07 November 2013

random acts of carbs

Before you tune out, no, this is not a post about the merits of a no-carb or all-carb (God, Karen!) diet. But, while we’re on the subject, you should probably know that I am staunchly pro-carb. In fact, if you were to set a trap for me, the most effective strategy would be to stock it with strong, black coffee, an impossibly soft blanket, and freshly baked bread. At that point, if I fell for the trap, I wouldn’t even be mad. I would just stay in the trap until I ran out of either coffee or bread.

But that wasn’t what I was planning on talking about. As fun as it was, I have more pressing matters to discuss. I have noticed random acts of carbs all over the city.

The first incident occurred in a park near the Embarcadero. As I was walking through the park (probably in pursuit of a cup of coffee), I noticed a sleeve of unopened saltine crackers resting atop a large boulder, apparently abandoned. I recall thinking that someone must have brought them there to feed the pigeons (with whom I have a blood feud, but now isn’t the time to explain that), saw how repulsive those vile creatures were, and left immediately. In their haste, I hypothesized, that person left those crackers behind. I recall thinking that a homeless person would encounter them eventually and eat them. At the time, the cracker incident was odd, but not so odd that I thought to write down the date.

The second incident occurred a few days later. I wish I could be more exact when sharing this information with you, but as I was yet unaware that this was going to become a thing, I did not record the date. I did, however text and snapchat a few people, but I am too lazy to sift through my electronic records to find the timestamp. I was on the platform of the Embarcadero BART station and noticed a payphone at the base of the escalators. The first thought that crossed my mind was how remarkable it was that payphones still exist, and that this one still had its receiver. Curiosity got the better of me, as it is wont to do, and I walked over to the payphone to satisfy that curiosity. It was then that I found a baguette balanced atop the partition. I didn’t recognize the pattern at the time because the baguette was not packaged, but reflecting upon it, I suppose it would still be considered intact. As I mentioned, I texted and snapchatted a few people about the weird bread, then forgot about it. This incident is kind of an outlier, and I almost didn’t include it in this post. But, as someone dedicated to journalistic integrity, I decided that full disclosure would be the best course of action.

The next incident (the one that classified these seemingly random events as an official series) occurred on Thursday, 15 August 2013. I was house-sitting, again near the Embarcadero, but not close to either the aforementioned park or the water. As I was walking toward the BART station to go to work, I noticed a package of unopened wafer-y cookies sitting atop a fencepost. They were positioned rather precariously, so there was no way that they were there by accident. Someone had taken the time to balance them perfectly. The image of an unopened sleeve of saltine crackers flashed in my mind, and I resolved to keep my eyes out for any more errant carbs.

The fourth incident occurred on Tuesday, 10 September 2013. My sister and I were leaving that same house in search of dinner when we spotted what looked like the aftermath of a mugging on the sidewalk. A torn athletic bag was splayed open, with its contents scattered around its remains—a compact, a novel, some bobby pins, and a lone sock. The scene was grisly, to be sure. But, further down the sidewalk, I noticed something even more harrowing. There, leaning up against a lightpost where the sidewalk met the grass from a pathetic attempt at incorporating nature into the cityscape, was a package of whole wheat bagels, still twist-tied shut. It seemed that, as the size and quality of carbs increased, so too did the intensity of the tableaus in which they starred. There was something larger going on, and I was determined to find it.

I pushed that thought forcibly out of my head while my sister and I walked to buy food, but as we were headed back, I saw a young man inspect the bagels before picking them up and walking away as though nothing had happened. Whether he was feigning innocence because he had just picked up food from the ground or because he was part of a city-wide conspiracy is up for debate, but it only made me all the more suspicious.

You may be wondering why I have chosen today to share my observations with you. Well, as I was exiting the 16th and Mission BART station this morning, I noticed an unopened package of rather nice and hearty sandwich bread perched atop a trashcan that I walk past every day on the way to work. If you don’t hear from me for a while, you’ll know why.


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