Oakland's lovely Lake Merritt
The tamale guy around Lake Merritt
So I'm cruisin by Oakland's lovely Lake Merritt the other evening and low and behold, there's a crowd of locals forming on the small bridge that brings in water from the san fran bay to the lake. The crowd also consists of our proud local municipalities - a fire engine, an ambulance, a helicopter and four or five cop cars all proudly displaying their gratuitous use of our Californian taxes, so I stop to rubberneck the situation.
And what a wonderful sight it was - two stark naked men and a cheap bike hanging onto the supportive columns of the bridge that runs under the roadway in fast moving thigh deep water. Did I mention they were stark naked in thigh deep water?
The Oakland residents gawked and hollered at the men as our local armed forces lowered a fifteen foot rope to swing the stranded unkept oddities to dry land. It was better than Fox evening news - there was nudity and real helplessness for us to laugh at IN PERSON. The event had the wonderful feeling of community involvement condusive to easy interaction between each other as if some fire alarm had dragged us out on the streets for forced interaction. Even the cops were crackin lame jokes about the next show starting at nine (that we all smiled at) while we were trying to figure out just what had brought about this situation. Initially the thoughts of another homeless guy burning himself to death or some lost sea otter in the lake were presumed but this was much more exciting. We were all pinned in our own sublime to see what interesting details the story entailed.
And the story that starts off like bad joke...
So two guys get in an argument next to this twenty foot wide river next to a roadway and one throws the other's bike in the water in frustration. The owner instantly strips down and goes in after the bike (keep in mind he never learned to swim) with the confidence that the water is rather shallow. But he forgot about the current funneling itself from the large stream into the lake and off he and the bike went soon followed by the other, now naked, troublemaker.
Being sucked under the bridge, they stood in poor showing of their genitalia clinging to the small bridge's supports shouting until the coppers were called in to handle the situation. The crowd had thirty minutes to grow and another thirty to watch the daring rescue. If the tamale guy had showed up, he would have made a killing from the spectators' hungry spirits.