride it down sideways then they understand the mechanics of snowboarding. You were standing there and took the ups and downs of the hill and to me you looked like a skier."

I giggled, "Yes, I use to down hill ski a lot."

And then Mystery ruined it all by asking, "Do you work around here and ride this cable car at the same time every day?"

I was snapped from his grasp and replied to him "Yes, my honey and I do."

Stay tuned for the next chapter for cable car confessions will be Chapter #6: New Year's


La Belette Rouge said...

We took the cable car when we were in SF all because of lovely you. We caught it on California and took it up from the Ferry building. I was all set to get a story and yet once I was on it all I could do was surrender to the experience. We did have an over chatty cable car operator who was determined to learn all about us. Usually I would have enjoyed the chat but I just wanted to enjoy the ride.

pj said...

I am gonna throw it out there. I am in sales. When i was selling face to face (to mostly women) I perfected the arm touch. I had people come in and watch my technique and everything. Ugh, I sound kind of skeezy. Honestly, that little personal contact would break down some walls, and was a wonderful, dare I say, tool that i used for sales.

Merelyme said...

great story! i actually watched the pick up artist show a couple of times. what a dweeb that mystery guy is. i can't see anyone falling for that stuff.

Georgie B said...

Nice take out of the Mystery Guy.

Enjoyable story as well.

Laura said...

La Belette: I am so glad that you took an inspired cable car ride because of little old me. You are lovely as well.

pj: no pj no. Tell me it isn't so. Hah well we all do what we gotta do.

Merelyme: the Pick Up artist was the best. It was such a guilty pleasure.

Georgie B: Glad you liked the story.