By Dave Carnie
Welcome to the latest edition of SENT where I present the ham-fisted highlights from the stupid emails that I sent last week…
From: David Carnie
Date: Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 8:39 AM
To: tania carnie
Subject: FW: ODD POSTER WARNING OF ‘MAN IN BUSHES’
in more nextdoor news: “PLEASE BE CARFUL IN PARK THERE A MAN.”
apparently someone has been putting up these weird flyers in griffith park “for years.” they’re obviously “art," and they’re pretty fucking funny, but of course the post begins in fear ("considering all the other suspicious activity I’m concerned…” wrote FiFi Fox), and there are a lot of dummy comments throughout, but the majority of the commenters are able to discern the ridiculousness of the posters.
i’ve attached a couple. i haven’t read through all of the ones i grabbed off the post, but i’ve enjoyed the couple that i have read.
“HE LIFING IN LA RIVER. DO NOT ACT SCARE LIKE SHRIMPS!”
is SFG (so fucking good) a public acronym or am i creating my own personal slang like that gallerist in london that asked you for a "TCD report,” or whatever nonsense she made up? because when i looked it up i discovered it mostly stands for san francisco giants and special forces group?
anyway, one commenter supplied a link to a reddit post that reads: "The Hiding Man refers to a series of cryptic flyers found throughout Los Angeles, most notably among the LA River along Griffith Park. The flyers contain ramblings bout a 'man watching from the trees.' Speculation is that these flyers are designed and distributed by a person with schizophrenia.”
it kind of reminds me of “red man” who we used to see around the mission in the 90s. he was painted completely red from head to foot and would sit in the corner of this bar on valencia we used to frequent (forget the name, near 16th) and paint/draw weird flyers that he would hang around the neighborhood. the thing i remember most about him was that he only drank hot water. he had his own little coffee maker down at his end of the bar and it always had a steaming pot of hot water on it.
My friend, Dave, sorta had a relationship with Red Man. He apparently has a piece of Red Man art in his storage (still awaiting to see that image). I always remember Red Man as harmless, but Dave reported that he used to walk around in the middle of Mission St., taunting drivers, and, apparently, slinging the occasional racist slur.
i just did a search and did not know that red man posed for a limbo maniacs album cover (attached… also forgot about the limbo maniacs). that’s red man, all right. and while he did have a peculiar way of dressing, he was never as festive as he looks in that picture. looks like satan on vacation. i remember him dressing in all black and looking much more sinister. the rumor is that he died from being poisoned by his own red dye.
Here’s the description from the limbo maniac fb page:
“The infamous ‘Red Man’ of the Mission District in San Francisco. Also known as Prince Charm, he referred to himself as Matasiete [roughly translates from Spanish to ‘kill seven?’] when we hired him to model for the cover of our ‘radio friendly’ single from Stinky Grooves. He painted himself red with some strange substance, dressed quite bizarre and could often be found hanging out somewhere around 16th and Valencia. The Picaro Cafe, one of his favorite spots back when it was a respectable coffee dive, displayed this 12" behind the cash register. He was a legendary character of The Mission in the late eighties and early nineties.”
EOE. OAO. (end of email. over and out.) -dave
I am fascinated by Hiding Man and plan to do more research. I’m so curious whether it’s art, or schizophrenia, or both? I suppose we could find out real quick by luring him out of hiding by making Hiding Man t-shirts and boards? If someone filed a lawsuit against us, we’d obtain a lot of answers, right? In the meantime, this gallery is the remainder of what I’ve been able to find online.
Tania and I experienced a rather strange incident at the Gyu-Kaku restaurant in Pasadena the other night (“Gyu-Kaku, meaning ‘Horn of the Bull’ in Japanese, provides the authentic Japanese yakiniku (grilled barbecue) dining experience”). The staff handled it so well I felt they deserved a thank you—everybody tells you when you’re doing it wrong, but who thanks you for doing it right? Below is the letter I sent to the CONTACT page on their website.
From: David Carnie
Date: Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 8:32 AM
To: Gyu-Kaku Restaurant
Subject: your manager
I would like to speak to your manager.
