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Conquering Americana for Dummies

June 13, 2011

My strategy is about as well planned as a 2-storey dessert-dwelling made of ice-cream.

The fundamental tenet of my go-getting philosophy is to rely on the random and haphazard kindness of strangers.

Conversations usually go like so:

“Hello, do you know anywhere I can get a good coffee, a wifi connection and a million dollars?”


“Does the 14 bus go to Mission and Fulsom? Let’s hope it doesn’t take too long because I’ve only got 60 days to do everything on this list.”

So far it has worked a treat. People don’t cross the road to avoid a stranger wearing a cheerleading outfit who wants to get in touch with Donald Trump. No, they usually compliment me on my pom poms and suggest that I contact Warren Buffet and Bill Gates too. Sometime they even have their numbers.

There is the odd person who looks at my pityingly and tries to ignore the crazed look in my eye. But not many.

Sometimes it’s all too convenient.

Take this as a typical example. I was walking home one night when I heard sweet music coming from a closed shop door. So I went in, walked downstairs and found The George Hurd Ensemble. They were playing jazz and I went home happy.

Little did I know that I’d bump into the very same Mr. Hurd at the Cole Valley Cafe. And I really never could have guessed that that Jai Guru George would hold the key to two of my tasks.

Do you know anyone who can speak English backwards? George does. Or perhaps any top-notch music folk who can help me record a single? I’ll forgive you because George can help with that too.

So, if you only absorb one moral lesson from my Job-like adventures it should be this:  next time you’re standing next to a human being, a pet or an imaginary friend, just reel off your bucket list. There’s no harm in asking and you may even stumble upon a George or a Lou or a Rona or a Kathy or a Ruth or a Meghan or a Sarah…

Remember, if at first you don’t succeed, ask, ask, ask again.

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