Sometimes in tribute to Richard Nixon, I like to speak in the third person. I'll say things like, "Chuck doesn't like major-seventh chords." Or "Chuck doesn't enjoy playing poker. Chuck doesn't like to be confined in a small hot room with a group of men." I even held a press conference to announce my retirement. No one came. But I still gave my well-rehearsed speech: "You won't have Prophet to kick around anymore!!"
Yeah, I was born in Whittier, Nixon's hometown. And I'm lucky I'm not down there still, running a printing press for my dad's company or pushing a lawnmower in Orange County. My point is ... that I thought I had a point, and here it comes again: I guess you could say I wasn't very culturally aware when I was growing up. Then I moved around. Started traveling. Saw things. What I mean to say is that San Francisco is an education. It's an education in different kinds of people, races, colors, sexes and the like. It opened my eyes.
Don't take my word for it. If you like to hear stories, San Francisco stories, stories worth paying for even, drop in on Beth Lisick's Porchlight series. Once a month you can hear authentic monologes by card-carrying, hand-picked weirdos.
Porchlight has been going strong for years. I'm a semi-regular, when I'm in town. And I always end up floored by the characters they corral together in one place. I once suggested Happy Sanchez to Beth and Arline Klatte, her co-producer. They booked him. I was otherwise engaged that night; turns out Happy regaled the crowd with tales of his mishaps with prostitutes and his whole wrong-way-to-go-about-it tales. Arlene was taken by his "dark stories" and emailed me later asking if there was anyone else I could recommend like that. There is no one like
Happy Sanchez, I wanted to say. The best I could do was tell her that Happy was rumored to have multiple personalities. Maybe one of them was available.
Video after the jump.