June 25th, 2007 4:56 PM / Location: 37.790641,-122.4178
For this event, I did a bunch of prep work in addition to being the Morton Salt Girl at Cala Foods. I helped scout locations, helped procure the tiki torches, and cut out the Sutro Tower luminaries you saw at the end. While I was at Cala Foods, I bought all the food and drink, which I brought to the Wave Organ (except for that handle of Jameson, courtesy of [I think] Sean) just before the bulk of the players showed up. Whew!
I felt pretty ridiculous walking into Cala Foods in my costume. I never cease to be surprised, though, at what you can make yourself do if you just have to...I certainly couldn't back out of this one. So yeah, I dressed up as the Morton Salt Girl, famous for being on cannisters of salt in just about every American household, in her little yellow dress and purple umbrella. I walked around Cala for a bit and loaded my cart up with as much salt as seemed necessary (maybe 30 or 40 cannisters, but only half of what was on the shelf!) for my desired effect, and proceeded to push my burden around the store to collect some delicious snacks for the end party.
While I was doing my shopping, I got some good comments from fellow patrons: "I've never seen anyone buy so much salt before," (to which I responded, yeah, but it's really cheap, so why not?), from a couple people: "Is salt on sale?" (no), and finally, a little boy (maybe 8) with his mom, who was dressed in (I'm guessing) some sort of Muslim-type garb, all in black, no face covering, but basically in a giant shifty black robe. He was her translator. At first I thought he asked me what I was doing, and I started to explain it was for a game, but then I realized all he wanted was to know where the salt area was. I pointed them to the correct aisle and thought, well, I guess I was the right person to ask for that information.... Surprisingly, not a single Cala Foods employee said a word to me, despite the fact that I was standing around for a few hours in different aisles with my umbrella up the whole time. Perhaps this was because, as someone mentioned to me at the end, I was "acting natural." I like looking at food packaging and so was really just reading all the nutritional information and other packaging copy; for instance, I learned that many canned meats are mostly composed of something called "mechanically separated chicken," that microwavable brownies and lemon cake exist, and there's a brand of tea that teaches you yoga poses. So I wasn't really bored at all.
Anyhoo, a bunch of players came through, mostly jittery and out of breath, and very amused by my outfit! It was all a quite rewarding experience. Some of them said witty things like, "When it rains, it pours," or other things about salt or saltiness. Someone said something about pasta? Rob (spotlight skullshines) came through first, basically gasping for air, and took off immediately. Next, by about 20 minutes (which is why it's CRAZY that he was only behind by 2 at the end) was Edward, who said he'd been looking for me for like 10-15 minutes and thought there was no way he could be looking for a crazy girl with an umbrella in a grocery store. He was really nice and I hope he joins the site. A bunch of groups and solo players showed up soon after and I sent them all on to Alan at the Japantown Denny's.
I purchased all the food (I returned all the salt to its proper shelf) and went to my house to change quickly and make genmaicha. At the Wave Organ, it was great to talk to so many players, many of them new, and hear about the insane shit that was going on in the Presidio (and elsewhere). A player disguised as a homeless person who avoided a chaser by mumbling crazily? Lowteck (or Prank Monkey, or Bill Clinton, or whatever) producing an army of drunk chasers and players, stumbling around one of San Francisco's most prized parks? A player just strolling through the chasers unnoticed because he didn't look suspicious (since he wasn't paying attention to their dangerous presence)? Someone catching a cable car like 2 or 3 times to escape chasers? I can't wait to hear about these in more detail...
A super fun night!