Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco

Yes, yes. We had a wonderful time in San Francisco. We took in beautiful views, climbed beautiful hills, ate beautiful food. But there is one thing which my so-called "troupe-mates" will not reveal to you. And that is the Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco.

I first noticed it at Golden Gate Park. We were just coming into a clearing where I noticed its menacing presence on a seemingly faraway hill. I took no special issue with it, despite its intimidating size. Shortly thereafter I let loose a swear word; whether it was darn or shoot I remember not. I heard a faint buzz followed immediately thereafter by a deep pain in my right eye, burning a hole straight through to my retina. I knew instantly what had happened. It was the Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco.

It turn out that within its vast array of impressive circuitry, the Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco holds information on all morality and social morays. When these tenets are threatened, the Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco takes matter into its own hands (or in this case, laser turrets) and punishes any and all offenders within the city limits. We learned later that the Infamous Three-Pronged Tower of San Francisco also punished complaining and love.

Finally, on the final day of our visit, we had our ultimate confrontation, the I3-PToSF and I. My colleagues and I climbed to the summit of Twin Peaks, which offered an amazing view of San Francisco and the ocean and the perfect spot to challenge my quarry. I baited it with profanity and hugs. Being so close, the thin buzz normally heard coinciding with its laser sounded more like a locomotive falling off a mountain. The I3-PToSF disintegrated me from head to toe.

So, yeah. I'm never going to SF again.


Anonymous said...

You've been there, you've been zapped, now buy the t-shirt! Spoons and I used to live right by the tower, and you can get a pretty neat shirt with a sutro logo on it. It's soft and just a bit tight == totally hot.

-- kathy

christopher said...

Where did it get that name?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris -- I don't know if anyone will read this comment, but here goes.

Sutro tower is named after Mount Sutro (which it is on) which is, in turn, named after Adolph Sutro (1830-1898), a successful business man and once-Mayor of the city. (info from this site.) I kid you not: Sutro ran for mayor as the populist "anti-octupus" candidate, which apparently means that he opposed "politics of the Southern Pacific Railroad". (More on Sutro)

Sutro built a mansion on Mount Sutro and he built the Sutro Baths in 1896 -- the largest indoor bathing facility ever constructed! (Good photo of the baths here) The ruins of the baths are a fun place to visit in SF. (How old does something have to be before it can officially have "ruins"? Anyone?)

-- kathy

Anonymous said...

More on the Octopus
"I can't stop googling, someone help me"

The Octopus was a muckraker book like The Jungle (Upton Sinclair) that exposed the seedy underbelly of the railroad industry. (The Jungle was about meat-packing.) The Octopus was the first of three books -- the later two were called The Pit and The Wolf, the third of which was never written. The Octopus, the Pit and the Wolf is a good name for something. What, I don't know.

The Octopus also made its way into the political cartoons of the time.

So, those who opposed the railroad, specfically the Southern Pacific in SF, like Sutro, were anti-octopus.

-- kathy