We had dinner at your Pasadena location on the evening of Tuesday, June 29. There were some shortages in the kitchen, a lot of items were not available, so there were no combos, for instance, and we had to order ala carte from the menu. Apparently a truck bearing a supply shipment failed to arrive that morning? Whatever. Not a big deal.
While my wife and I were slightly inconvenienced at first, we soon came to find the situation was to our benefit: it took a little more time to arrange our order, sure, but outside the combos we were able to order only the items we wanted and skip the items we weren’t as excited about—like the s’mores dessert, for example (not a big fan of s’mores). And, in the end, we left full, happy, and our bill was much less than it would have been had we ordered a combo. Hooray!
The supply issue was, however, a VERY big deal for the party of six that were seated next to us.
The man of the family was VERY UPSET that he had to order ala carte. He argued with the patient server that he, as a customer, would be paying more for the items he wanted ala carte than he would if he were to order them via the combos. To his credit, this was true. But, as aforementioned, the combos were incomplete due to the lack of provisions, and weren’t available in their entirety, and thus NOT AVAILABLE: you can’t order something that doesn’t exist.
The menu at Gyu-Kaku. The combos really do make everything a lot easier because you just go, “That! Thank you.” And then they bring you meats and beers.
The Very Angry Man (VAM) at the head of this family, however, refused to recognize the revisions to the Gyu-Kaku menu and steadfastly rejected any changes to the dining procedure he had become accustomed to (apparently he had dined there before). The disruption to his routine upset him immensely and raised his ire to a level we found wildly inappropriate for the situation—we are, after all, still in the midst of a global pandemic and it has severely disrupted supply chains for every industry around the world. Things are difficult, but it’s even more difficult to understand how anyone can have difficulty understanding the difficulties that are making life difficult for everyone. The Very Angry Man was unsympathetic to the current environment and demanded that he be able to order food in the manner he was accustomed to despite the server’s attempts to steer him back to reality. Unfortunately the Very Angry Man had worked himself into a such a tizzy that he was far too angry to reacquaint himself with Reason, that is if he had ever been acquainted with Reason in the first place, something I find doubtful.
“I would like to speak to your manager,” he finally said—coarsely, the only way any one ever says, “I would like to speak to your manager.” Coarsely.
The server politely acquiesced and fetched the manager.
And, as I said at the outset of this letter, I would like to speak to that manager:
Nice work. Well done. We’re proud of you. You (along with the server) handled Very Angry Man’s obstinate and callous confrontation with grace and poise. “I have to order ala carte! Waaaahhhh!” I don’t even think you gave him what he wanted, but you somehow made him believe that he was getting what he wanted? Sneaky devil. Again: nice work.
That was a fine performance of what I have learned is called, “verbal judo.” When I practice verbal judo, my mantra is, “You’re right. I’m wrong. End of story.” Or, more succinctly: “You win!” In the rare instances where I’ve been harangued by an indignant individual I’ve found that the rather simple act of happily conceding victory to the antagonist often has the peculiar effect of establishing a reversal in reality to what is being said in spirit because the concession often arouses more indignation in the bosom of the individual addressed than the most lavish abuse could possibly awaken.
“You win! (But we both know that you didn’t win anything because there is no contest and the fact that you are so mad, whereas I am not, would suggest that you are the loser in this situation, no?)” [Smile.]
This is pretty much how every table in the restaurant looked except the Very Angry Man’s table where all the smiles were upside down and they were gnashing their teeth.
Fortunately, your manager that evening deftly diffused the situation and provided Very Angry Man with the sensation that he was victorious, or right, or whatever, thereby extinguishing his fury. Much to our relief. Because Very Angry Man was, at one point, so very angry that it felt like a life-or-death situation. There were also four generations of his family at the table and I think there was an element of “saving face” involved as well, or maybe he was just flexing? “No one is going to take advantage of me in front of my family! Hrmph!” It was, to put it mildly, a very tense and uncomfortable environment until your manager brought calm to our region of the dining room and we were finally able to enjoy our dinner in peace.
And that’s why I would like to speak to your manager to say: thank you, nice work, and we appreciated it.