Back in the day when pay phones ruled the earth.

Some time in the year 2001.

I spent many years standing there like a dork at my vending table in front of Cody’s Books. 19 years to be exact. I have no idea where I got that dorky shirt. But the photo reminded me of some of the misadventures we had over the years with the pay phone behind us.

This one time a friend of mine was hanging out with us at our vending table. And he spots this hot young chick loitering around on the corner. “Man would you look at the tits on that one!” he said. “Boy would I like to fuck her!” and etc. etc. Going on and on in very obscene details about the things he’d like to do to her.

Little did we know her boyfriend was talking on the payphone right behind us. And when he got off the phone he was mad as a hornet. And he was a BIG guy, too. He got in my friend’s face and he’s ready to kick the living shit out of him. He’s got him backed against the wall of the Cody’s building. And my friend is fishing in his pocket for the can of mace he carries. And it was about to get really ugly.

When I somehow managed to talk the guy down. “We apologize,” I said. “We meant no disrespect. You have a very beautiful girlfriend, etc. etc.” Which somehow placated him.

He even said as he was leaving: “You have class.” But couldn’t resist adding: “But your friend is a dirty old pervert.” He walked off proudly down Telegraph Avenue, hand in hand with his beautiful girlfriend, knowing he had righteously defended her honor (they probably had wild sex later that night, thinking about the encounter, which had all sorts of sexual overtones).

He’s lucky he didn’t get a face full of mace from my friend. Who was a pretty big, tough, crazy guy himself. And could do some damage, too. Ha ha. He would have maced him in the face if his back was against the wall. That was a close call. But that was one time when I managed to come up with the right words and save the day.



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